Dr. Benson at the Harvard Medical School found that a certain amount of stress is good. A little stress is a good thing. Whether you are doing a job, playing a game, raising a child. Some stress motivates us to adapt to more difficult situations. A little stress can be fun, motivating and even interesting.
But too much stress is a bad thing. Dr Benson uses a graph to show how increasing stress raises your performance and efficiency until you reach a certain point – after that point, more stress causes your performance to decline and efficacy to reduce. Also too much stress can cause a person’s locus of control to be placed outside of one’s own experience.
In recent survey taken at the Mind Body Institute, Americans identify stress as their number one health concern today. More than 50 % of adults in the U. S report high stress on a daily basis. Untreated, stress can seriously affect performance, health, and well-being. This chronic type of stress the never lets up weakens the immune system, making us vulnerable to disease, and harder to recover from illness.
Dr. Andrew Weil has also found that even in remote parts of Africa, more and more patients are visits doctors for stress related symptoms such as ulcers, headaches and indigestion. More than 60% of all healthcare visits are related to mind-body stress induced conditions.
The key according to Dr. Herbert Benson, is to break the chain of everyday triggers or thoughts that worry us. The Dalai Lama says there are two types of problems, one the kind we can do something about and in that case, it is very important not to worry and in the second type, this problem is something we can do nothing about, and also not to worry! When we take deeper breaths, or go for a walk or bike ride, our heart beats slower and our brain waves slow down.
According to Mehmet Oz, MD, the average person’s breath is between 16 to 20 breaths per minute. Researchers found that 23 women and men who recited Om mane padme hum and the Ave Maria prayer slowed their breathing to a rate of about 6 breaths per minute compared to spontaneous breathing and random talking. What this suggests is that prayer or mantra chanting slows the “internal metronome” lessening the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Chanting or saying prayers increases our concentration and synchronizes cardiovascular rhythms creating a sense of calm and well-being.
Also it has been reported the best physiological benefits include pulse rate decrease, respiratory rate decrease, blood pressure decrease, galvanic skin response increase, alpha wave increase, posture improves, endocrine function normalizes, endurance increase, energy level increases, immunity increases, sleep improves and energy levels increase.
There is without a doubt then, through the scientific research findings here that just with a few minutes of practice, our breathing can break the chain of stress and bring about nourishing, nurturing healing energy to the brain and body. For more information on starting a corporate on-site yoga class at your company, call us at 314-630-1677. Namaste!
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