Much has been written about stress. How it affects us in our everyday lives, its effects on our long-term health and even its potential to place us in mortal danger. Stress, it is generally acknowledged, is under extreme circumstances a killer.
Like most other things, a little stress can actually be a good thing. There are situations in which it would not benefit us to be in an unstressed state. When we step inadvertently into the road and straight into the path of a double decker bus, for instance, the stress of becoming suddenly aware of our predicament leads us to call upon our reflexes, both mental and physical, to take immediate remedial action to avoid being run over. If we were not caused to be stressed by the grave urgency of the situation we might not respond to it quickly or effectively enough, with consequences that could well prove fatal.
But stress over a sustained period of time wears away at our bodies and internal organs at a surprising rate. In particular, it is the effect of repeated stress upon the heart that can lead to anxiety, high blood pressure, heart attacks and in some cases death. It really is as serious as that.
Some people learn to cope with stress better than others. For many the everyday stress of the workplace can be alleviated by a period of “chilling out” in the evening after work. Others take their stress home with them, sometimes into the family environment where completely different stresses and strains add to and exacerbate the problems brought home from work. Sometimes very simple things, such as a family dispute over which television channel to watch, can become magnified out of all proportion to their actual importance and can lead one to become disengaged, fatigued and sometimes even depressed.
In the modern age there are few whose lifestyles leave them untouched by stress of some kind or another, so an antidote needs to be administered through which to counter it. Sometimes going for a walk, or a drive, will suffice. Others may opt to go out for a drink, which despite its attendant health issues can cause one to forget about one’s problems and difficulties, or at the very least to place them into a more realistic perspective.
For a more natural, healthier and longer lasting solution many turn to meditation. Of the known disciplines transcendental meditation is recognised as being more than twice as effective at relieving the mental effects of stress as all other relaxation and meditation techniques.
The uniquely deep state of rest induced by transcendental meditation provides tangible benefits in every area of life, from reduced stress to much better health, clearer thinking, and increased creativity.