Imagine for a moment that you are holding your arm out to the side and you just hold it there. No big deal, right? But keep holding it there, and keep holding it there, and keep holding it there. With time your arm will begin to ache and become painful. Unless you do something, you will have to put your arm down because the pain will be too intense. Stress is very much like this.
Stress is exposing yourself to something small over and over again for a short period of time. When it’s just for a short period of time it’s no big deal; however, after repeatedly exposing yourself to this stress over and over again it begins to take a toll on your body. It begins to wear on you and make you susceptible to illness or injury. It can end up as something as slight as aches and pains with muscles to slightly more severe as a cold or even more severe as cancer or heart disease. A good friend of mine who is a medical doctor once told me that he truly feels that about 80% of his patients he sees are in there because of stress related illnesses. He said that if he could help his patients alleviate the stress, many of them wouldn’t even need to be in to visit him.
Many people wrongly assume that stress is just “bad” things happening to you. This is not true. Many stressful events are wonderful and positive experiences also. For example if you spend a day in a big amusement park, it’s an enjoyable experience yet at the end of the day your body feels the aches and pains of the stress of the day. It was a positive event, yet it stressed your body and mind in many ways. The same holds true with events, such as weddings and parties. While the event itself is a positive experience and something we enjoy, preparing for the event and making sure things go well, getting through the entire process and finally enjoying the results will often lead you to collapsing in a chair at the end of the day from all the stress it has caused you. So stress is not always just negative events; however, negative stresses seem to be more obvious and stressful to us.
Meditation is a way to give your body “breaks” from this stress. It’s like putting that arm down and resting it and then putting it back up again. For most people, stress is a regular occurrence in life. Because stress is generally an everyday occurrence for many, I truly encourage meditating twice a day to give our bodies that break. It’s good for you in helping you to grow, find out who you are and develop a healthy, peaceful, wonderful life. It also is a good way to combat stress.
Stress breaks down our bodies much more quickly. Alleviating stress helps to keep our bodies running more smoothly. We all age, it’s a part of life; but also as a part of life is our body wearing down. Much like a car, the better care you take of it the longer it will last. Meditation will help you maintain your body, much like you maintain your car. It helps you to keep your body healthy and fit. It isn’t a guarantee of staying healthy but it does help our bodies deal with other things that we cannot control that happen in our bodies.
Since stress is a part of our life and is so hard on our bodies, I would like to encourage you to practice meditating regularly to counteract the attack of stress on your body. While meditating is not a guarantee to a healthy body with no illness I can say with confidence that it will help you endure the stressful times when you’re forced to deal with them. It will help both your body and mind, creating a better life in general.
Dr. Robert Puff, Ph.D. is a meditation expert, international speaker and the creator of the weekly Meditation For Health Podcast, available at http://www.MeditationForHealthPodcast.com He also creates a weekly podcast that explores the world of Enlightenment available at http://www.EnlightenmentPodcast.com