How often do you feel stressed? For most, stress is a regular part of everyday life. Stress is the experience of feeling overwhelmed, overloaded, and unable to cope with the multitude of work, family, and financial pressures competing for our time and attention. With the rising prevalence of stress related illness and the associated psychological, social and commercial costs, we must look beyond common stress relief tactics and employ longer-lasting strategies to support our ability to function healthily and happily in our professional and personal lives.
What is stress?
Stress is typically thought of as a normal response to the busy lives lead by most inhabitants of modern Western society. Stress is often described as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. When a threat is perceived, the body responds by triggering the creation and release of stress hormones in order to support your fight or flight from the threatening event. Though beneficial when faced with actual danger, continued stress is incredibly harmful to our bodies and minds in a myriad of ways.
Our view on stress
Our take on stress is informed by the ancient Indian tradition that our meditation technique hails from. We view stress as a maladaptive response to stimuli, informed by the experiences that have left an impression on us throughout the course of our life. It’s not the events themselves that are stressful, but the way in which we perceive and react to them that triggers stress chemistry in our body. Over time we accumulate this stress in our bodies, which reduces our ability to lead a happy, balanced life.
Why does stress reduce our ability to be successful at work?
When it perceives a threat, the body concentrates its resources on responding to the stressful event at the expense of other mental and physical functions. When in a state of fight or flight, our energy is drained by the stress response and we lack the resources to be productive or think creatively. Those operating in a continual state of stress will find their work performance, motivation and productivity are increasingly diminished. Aside from the personal impact of stress left unchecked, the wellbeing of the individual contributes to the overall wellbeing of the organisation.
What is Vedic Meditation and how does it help us adapt to stress?
How do we improve our ability to adapt to life’s twists and turns without invoking harmful stress chemistry in the body? The answer lies in a simple technique called Vedic Meditation. The benefits of Vedic Meditation are many, with one of the most common reasons for learning the technique being relief from stress. When we rest deeply our body removes the stress it has accumulated during proceeding days, weeks, and years. The positive impact of Vedic Meditation on workplace stress is well researched and documented. A 2014 study measuring the impact of Vedic Meditation on workplace stress and burnout showed a significant reduction in perceived stress as well as other markers including depression and work-place burn out, following 4-months of regular meditation.
There is no denying that there are events and circumstances in our personal and working lives that are challenging. As Vedic meditators our goal is not the absence of stress, but to adapt more proportionately to stressful events and recover faster. In practicing the technique regularly, we free up more energy for creativity, productivity and presence in our daily lives.