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More Mindfulness - Week 4

Uncategorized Feb 06, 2022

In More Mindfulness this week, the subject is stress and how mindfulness can help us to respond to it and thereby reduce its impact on our minds and bodies.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health in the US, stress is the “brain and body’s response to change, challenge, or demand. It is the body’s natural defense against danger brought on by an event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. When a stressful event occurs, the body is flooded with hormones to avoid or confront danger. This is commonly referred to as the fight-or-flight response.”

We all know that stress is an inevitable part of life. But stress itself is not the problem - it’s how we relate to it that counts. 

Our stress response (‘fight, flight, freeze’) is critical to our survival. In days gone by, it might have saved us from the mouth of a sabre-toothed tiger. These days, while certain threats have disappeared, others are on the rise. Our stress response is triggered often throughout the day. It may be triggered by an update on the news, the temporary loss of a mobile phone or the resounding ping of an incoming email. When we are worried, anxious or fretting about something, this is when the stress response activates. Over time, if we are not able to find a way of slowing down and normalising the bodily systems involved in stress, we can start to suffer from problems such as high blood pressure, muscle tension, anxiety, insomnia and digestive problems.

Creating space during the day to leave the worried mind behind and come into the present moment has been shown to be very helpful in mitigating the negative effect of our stress response. As when we are in our present moment experience, we are more likely to be able to gain perspective, make better decisions and so regulate how we respond to the pressures we face. 

For those of you who would like to delve deeper, here is this week's selection of further reading links and recommendations: 

Meditation: A 12-Minute Meditation to Welcome Deep Rest:

Daily Mindfulness Practice: STOP:

Article: How to Manage Stress With Mindfulness and Meditation:

You might also like to check out the Real Mindful podcast series and the 12-minute  guided meditations on Mindful:  and

This Week’s Prose by Yung Pueblo

“Stress and anxiety are the children of attachment, they are both a form of craving that take us away from the present and into areas of imagination that steal away our peace.

Heaviness comes from hanging on tightly to emotions that were always meant to be ephemeral. We want things to last forever or we turn difficult moments into long lasting pain simply because we have not learned to let go. We have not learned that the beauty of living comes from the movement of change. Letting go does not mean that we forget and it does not mean that we give up, it just means that we are not letting our present happiness be determined by things that happened in the past or by things we wish to happen in the future.

The accomplishment of all great things in life take effort, especially when it comes to changing and healing ourselves. No one said it was going to be easy, if it was easy it would have been done already, but it will be absolutely worth it and the reward will be greater than the difficulty it took to get there.

Letting go takes training and dedication. Find a practice that brings you noticeable results and use it consistently. When things get tough remember that we are not building something small, we are building a palace of peace within our own hearts and it takes determination to complete something of such beauty and magnitude.”

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