There are some fundamental steps for you to take towards reducing stress and its immensely negative impact on your system. Make sure to:
- Sleep long and well at night
- Exercise regularly
- Eat healthy, unprocessed foods
- Take care of yourself emotionally
What is your reaction when you read that list? If you are like many of us, you roll your eyes and go “Yeah, what’s new??”, “Like I didn’t know that already??” and “Easier said than done!!”
If I tell you now that The American Psychology Association has pointed out that more than 60% of human illness and disease is stress based, would you feel like applying the list to your life? My guess is you probably won’t.
Even reminding you that stress is the number one reason for death, it still won’t persuade you to make the list your new guiding star. As boring at it may sound, the deal is: if you don’t take care of yourself, you will live a shorter life where you barely endure yourself mentally and probably even less physically. But you already know this.
Death really should be a heavy negotiation chip, even a life less lived, but no. There is something so deceitful about stress, because the long-term consequences don’t send your brain in to alarm mode. You’ll deal with it another day.
Your brain is alarmed by stress often, but only in a way where it takes care of the symptoms of the immediate stress factors. Those stress factors don’t even have to be real, as your brain can’t tell real stress from perceived stress. Ironically, the long-term effects of tearing down your system do not register in the same way. So you read the list, you read what is likely to happen if you don’t adhere to the list but your system still kinda goes “Meeeh, I don’t think so”. No wonder, you wouldn’t choose to watch a movie called “Unclear and Vague Danger” either.
So let’s try another angle.
What may be news to you is that meditation can help you to effortlessly choose the life-saving wellness list on a more frequent basis. With meditation, as you practice present moment awareness, you will be more in tune with what you really need.
A meditation practice, as scientifically researched and proven, can significantly improve your nightly sleep. You get that for free, so to speak. Added to that, a meditative state heals your nervous system even deeper than sleep.
Imagine then, a more rested you and how much more energy you would have to move around, not just for the sake of exercising, but to feel alive. You’ll have too much fun to even count all the calories expended!
In the moments you feel present and aware, I can assure you, you don’t gobble down a bucket of fried chicken and a turquoise slushie.
Meditation rewires your brain, and can do so in a way where you open up to a state of aliveness and abundance. In that, you will feel worthy of the fullness that life has to offer you. Taking care of you will be a natural consequence of your open heart.
Then, and only then, can you start helping other people and be effective as a leader, mentor, influencer and world-changer. We need you for that.