As we embark on this new decade, the challenge for us all is to cultivate times of silence amidst the whirrr of everyday life. To develop resources within so you can remain resilient no matter what life throws your way.
These are potent times for us all. Technology is evolving faster and we have access to more information at our fingertips than ever. Humanity has not experienced this level of stimulation before and it is more than our primal/reptilian brain can keep up with.
It's not our fault. The problem is evolutionary.
Your primal brain treats all stresses as if you're being chased by a tiger. It doesn’t differentiate between your boss calling you into their office with ‘that’ tone of voice, or a tiger in the wild. Herein lies a very real, modern world danger… the “paper tiger”.
Our lives are inundated with “paper tigers,” those non-life-threatening stressors that we can’t seem to get a break from. Screens and devices, juggling too much, working long hours, the list goes on. These “paper tigers” stimulate the mind and keep the nervous system in a prolonged ‘fight/flight’ mode. This is dangerous because you end up with consistent levels of adrenalin and cortisol running through your body – two stress hormones that are only supposed to be released to assist the body during a genuine life-threatening situation.
Our sympathetic or ‘fight/flight’ nervous system doesn’t have a low gear, so we end up with heavy wear and tear on the body that accumulates as you're exposed to repeated or chronic stress. This is known as the allostatic load and it shows up in the physical body as inflammation, a weakened immune system or a weakened cardiovascular system (or all of the above).
I have found the more regularly I drop into silence, the more I (re)gain perspective. The more I find my way back to homebase, to balance. I can’t control what happens in life but I can always choose my response. We each have so many choice points throughout our day where we can take responsibility to respond differently and bring ourselves back to calm.
Meditation is a way to reset the body's fight/flight response
Meditation makes a massive difference to how the body perceives stress and how it responds to stress – it builds resilience. It's also a way for the mind to reorganise and recalibrate itself, allowing the body to experience its natural state of restful awareness. And the more you experience this restful state... the easier it is to find your way back to it.
Spending just 10 minutes a day doing nothing is so important (no, crucial!) to maintain your equilibrium. This is becoming more evident as scientists continue to validate ancient Eastern methodologies, such as meditation, with proven benefits to our brains and bodies. These include but aren’t limited to:
Lowered Blood Pressure
Gaining new perspectives on stressful situations
Meditation is your ultimate currency
Whilst meditation facilitates presence and reduces stress, it also increases self-awareness. I liken meditation to a speed bump between the urge to do something and the action itself. It’s the most powerful lifestyle change you can make because it makes you more self-aware. Self-awareness is your best asset, your 'super power' - it's your ultimate currency in this modern world. The more you develop the power of your awareness, the more embodied and more conscious you are.
I’m offering a few FREE 15-minute coaching sessions for people who wish they had a meditation practice. This session is for you if you haven’t dialed this habit into your day and wish you did, or if you already have a practice and would like to deepen it. If you're wanting more peace, more harmony, more ease in your life – let’s chat. I'd love to hear from you! You can schedule a time with me here.
To an unshakable core of calm in 2020.