What's more, not only does stress cause these problems, but they in turn cause stress. Stress begets stress.
Stress does not affect the body alone. The mind as well is stretched, twisted, changed. When you are afflicted by stress, attitudes and viewpoints change. Things that were clear, are seen as through a shimmering wave of opaque glass, clouding perceptions, diminishing self-esteem, and changing your manner of dealing with others.
When something stressful happens, the body instinctively sees it as a threat and goes into a fight-or-flight mode. In stressful situations, the mind tells the body: "Danger is imminent, get ready to run or to fight." Your body, unaware that there may be no real physical danger, responds to the message.
Notice the changes that occur when you go through a stress-filled incident.
Your shoulders come together as though to protect you, and your face muscles tighten as you shy away from the situation. You feel your chest clench, your stomach muscles harden, and the buttocks tighten. Your entire muscular system stiffens to prepare for a possible onslaught. A slight nausea sets in as the body gets ready to expel the food in the stomach so as to make it easier to run. If the threat is seen as great and immediate, the bowels may loosen. Breath comes a bit faster so as to oxygenate the blood and bring the cells to a high state of energy. Blood pressure rises as veins and arteries constrict to allow a faster rate of blood flow to spread the oxygen more quickly.
After the initial stimulus has passed and the adrenal flow that gave a surge of energy to the body to deal with the threat has dissipated, you are left in a weakened condition that further aggravates the uncomfortable feelings.
"You may face a situation so filled with stress that you do not see how you can relax, especially during the day."
When the stress is unremitting, the energy balance (potassium/sodium) of the cells is upset and the cell is altered. The weakened body of cells cannot resist the onslaught of germs and viruses that cause illness. Disease, physical problems, illness, and depression result.
How to Moderate and Hopefully Eliminate Your Stress
You may face a situation so filled with stress that you do not see how you can relax, especially during the day. Or you may be under great stress without knowing its cause. The only way to get stress out of your being is to let in relaxation. You cannot be relaxed and stressful at the same time. When you relax for a period of time every day, you moderate stress. By moderating it you reduce its negative effect.
When you practice the 3-to-1 Method, you are in effect slowing down brain waves and alleviating stress.
To enhance the meditation further, we are going to teach you another exercise called the Daisy Pond, developed specifically for deep, healthy relaxation. Using the Daisy Pond meditation every day not only moderates stress but also helps to change your attitude toward problems.
Daily practice slows down brain waves until you can enter the ten-cycle Alpha level rapidly and easily. Eventually your state of mind changes, and the stress usually disappears altogether.
The Daisy Pond is a visualization fantasy. Read through the description below once or twice before you practice the exercise yourself, or read through it once and then have someone else read it out loud to you as you listen with your eyes closed. Remember that you are free to use your imagination to alter any of the particular images to suit your own ideas of beauty and serenity.
The Daisy Pond Stress-Busting Exercise
Find a relaxed position
Close your eyes and count slowly from seven to one. As you count mentally, lower your tone with each descending number so that each count is diminished in volume: 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Imagine you are standing alongside a pond of water. The water has large lily pads floating on the surface. One of the lily pads is large enough to lie on.
Project yourself mentally to the center of the lily pad. Imagine that you are on your back, resting comfortably.
Concentrate on your breathing but breathe easily. Now roll off the leaf into the water. Allow yourself to sink into the pond.
Focus on Your Breath
The water is magical in that it can be breathed. Each time you breath, imagine the magic water sending positive energy to all of your cells of your body, relaxing each one of them in turn.
Take three slow, deep breaths. As you exhale after each breath mentally say the word relax.
Draw the word out so that it takes the entire breath to say the word relax.
Imagine you are swimming and breathing under the water of the pond.
You can breath this water. It's magical water, restorative water. It's the water of life.
Play and Relax
Swim underwater and play with any fish you might see. After a while, project yourself back to the leaf and relax. Feel the leaf under your back as you lie there. Feel the buoyancy of the leaf as you float. Relax.
Relax. By now you should be in a state of great and relaxed comfort. Every cell of your body is smiling.
This is the mind (psyche) body (soma) separation that allows the mind to heal the body.
This is healing, the opposite aspect of psychosomatic problems.
When you are totally relaxed and ready to come out, say to yourself:
"I am going to count from one to five and at the count of five I will be wide awake, energized, and every cell of my body will be recharged."
Count to five and open your eyes.
This exercise is called The Daisy Pond and it is a powerful technique to help you relax and reduce stress. An audio version is available for purchase on Burt Goldman's site if you prefer to be guided through The Daisy Pond by his voice.
May You Lead a Healthy and Stress Free Life Yours faithfully,