What is stress and how do we handle it?

Photo by  Juan Pablo Arenas  from  Pexels

Our ancestors 300,000 years ago had some life challenging decisions to make on a daily basis. Today every single one of us still has that primitive survival mechanism of ‘flight/fight’ - and each of us has a habitual response that is learned or genetically implanted so that we are able to respond to everything from life threatening situations to our morning alarm going off.

Becoming aware of our ‘stress state’ is a good start to controlling it.

Each of us has a unique reaction to a stress which might include:

Increased heart rate and raised blood pressure

Blood is is pumped round the body carrying oxygen to the the necessary cells, which can result in an irregular or rapid heartbeat, or a consistent and abnormally high heartbeat

Rapid breathing

Oxygen is required through the body, and can sometimes result in  hyperventilation

Adrenaline and noradrenaline are released

These hormones maintain increased heart rate and release sugars from the liver for energy

Muscle tightness

All parts of the body that would be used to fight/flee can tighten leading to common issues such as stiff neck and shoulders, tight buttocks, clenched jaw and back pain.

Change in bold flow and circulation

Poor digestion, upset stomach, cold hands and feet, migraines and a rise in sexual dysfunction for both men and women

Heightened senses

Noise, light and smells can become aggravating and there is increased sensitivity to touch. Reactions and critical thought are compromised. Basic emotions such as fear, anger, sadness, and boredom become prevalent. resulting in emotional irritability, substance abuse, self-medication, anxiety, depression, poor impulse control, poor problem solving and reduced ability to communicate

Increased dehydration - sweating and thirst

Hormonal imbalance

The immune system is consistently prevented from working effectively when you are stressed so that colds and flu, infections, cancer and increased allergic reactions become frequent

One of the most effective ways to treat stress is to meditate.

Taking time out twice a day to disconnect from everything going on around us gives us the opportunity to rest deeply and release stress. Long held fatigue melts away and stresses which we have accumulated from birth are dispelled efficiently so that we become highly effective at dealing with any incoming stress.

Vedic Meditation has been shown in medical research to restore the mind and body to its natural equilibrium so that we become centred and calm.


Are you suffering with stress and anxiety? Meditation could help you manage the pressures of modern life better. Come along to one of our free introductory talks in London.

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Anthony Thompson