Which came first, the stress or the dis-ease?

Posted On Sep 26 2013    Author :Faith Fogel
Mindfulness based stress reduction techniques help to ease the pressure. (Photo by Gavin Wood, Stock Exchange)

Mindfulness based stress reduction can help you relax. (Photo by Gavin Wood, Stock Exchange)

 

Here’s a snap shot:  I just got home from a meeting, I need to cook if I’m going to eat healthy this week, I have a blog post to finish, and I really want to make 6pm yoga…so I can destress a little!  Ever feel like you’re rushing to get to a relaxing activity?

Stress is increasingly cited as a common root in a whole forest of diseases in our culture, including depression and cardiovascular disease.  Researcher Sheldon Cohen, a Carnegie Mellon University psychologist recently contributed the findings of a study about the relationship between stress and disease to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).  Cohen cited “social stressors” such as divorce or the death of a loved one as common contributors to depression.   Being diagnosed with a serious physical malady can also lead to depression.  And finally, what Cohen calls “chronic stress”, present in the workplace or the daily grind contributes greatly to cardiovascular illness.

That’s a big way of saying stress is everywhere, and we are bound to run into it.  Luckily, we also keep running into the idea of mindfulness based stress reductionMindfulness stress relief techniques do not promise that stress will disappear from your life (sorry).  But perhaps more importantly, since we know we cannot escape the daily grind, the workplace, illness, and the inevitability of death, mindfulness based stress reduction provides tools that we can use anywhere to deal with stress as it arises.

The Mindfulnets concept is very connected with the idea of a mindfulness that can travel with you throughout your day. E-mindfulness and a supportive online community allow you to tap into mindfulness, if only for a few minutes, and to know that others are actively doing so.  Our culture is heavily invested in the web, networks, and constant technological innovation.  So why not a mindfulness based web to balance all the crazy we encounter both in our daily lives and online?

Many mindfulness stress reduction techniques are based on age old concepts from a variety of meditative traditions.  And for some time our culture dismissed mindfulness, the simple attention to the present moment, as insufficient to cure the complex stresses of modern society.  We looked to science to advance medical technology.  And western science has done a fascinating job at that; but then it paused, took a breath, and realized that by using mindfulness based stress reduction, we might successfully avoid some of the costly, invasive, life saving measures that severe or chronic stress can lead to.

There are now mindfulness and meditation classes offered regularly in hospitals, mindful movement incorporated into the healing routines of cancer patients, and mindfulness events at the workplace.  Your computer, your tablet, or your Smartphone can be part of the mindfulness revolution that’s working it’s subtle magic on stress, one breath at a time. Click to connect, and let the ease begin.

Reducing stress creates space for a little more love...and who doesn't want that!  (Photo by Yosep Sugiarto, Stock Exchange)

Reducing stress creates space for a little more love…and who doesn’t want that! (Photo by Yosep Sugiarto, Stock Exchange)