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My Blog

Regulating Reactions

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you got upset with someone and then later realized that you shouldn't have been so quick to react?  It's possible that the person said or did something at the time to trigger this response in you, but the question I would like to pose to you is this: 
Is this person the source of your stress? Maybe. Maybe not. These types of reactions seem to be pretty common with post-traumatic stress, as far as, I've seen from person to person.  From my perspective, it appears that this person is usually offering the opportunity for an outlet of energy that's been built up inside.  
Meditation has been shown to help regulate these quick reactions. When meditation is done regularly it trains a neural pathway in the brain that helps keep stress hormones in check. When stress hormones spike, we become highly reactive.  This is quite natural as our instinct is fight, flight, or freeze.   In moments of reaction, the limbic system is on high alert. It is scanning for danger and reacting to threats.  If someone triggers this by being aggressive or confrontational with you, many people will react in kind, unless they have a well-defined pathway to the part of the brain that helps you to feel calm.  This place in the brain that helps you to feel organized, calm, in control, and rational is the frontal lobe of the brain.  When you regularly feed the pathway to the frontal lobe, you keep stress hormones regulated and train the brain to respond rather than react.

As I always remind you, meditation must be a cultivated practice. It's important to learn about how it works, why it works, and how to do it. It has been shown to improve brain structure, emotional stability, cognitive functioning, as well as, a myriad of other health improvements. Learn as much as you can about it and make an informed decision about it.  It is a wonderful tool to have in the daily tool belt of your life to help you manage and even reduce stress levels. 

Water doesn't stop flowing because there are rocks in the water.  
It flows over and through them.

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