Mindfulness to avoid the effects of stress

Mindfulness to avoid the effects of stress

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Mindfulness is paying attention intentionally to the present moment, from an attitude of acceptance, curiosity and not judgment" Jon Kabat Zinn

Mindfulness or mindfulness is the ancient Buddhist practice of maintaining attention, without valuing experience, live it as it is, in the present moment, without judging it, nor evaluating it and without reacting.

It is to experience the present moment with all our senses and abilities, without any other purpose or objective.

Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake in the present. It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment. The practice of mindfulness does not require us to go anywhere different. We can practice full consciousness in our room or in our movement from one place to another. We can continue doing the same things we always do, walk, sit, work, eat, talk, with the difference that we do them by being aware of what we are doing.


  • 1 Stress as a biological reaction
  • 2 The mental component of stress
  • 3 Stress and suffering
  • 4 Mindfulness and stress reduction
  • 5 Meditation against stress
  • 6 How to meditate with Mindfulness?

Stress as a biological reaction

Stress It is an evolutionary development of thousands of years, for survival in the face of danger, which triggers all alarms, launching a whole system, triggering fear, coordinated by adrenaline, which is a hormone that activates several body devices simultaneously. The nervous system is activated to start the escape mechanism, the running muscles tense and the heart beats hard, the blood pressure rises pumping the blood hard, the breathing is accelerated and agitated to better oxygenate; The digestion is interrupted, to send the blood used by the digestive system to the muscles, the skin tenses to prevent bleeding from possible wounds, the immune system moves to the periphery to monitor germ inflows.

When the danger cedes, the body relaxes, but if the danger is reactivated, the mechanism is reactivated, but now with another emotion, rage, which sends blood to the head, strength in the arms and screams, instead of fleeing, fight.

Once everything has passed by relaxing the adrenaline, it gives way to cortisol, which coordinates the second phase (resistance phase). The nervous system activates sleep to recover the body, cortisol will activate the consumption of stored fat.

The mental component of stress

Self-awareness and the ability to think affects stress levels, this causes for example post-traumatic stress, which can last for months or years, as the mind feeds it.

Stress is also triggered by psychosocial demands, such as dismissal, divorce, financial losses, pressure to meet goals, etc.. The mind perceives it as a real danger activating the mechanism of stress, but there is nowhere to flee or with whom you fight; Mental dangers are more persistent causing wear and causing sleep problems, muscle tension, back and headache, ulcers, etc.

It becomes chronic by repeating itself, it is triggered by anger or fear, but when it is not resolved, the sadness that ends up becoming depressed appears. Chronic fear is identified by anxiety, phobia being able to panic attacks, and chronic rage causes aggressiveness and violence.

Stress and suffering

In the stress body and mind are mixed creating suffering and this more stress. Emotions become nerve impulses and the levels of certain hormones alter the body's balance, causing behavior patterns.

Stress can also be caused by boredom, but it has its advantages, it can get us out of vital situations, it helps improve performance by giving extra attention and energy, but only up to a level later there is no longer performance.

The control of stress implies a mechanistic approach being artificial, it is not possible to control itself, if it is repressed by not releasing from the physiological alteration, but it is possible to regulate by means of feedback mechanisms (feedback) evaluating situations and correcting the actions. These stress coping strategies are regulatory efforts.

  • Stress generates suffering and vice versa, psychological distress can be measured but not suffering.
  • Suffering considers the integrity of the person and pain the physical part, if it is psychological or emotional it is due to a relational incidence.
  • Suffering depends on how situations are dealt with, according to Buddha “Pain is obligatory; suffering is optional. ” Mindfulness is the key tool.

Mindfulness and stress reduction

As we have already said, full consciousness consists in paying particular attention, with intention, to the present moment and without judging.

