Douglas Johns, LCSW
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction & Stress Management
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction classes are forming now for spring 2014. Click this link for information.
Mindfulness-meditation is proving to be a reliable tool for decreasing stress and anxiety while increasing joy, calm, confidence and self-compassion. Just living our lives invites stress. Compound that with an unexpected ailment or trauma and our stress may increase exponentially. Whether it's the everyday stress of life or the fear of unforeseen circumstances mindfulness-meditation combined with exercise and proper diet can help.
Perhaps you've heard of the "fight or flight reaction". When experiencing either a real or perceived threat it is normal for human beings to experience a rush of adrenaline via the sympathetic nervous system to prepare the body to act. Adrenaline gives the body the added energy it needs to either fight off the threat or run away from the threat. This was useful on the plains of Africa when our ancestors were confronted by wild animals. It can also be useful today in crisis situations where quick action and strength are needed. But with many life stressors this added energy may have no consistent outlet.
In our everyday lives we have many experiences that trigger our stress response hormones but where fighting or fleeing are not acceptable behaviors. An angry boss, traffic snarls and raising a family are just a few of the common stressors we all experience that can set off our anger and our fear. Road rage is an expression of the fight or flight reaction. But with few reliable outlets to exhaust our highly reactive state, stress hormones remain in our system and cause havoc with our physical and emotional health. Mindfulness-meditation can help.
Meditation, in and of itself, is a non-religious skill that anyone can learn to increase being in the present moment. Being in the present moment during stressful experiences is key to reducing levels of stress hormone. Through mindfulness-meditation we learn to respond to stress rather than react through fear or anger. Reducing levels of stress hormone increases feelings of calm.
For more information, please call me with any questions at 503-252-3739.