Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stress-less or Stress-free?

I apologise for no Fashionable & Fabulous Friday post yesterday. Life has been too..... hectic, distracting and unfullfilling lately.

I've noticed my tension increasing, the clench of my jaw tightening, that tell tale sign of stress within me.

I don't want to feel like this.

Surely there is more to life than the hamster wheel of work, house, kids and commitments?

I want to stress less. No. Scratch that. I want to be stress free.

I found myself needing something, something that's been missing. Then I realised.

I haven't meditated in such a long time.

I've let the distractions of the mundane duties of life... well, I've let them distract me from the moments that make me smile and relax.

So I took a quiet moment to go back to The Meditation Society of Australia website, and restart the free meditation course they offer.

Within minutes the tension had eased.

Eased but not yet gone. I think that will take a little more time and consistency. But it's a start.

The lesson I did was titled 'The Meaning of Life' and was just so fitting for how I've been feeling lately. Here's a short extract :

Wisdom is simple; it is knowledge that craves complexity.

One of the main sources of stress is not having clear life directions or goals. So often we are caught by the urgent things in our lives – our material responsibilities and day-to-day struggles – that they create their own vicious cycle within our minds. This is what we may know as the 'tension loop’.

The 'tension loop' confuses meaning with movement.

Just like a computer, the mind processes data from many sources. The more programs you run in a computer, the less time it can spend on each program before having to go and process a little more of the next. The time the computer spends switching from program to program makes the computer run slower and slower until it may break down or stop.

The mind works in the same way. Only our programs that run around in circles using up the minds resources are our fears, anxieties, doubts and worries. As we run out of resources, the mind (unlike a computer) speeds up. It becomes so involved by the number of things that it has to do that it spends more and more of its time switching from one to the other, drawing us further into the superficial and further away from the analytical and obviously the intuitive or meditative levels. We find that we can’t concentrate for very long, we’re flighty and scattered and it is self-compounding. This 'tension loop' can be permanently transformed only through calming the mind and allowing a deepening of our awareness. We need to identify the negative thought patterns in our lives and transform them into positives. For example, worries are perhaps the most insidious of all negative thought patterns as within the mind they are like a program that loops or is never completed. They use resources, create stress, and are happiest when nothing is ever resolved or an ‘end-point’ reached.

In the end, however, the real problem is not so much that we may be stressed or sick or having a nervous breakdown, the real problem is that we have confused ‘busy-ness’ with our life meaning. Meaningful goals become less and less clearly identified.

If like me you've felt stressed and overwhelmed by the demands of an everyday, modern life, then please feel free to take a quick look at the website and maybe even listen to one of the short, free meditations they offer.

Trust me, you'll feel better for it.


  1. Good for you for knowing what will ease your stress and using those tools. I hope that your weekend is wonderfully relaxing with your family!

  2. I need to pop by that site and take a course!!!