Meditation and Health
How does meditation help with burnout, fibromyalgia (FM) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)?
We live in a world where there is a high pressure to perform and a continually increasing amount of external impressions. Because this is becoming more and more overwhelming, we are experiencing stress more often and this results in physical and psychological problems.
Stress is most times connected to our attempts to relieve tension. The more we try, the less successful we are. It is more important to throw our usual perspectives and beliefs overboard.
When we learn to see stress for what it really is – namely a temporary tension– we open up a new perspective for ourselves. We are able to recognize the positive characteristics of stress as well. And at this point, we are no longer identifying ourselves with the idea that we are under stress. Be honest. How many of us find after a successful, but stressful work day that a glass of wine tastes better than usual? Or that taking a walk afterwards floods us with a feeling of happiness?
Although stress is very often the cause of psychological problems, it is also at the same time – something natural. Relaxation can only follow when tension has been built up. It is only a question of how much awareness I have in a stress situation: are the tensions and relaxation balanced?
Can I recognize my own limits?
Long-term studies have shown that meditation is one of the oldest relaxation techniques in the world which can be used to reduce and eliminate stress. It has also been proven to help in the treatment of pain.
Stress makes burnout, FM and CFS worse and places the victim in a vicious cycle – you are stressed so your condition worsens, feeling worse causes you more stress. Meditation can be practiced at any time and at any place in order to reduce your personal stress level. It can be helpful at first to attend a meditation seminar. For those who already are experienced practitioners, seminars can deepen your own practice and afford a retreat from everyday life. The good thing is that meditation can always be done on your own and doesn’t continually require supervision by a teacher.
On the physical level, meditation reduces the levels of the stress hormone Cortisol, prevents heart disease and totally relaxes body muscles. Sleep becomes deeper and therefore provides necessary regeneration. Through it, the energy level that is needed to deal with a challenging daily routine is raised and a balanced serenity is experienced – a balance between tension and relaxation. Through regular meditation practice, the structure of the brain changes. Studies have shown that enduring positive changes in the brain are happening after only one meditation.
On the psychological level, meditation touches the human spirit. Clarity, a greater ability to concentrate, perseverance and self-confidence emerge. External negative influences or confrontations no longer take over our thoughts. We are more able to have a holistic perspective on things; independent of prejudices, judgements and belief systems.
Instead of always dealing with problems, we let contentment and serenity determine our being. A phenomenon that becomes apparent to those around us – when we do something for our inner world, we do something for the outer world at the same time.