Stress antidote

When the stress is brought from the outside, it gets into your brain through one of five senses. Emotions arise, and you are presented with thoughts that represent your interpretation of the stressor. Because during meditation you learn to observe and work with your thoughts, you may stop the stress acceleration, by changing your reaction. When you succumb to thoughts that make you view the event as dangerous (in addition to the danger that was already assigned to it by the brain on a subconscious level), you intensify stress response and increase cortisol. But when you adopt mindfulness – you send a contra signal to your brain that what happens is not a danger.  

As you remember, the brain does not differentiate stressors. Stress is stress, and the reaction will be the same. In ancient times, we did not experience that many stressors (though they were more significant). Our ancestors mostly stressed when they had to fight enemies and run from wild animals, which is a direct threat to survival. Now, we stress because of the traffic on the roads, but the brain interprets it on the same level of danger as it was thousands of years back when your ancestor was escaping a predator.

Mindfulness and meditation help to fight this approach, calming the brain down, educating it about what is dangerous now and what is not. Funnily, the method which was developed over 5,000 years ago is what we need now to train our brain to adapt to contemporary conditions. Neuroplastic changes take place in the brain when you meditate, which is literally re-wiring your brain and adapting to life in this world. 

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