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Stress On, Stress Off

Melli O'Brien



Melli O'Brien



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Stress On, Stress Off

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today, I'm going to talk about the stress

on-stress off approach to living well.

So for most of us these days,

we experience quite a bit of

ongoing stress in daily life.

We're often, for starters, just very busy.

We have very full to-do do lists

as well as worries about the world

and personal challenges, such as

trouble in relationships, financial

difficulties, this kind of thing.

So whenever weyouget stressed or

upset in daily life, your body

goes into the fight or flight mode.

That's evolution's way of mobilizing your

body in times of stress so that you could

run, fight or freeze in times of danger.

That's what really kept our

hunter gatherer ancestors alive.

That fight or flight system was really

designed to be triggered when there

was immediate danger and then it would

switch off for the rest of the time.

But these days, we tend to have

ongoing tension in the mind and

body, which we pay a high price for.

It can lead to all kinds of health

problems, as well as mental illnesses

like anxiety and depression.

So what can we do about this?

Well, Dr.

Herbert Benson, the author of a book

called, The Relaxation Response,

says that regular elicitation of the

relaxation response can prevent and

compensate for the damage incurred by

frequent nervous system reactions that

pulse through our hearts and bodies.

In other words, we can go from stress

on to stress off, so we can switch

off the fight or flight system and

switch on the relaxation response

through regular deliberate relaxation.

Here's three ways you can do this.

One, when you're going about daily

life, ticking off tasks on your

to do list, replying to emails or

stuck in traffic, see if you can

deliberately relax your body at will,

especially the jaw and the shoulders.

See if you can pause every now

and then, and just let go of

some of the tension in the body.

Just doing that a few

times throughout the day.

And even if you just let go a

little bit, that's still great.

Second thing, take a few long, slow,

deep breaths with longer exhales.

This can switch off the stress response

and switch on the relaxation response.

And three, schedule regular

periods of relaxing activities.

You know, five minute rest under

a tree, hot bath, slow walk.

All of these kinds of activities

can be really beneficial in

regulating your nervous system.

So the invitation for practice today

and ongoing, if you care to, is to see

if you can find more balance with the

stress on-stress off way of living.

The more you practice regular

deliberate relaxation like this, the

more you train your mind and body

to naturally drop into a relaxed

state for the majority of the time.

So as always, thank you for your

practice and your presence here with us.

And let's settle in now

for today's meditation.

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