Stress is killing you. That’s a known fact. Removing the causes of stress in your life – your job, your relationships, your circumstances – is not something that can be done overnight. So in that case, what is the best way to relax? For many busy people, meditation is the answer to that question, and the easiest form of meditation to learn and practice is alpha meditation.
How Stress is Killing You
The body’s evolved response to stress – the ‘fight-or-flight’ response – entails several hormonal changes. If the source of stress is relatively short-lived, the body’s “stress thermostat” can reset itself to neutral levels within an hour or so. But if stress continues – whether actual or just perceived – then those hormonal imbalances will eventually do permanent damage.
Specifically, when stress is perceived the adrenal glands release epinephrine (a.k.a. adrenaline), norepinephrine, and cortisol. Collectively, these hormones increase heart rate, blood pressure and respiration, and boost blood-sugar levels, preparing the body for action. The role of cortisol is to switch off various bodily functions that demand a great deal of energy or resources, enabling a full diversion of energy to reacting to danger. Such functions include digestion, reproduction, growth, and certain aspects of the immune system. Thus, the body’s ability to repair itself is weakened just when extra demands are being placed on it. It is no wonder that stress is so clearly connected to heart disease.
Interestingly, cortisol also changes the structure of the brain itself, causing enlargement of the amygdala, which controls fear and other emotional responses, while inhibiting neuronal connections in the hippocampus, which is involved in memory formation. Taken together, these changes impair the brain’s ability to remember emotional experiences properly. One’s whole system becomes geared toward an expectation of more stress, perpetuating a vicious cycle of physical and psychological damage. We urgently need to break that cycle by learning how to relax.
Alpha Meditation to Relieve Stress
While we could attempt to fight stress with expensive drugs that have their own side-effects and long-term health risks, there is a cheaper, safer way to restore the balance of mind and body. Meditation can be used repeatedly and reliably to take the brain to a state of tranquility, where perceived dangers melt away and all the associated hormonal havoc is restored to order.
Alpha meditation refers to the brainwave pattern exhibited when the mind turns inwards, losing its obsessive focus on the details and duties of daily life. At this frequency (7 – 13 Hertz), the brain slows down from its everyday waking state, but actually becomes more powerful. Alpha is the first step towards the ultimate relaxation of sleep, and a definite move away from stress.
Alpha meditation is also the easiest type of meditation to practice, especially in the modern age. For while modern life brings with it a great deal of stress, it also offers technologies that have greatly simplified our lives. And meditation is no exception to that. Now, instead of studying arcane techniques for years, it is possible to reach an alpha state within 10-15 minutes while listening to special music that has been designed to encourage the brain to operate in certain frequencies. This new field is known as brainwave entrainment technology.
Excellent free samples of this technology are available here. In the fight against stress, you can’t afford not to include this weapon in your arsenal.