  1. Attention: Ability to be trained, orienting it with what happens, with bodily sensations, sounds, smells, emotions, sensations, what the body-mind experiences.
  2. The present moment: It is where life is lived, when you think about something else, the mind escapes from the here and now.
  3. Not judge: Accept the moment as it is, not as we want it to be.

The contents of consciousness are classified into 3 groups:

  1. Thoughts: Idea, memories or fantasies.
  2. Body sensations: Any of the senses.
  3. Emotions: They make us feel a certain way and condition the behavior.

Meditation against stress

Recent research on mindfulness effects (or mindfulness meditation) discover that it is a important ally in emotional education. Body and emotional self-awareness is trained, emotional self-regulation is trained. It helps to reduce stress and improve empathy. Hence its therapeutic use.

Thich Nhat Hanh compares the emotional management process with the mother who comforts the crying child. The mother is oneself and the child is the emotion we feel. The mother understands the child, accepts what happens to him and comforts him by giving him his love. So in this simile we find three key elements in mindfulness: awareness, acceptance and love or self-pity.

The best 100 phrases about Mindfulness

What mindfulness proposes is to be present in the emotions, which implies that we are aware of the emotion, but we keep the distance, without letting ourselves be dragged, we don't identify with it.

Another skill is love patience. This is the affective aspect of the practice, we treat each other with love, understanding, patience. This counteracts self-criticism, judgments, etc. Which relieves emotional suffering.

How to meditate with Mindfulness?

Meditation means being aware of what happens in our body, feelings and mind, and what happens in the world. If we settle in the present, we can see the beauties and wonders we have before our eyes: the sun rising in the sky, a newborn child. It is enough for us to realize what is in front of us to be very happy. ”Thich Nhat Hanh:

This is the meditation through which Buddha became enlightened. It means "look", "observe", "see".

There are three steps in observation:

1. The first step in meditation is to observe the acts of the body

This step is implemented through breathing and body posture.

2. The second step is to observe the mind

Now you can move into a more subtle world: watch your thoughts.

If you have been able and have managed to observe the body there will be no difficulty.

Thoughts are subtle waves, electronic waves, radio waves, but they are as material as your body. They are not visible, nor is the air visible, but the air is as material as the stones. So are your thoughts, material but invisible.

This is the second step, the middle step. You are moving towards invisibility, but it is still material, observe your thoughts. The only condition is not to judge. Do not judge, because the moment you start making judgments you will forget to observe.

There is no antagonism against making judgments. The reason you don't have to judge is because the moment you start judging, you stop observing, you start thinking and get involved in your thoughts.

Do not become a participant, either to flatter, or to value, or to condemn. You should not adopt any attitude about what is going on in your mind.

We have to observe the thoughts as if they were clouds passing through the sky. Without making any judgment on them. The clouds are neither bad nor good, they are simply clouds.

The same goes for thoughts, they are just a small wave going through your mind.

Watch without prosecution and you will find a big surprise. As your observation settles, thoughts will come in smaller numbers. The proportion is exactly the same: if you are fifty percent of your ability to observe, fifty percent of your thoughts will disappear. If you are sixty percent, then, only forty percent of your thoughts will be there. When you are ninety-nine percent, pure observer, only occasionally will there be a lonely thought, one percent, going through your mind. The traffic will be gone.

From thoughts you must move to more subtle experiences: emotions, feelings, moods; from mind to heart, with the same condition: without judging, just observing. And the surprise will be that most emotions, feelings and moods possess you.

When you are sad, you are possessed by sadness. When you are angry, it is not partial, you are filled with rage; Every fiber of your being is throbbing with fury.

3. The third step is to observe the heart

Looking at the heart, the experience will be that now nothing owns you. Sadness comes and goes, you don't get sad. Happiness comes and goes, you don't become happy either. Everything that moves in the deep layers of your heart does not affect you at all.

For the first time you start to try something of what it is to be a Master. You are no longer a slave, which can be pushed and pulled from here and there, to any emotion and any feeling, to which anyone can bother for any triviality.

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