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Why Should We Meditate?
‘Meditation’ and ‘Yoga’ are the buzz word of these modern times. One wonders why these words are so prominenttoday. Well, the answers could be in the essence of their meanings. But first we need to know the reason whysuddenly these words have become all important.…….. What happens in the mind of man is always reflected in the disease of his body.....
Imagine a person overloaded with work, scrambling to meet a deadline or else stuck in traffic. In such situations, themuscles tense, breathing becomes shallow, person starts to sweat, the heart races and blood pressure rises. Most of thetimes the person may not be able to fight or flee – the two most natural responses to stress - such as in the case oftraffic jam. Thus one would remain chronically tense. Unfortunately, it is next to impossible to live in 21st century andnot ever be in a stressful situation. Humans across the globe are becoming more and more prone to this silent killer,called as Stress.Going back to as early as the eighties, it was not without reason that Time magazine's June 6, 1983 cover story wascalled stress "The Epidemic of the Eighties" and it was referred to as one of the leading health problem; there can belittle doubt that the situation has progressively worsened since then. Numerous surveys confirm that adults perceivethey are under much more stress than a decade or two ago.
A 1996 Prevention magazine survey found that almost 75% participants feel that they have "great stress" one day aweek with one out of three indicating they feel this way more than twice a week.
43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects due to stress.
In the same 1983 survey itself 55% said they felt under great stress on a weekly basis.
It has been estimated that 75 - 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems.
Job Stress is far and away the leading source of stress for adults.
Stress levels have also escalated in children, teenagers, college students and the elderly for other reasons,including: increased crime, violence and other threats to personal safety; pernicious peer pressures that lead tosubstance abuse and other unhealthy life style habits; social isolation and loneliness; the erosion of family andreligious values and ties; the loss of other strong sources of social support that are powerful stress busters.Now how does it affect us? Well, these statistics tell us that these problems are common and tomorrow anyone of us canbe victim of stress, if we aren’t already. As students, we already know the stress of exams or of giving a speech.We have already experienced stress as a teenager. Later we face stress on the job. Stress can have effects on hormones,brain neurotransmitters, additional small chemical messengers elsewhere, prostaglandins, as well as crucial enzymesystems, and metabolic activities that are still unknown. There is a big possibility of stress resulting in some kind ofhealth disease or mental unhappiness, if we don’t learn how to relax ourselves and increase our threshold for stress.Therefore it is really important for all of us to know how to calm down and increase our threshold for stress.
The solution is: Meditation!
To understand how meditation solves our problem of stress, it is important to know what meditation is. Meditation isdefined as discrete and well-defined experience of the state of thoughtless awareness, the state of being in the‘present’, away from past and future. This is the state when the excessive and stress producing activity of the mind isneutralized without reducing alertness and effectiveness. In order to try to explain the idea visually, let us look at thegraph given in the next Page :
DECEMBERVolume 2 Issue 6