Reduce Stress Naturally

Stress is the body’s response to physical, mental, or emotional pressure. Stress may lead to feelings of  anxiety, anger, frustration, or depression.

Stress creates chemical changes in the body that can raise blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels. Health can deteriorate due to chronic worry and stress.  

The original “Nurse Stress Scale “ listed causes including uncertainty about patient treatments, workload, the death of a patient, conflict with a physician, conflict with peers, and conflict with patients’ relatives. 

There is evidence that chronic stress  precipitates illnesses like cancer and diabetes in people who are predisposed to them as well as other illnesses. Psychosomatic disorders resulting from chronic stress may include hypertension, respiratory ailments, gastrointestinal disturbances, migraine and tension headaches, pelvic pain, impotence, frigidity, dermatitis, and ulcers.

Nursing can be a very stressful occupation. Stress in nurses is an endemic problem. It contributes to health problems in nurses and decreases their efficiency. Successfully reducing on–the-job stresses enhances well-being, allowing for a positive attitude toward work and markedly increases patient satisfaction.

An efficient and natural  strategy is key as a stabilizing factor before stress becomes chronic and leads to deeper issues and imbalances.

The inverse of stress

The physiological response during the Transcendental Meditation  technique is the inverse of the body’s stress response. During TM, mind experiences quieter, subtler levels of the thinking process, and can  transcends thought altogether. In this process, the mind and body rest more deeply than with ordinary relaxation. This healing rest triggers the release of  stress —studies show that the body’s natural balance is restored.

More than 435 peer-reviewed research studies show that adding the  rejuvenating rest of the Transcendental Meditation technique to your daily routine dissolves chronic stress. The National Institutes of Health awarded $26 million in research grants to scientists to further study the technique’s health effects.

1. Transcendental Meditation and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning: a pilot, randomized controlled trial with young adults

Klimes-Dougan B, Chong SL, Samikoglu A, Thai M, Amatya P, Cullen KR, Lim KO.  Stress 2019 (August) 16:1-33.

In this pilot study, young adults were randomly assigned to TM training followed by 8 weeks of meditation practice or a wait-list control condition. TM was conducted over 8 weeks. The results indicate that participants who were randomly assigned to TM had lower awakening salivary cortisol levels with a greater drop from baseline to week-4 than the control group. There were no significant differences in HPA axis functioning in the context of the TSST. The results of this pilot study provide tentative evidence that TM may impact biological stress system functioning and suggests that this may be a worthwhile avenue to continue to examine.

2. Stress Reduction with the Transcendental Meditation program in Caregivers: A Pilot Study International Archives of Nursing and Health Care Vol 1, Issue 2

Sanford Nidich, Randi J Nidich, John Salerno, Brooke Hadfield and Charles Elder

Objective: To determine feasibility and potential effects of the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique on caregivers’ mental health and spiritual well-being.

Results: Significant improvements were shown in spiritual well-being, decreases in perceived stress, Total Mood Disturbance (including anxiety, depression, anger, confusion and fatigue) and POMS subscales (p values < .001) over the two-month study. Participants rated their current level of stress significantly lower at posttest compared to baseline (p < .001) and perceived physical health as significantly improved (p < .019). Compliance with TM home practice was > 90%. Further qualitative evaluation of participants suggested improvements in energy level, feeling of calmness, and resilience, and reduced anxiety and other psychosocial stress.

Achieving resilience to stress 1

Studies show that the TM practice has a holistic effect on health. The body’s hormone levels and blood pressure normalize, boosting cardiac health and brain function, while stabilizing cholesterol levels and diabetes. The mind and body starts to function in a more rested, calm and energetic style even outside of meditation, making us more resilient to stress.

1 Greater resistance to stress. Psychosomatic Medicine 35: 341–349, 1973

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