How to manage stress: relaxation and meditation
Nowadays, it is really difficult to find someone who doesn’t suffer from stress. However, as explained by psychologist Noelia Aguirre from SHA Wellness Clinic, stress does not have to be bad: “If we understand stress as our alarm to life’s dangers, we will accept that it is wise to experience some level of stress: if not, we would feel unprotected. “
“Stress is the mechanism through which our nervous system regulates the amount of energy that we need to invest to meet any situation, the level of attention that the situation merits according to its importance, its particular significance for us, if its new or not and the resources we have to face it. If a situation is dangerous, important or new to us, then it requires more attention, more energy, and we mobilise our capacities to face with success,” says Noelia Aguirre.
Noelia Aguirre clearly explains: “experiencing some level of stress is a condition often associated with efficiency: not necessarily bad, but can feel unpleasant. It becomes pathological or abnormal when it is disproportionate to the significance of the situation, when we exaggerate the importance of the situation, when we interpret it catastrophically and exaggerate its danger. “
In fact, these catastrophic interpretations are the source of many of our daily concerns: “In my life I have gone through terrible things, some of which succeeded each other,” said the great Mark Twain. Many times we realise that what we were so worried about in the past has been diluted over time, without generating any dramatic consequences.
The unpleasant way in which we experience stress also depends on us: An adequate level of stress can be experienced as excitement, as creativity, as a challenge we face with pleasure and self-confidence, as a reasonable protective concern. An excessive level overwhelms us and paralyses us and we feel powerless.
Our efforts should therefore not be focused on eliminating stress but to learn how to manage stress properly. Adopting a realistic, pragmatic, rational and constructive attitude seems most necessary and one of our strongest recommendations is to practise meditation exercises regularly to help us learn to breathe better, manage our stress and control our emotions.
Although we may have the idea that meditation is escape, Nieves González, a Yoga and meditation teacher at SHA Wellness Clinic, explains that “meditation is to become aware of how you conduct your daily routine, paying absolute attention to body and mind. It isn’t about time but is about being present.
The body is the voice of an emotional system that can not express itself through the mind. As mind and body belong to the same person, the benefit of one impacts the other one and vice versa. Stress is self induced and anxiety and distress go together. As Noelia Aguirre explained, the brain is programmed with external threats that usually are not so threatening. That’s why we would like to teach people to “deprogramme” and meditation is a good way to achieve this, thus learning proper stress management.
One of the best remedies for stress is to dedicate just a few minutes a day to relaxation by meditation and connecting with ourselves so we get the rebalancing of mind, body and spirit.