How meditation helps you with everyday petty issues and annoyances
Tags: stress, antiaging
It’s been said that it isn’t the big things that bring us down, it’s the cumulative effect of the small things. It’s not the job loss, or the end of a relationship; yes, those are difficult - but if we hadn’t been weakened and emotionally beaten down by an accumulation of everyday stresses, we would not see these large life events as devastating.
The small things, the trivial annoyances we deal with on a daily basis tend to add up. The problem is, we let them!
Many people have lost the ability to look at everyday petty issues and annoyances as nothing to get upset about; we make mountains out of nothing; we make drama out of nothing.
The problem is, accumulated stress has negative effects on your physical, emotional and even mental state.
If you respond to a small issue with anger (there is construction on the freeway - again!!!!!!!!!), you create a negative physical reaction in your body. But much of the time, these responses to the little annoyances are conditioned.
We’re so used to reacting this way, that we don’t even notice we do it! If you respond to any situation with a negative emotion (fear, anger, worry, jealousy, etc.) you are potentially causing an unhealthy level of stress to build up in your body.
Meditation helps! Its primary benefit is to relax you and help dissipate stress.
Dr. Herbert Benson of the Harvard Medical School’s Mind/Body Institute has studied the effects of meditation on stress for over 30 years. His work on the “relaxation response” shows that even a few minutes spent in daily meditation has the ability to relieve stress long after a person has stopped meditating.
The body’s autonomic systems relax during meditation, promoting a sense of balance and inner peace, with lasting effects.
Meditation helps us let go of the trivial things by allowing us to recognize that in the big picture, these little annoyances are not important. It’s all in how we perceive them!
By meditating, we open ourselves up to alternative perspectives. Mindfulness meditation - that is, being mindful, or aware, of everything that is going on (both inside ourselves and outside) allows us to immediately spot our reactions to certain triggers.
We can then consciously choose to respond differently.
If your daily commute is interrupted by construction, you can react automatically, as you’ve conditioned yourself, with anger. Or, you can deliberately choose to let it go and not allow the situation to ruin your mood by choosing to feel gratitude that the road is being repaired; or compassion for the workers who have to be out there in the blazing summer heat...
Wasting emotional and mental energy on trivial things drains our energy and saps us of the strength needed to deal with the important things.