How Can Fictional Stories Help People Deal With Real-Life Struggles Get On Top Of Stress – Meditate

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Get On Top Of Stress – Meditate

Stress is one of the major problems of modern times. We work and live in a stressful environment, and the added burden of stress is disrupting the lives of both young and old. Although stress is not inherently bad, an excess of stress can damage the mind and body. Problems at work, breakdown of interpersonal relationships with colleagues or family members, unbridled ambition and financial worries are some of the stresses that bombard the nervous system, affecting work, family life and wealth.

Stress is increasing. Minor problems can fester until the nervous system can’t take it any longer. Behavioral change follows and coping mechanisms fail. Some can handle stress better than others. But there are some chronically anxious people who anticipate problems before they arise. There are others who bottle up their emotions until they suddenly explode through a nervous breakdown.

Medications can provide temporary relief from anxiety. But after the effects wear off, the person may feel more anxious than before. It can lead to drug addiction.

Although stress cannot be completely eliminated, it is possible to correct incorrect assumptions and incorrect responses to stress. Various exercises and relaxation techniques are prescribed. But what is gaining ground for stress and stress-related problems is meditation and contemplative prayer. Meditation helps one focus on something other than the cause of stress. It relaxes the mind and changes the way it reacts to difficult situations. Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years, primarily as a means of gaining spiritual enlightenment. It regained popularity in the sixties when the Beatles and other pop musicians turned to Eastern music and spirituality.

Various forms of meditation have been tried.

  • Put yourself in a trance-like state by imagining a pleasant and peaceful scene and even experiencing the sights, smells, sounds and colors of the scene.
  • Chanting a mantra – Repeating a word over and over until it takes on a momentum of its own and removes all disturbing thoughts. This is achieved through a self-hypnosis and self-effort.
  • The Silva Method was introduced in 1966 by Mexican American Jose Silva. It is a combination of positive thinking, visualization, meditation and self-hypnosis. Silva claimed it would help to consciously take control of the mind and even tap into one’s higher consciousness.
  • The Tai-Chai (Completeness) Technique. Here a slow circular dance is performed in the open air. Graceful flowing movement is effective against anxiety and stress because participants are encouraged to let go of stressful thoughts.
  • Mantra meditation promoted by Maharishi Mahayogi contemplates the involvement of “an extraordinary force”. He calls it the ‘ultimate self-help method’, using a form of mantra to control one’s thoughts and calm the body and achieve a calmer style of mental functioning.
    In all these methods, the focus is on self-effort.
  • True meditation, however, is a silent communion with God to the exclusion of all else. As Morton Kelsey says, “The inner meditative journey is not a weekend trip to the land of sun and happiness. It is a way of life for people who actually feel the need for it and who are aware of their need.”

Morton Kelsey was an Episcopalian pastor and counselor who suffered from anxiety and depression at some point in his life. His encounter with a Jungian Jew named Max Zeller convinced him that God was real and that meditation and prayer could relieve stress. Zeller spent time in a Nazi concentration camp, and attributes his peace of mind and eventual release to God’s providence.

How to practice meditation:

1. Have strong faith in God.

2. Become aware of your deep sense of need, and develop a deep desire to converse with God.

3. Find a quiet setting where there will be no disturbances. This quiet time is the time to express your feelings of fear, insecurity, anxiety, jealousy, hatred or resentment. Only then can you detach your mind from this stressful burden. As you sit comfortably and wait in silence, every part of the body is asked to relax, so that the mind can focus on God.

4. Gradually, an inner stillness pervades the mind and body and one becomes acutely aware of the transforming presence of God.

A stressed out young pastor went to psychologist Carl Jung for a remedy.

“In general,” Jung said, “stick to a daily routine of eight hours of work, eight hours of sleep, and eight hours of your study.”

A month later, the pastor again moved to Jung.

“I followed your advice – eight hours of work, eight hours of sleep, and eight hours of silence in my study while I listened to relaxing music by Chopin or Mozart and read the works of Hermann Hess and Thomas Mann. But I did not improve. I am still very stressed. “

“No wonder,” Jung said, “you were told to keep to yourself.”

“Oh! I can think of no worse company,” cried the priest.

“Yet it’s something you impose on others for fourteen hours a day,” Jung said, “which should have been a contemplative experience and union with God, with no other outside elements involved.”

Stressed people don’t even get five minutes to sit in silence and commune with God. Anxiety and worry are their constant companions and take up most of their time. Meditation becomes easier with daily practice. One finds the strength to overcome stress and create a positive self-image. Disturbing emotional scars are removed. “Let us keep our silent sanctuaries,” said the French writer Senancourt, “for in them the eternal vision is revealed.”

5. Once a person learns to meditate, meditative prayer becomes easy. One can shut off from the surrounding world and pray while walking, driving or working to get a dose of spiritual adrenaline and overcome stressful moments. Bernard of Clairvaux said, “Wherever you are, pray in secret within yourself.”

Meditation and meditative prayer are powerful stress busters. They contribute to a healthy and satisfied life.

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