Meditation, Stress and Authentic Self
I have realised that as stress builds up it blocks our ability to cultivate patience, calm, peace and stillness.
Stillness is a state in which consciousness can flow through us.
As we are conscious beings, or we are at our depth.
So you could say stress blocks us being who we truly are.
It has been my experience that stress has prevented me being my authentic self.
During my last 14 day swing, I felt the stress come over me.
The first two days it was intense but it hadn’t broken through my core and I still was having deep thoughts connected with my inner self.
From then on it started to erode the connection with my true self and as I felt it take over me I felt less of myself.
Eventually I was behaving uncharacteristically of my typical nature, angry, short, impatient.
For me when stress takes me over, I become quite useless (compared to me with no stress).
I can’t concentrate, I can’t focus, I can’t listen, I can’t make intelligent decisions, I can’t learn and I can’t communicate.
Eventually my stressed state became the new normal and I didn’t have the contrast making me feel so different…but I knew I could be operating at such a higher level.
Today being my first day off i was feeling better lf course, not having the incoming stress yet I still had stress built up.
I meditated in the morning for 15 mins and that helped but perhaps only 5% of stress was reduced.
Later in the day, I sat poolside and watched a TV show on my phone.
Initially that was relaxing but after some time it became compulsive and that too began to stress me.
At which point I knew it was time to turn it off.
Even though i knew it was no longer serving me, I still found myself clicking next episode.
(But I’m pretty confident I’m not the only person guilty of this 😛)
When the opening scene started to play, my attention was broken for a second and I pounced on the opportunity, locking my phone and beginning to meditate.
I sat up and went crossed legged on my sun-lounge by the pool.
It seems I’ve moved past caring what it looks like and can focus on how it feels without concern for external perceptions.
As I did so, I found my head slumping forward as I fell asleep at times but I would catch myself and return focus to watching my mind.
By slowing down the stream of thoughts, I could get access to the inner body.
As I brought my awareness to the inner body, I could feel the tension in my nervous system.
The stress that had embbed in the nervous system began to unkink and dissolve, sometimes felt as physical twitches.
After 40 minutes of deep meditation I came back and felt an inner peace within me, perhaps a 60% reduction in stress.
I can feel my body still needs some additional healing.
There is physical pain and tension that even meditation and yoga struggle to alleviate…but they sure do help.
It made me realise how many of us would be under a low level of stress that probably isn’t even realised because its become so normalised.
That low level of stress (or maybe high level in these times) blocks us from being our best selves.
Now its probably not realistic for everyone to quit their jobs and meditate but there are actions that can be taken on a daily basis to reduce stress.
Common methods people use are television, smoking and alcohol.
While they offer temporary relief usually they are detrimental to our health and take us away from our best selves.
Some more holistic ways of decreasing stress include improving diet, creating more space to be still with your self, exercise, enjoyable activities/hobbies.
If you can manage to shift your coping mechanisms to activities that support your health and wellbeing life becomes much more enjoyable and your best self shows up 🤗