Tuning out the Apocalypse
I belong to a couple of handfuls of survival forums. A few weeks ago I made a comment on one of them on the importance of taking a couple of deep breaths and unwinding in a high stress situation such as a disaster or apocalypse. I was met with some scoffing at that thought, with several people saying that would be the last thing on their minds even years after a SHTF scenario.
Well this has been weighing on my mind heavily since, and I thought I would make a post on that, as there are some highly important considerations to be taken into account.
In a disaster, of course the first thing on your mind would be to quickly and efficiently do whatever the situation warrants for the safety and survival of you and your family. But days are 24 hours long, and threat does not pose that long, day after day, year after year. Even threat needs to take a break and unwind in order to be a better threat tomorrow 😉
The benefits of taking a moment to unwind, take a few breaths, and recharge your self are innumerable. Granted, do not try this as the zombies are climbing each other up your walls or the water is threatening your fortress! There will be times when no immediate threat is upon you. Even right before sleep is feasible. Just take a few moments and veg. A wise soul once put it into clear perspective for me, saying “The body and mind are like a car. Leave it running 24/7 and it will break down. Turn it off once a day, and it will last forever.
The benefits of meditation
You do not have to meditate for very long per day, just a few minutes will suffice. The point is to turn your mind off, focus on some deep in and out breaths, and relax your body. You can even do a walking meditation! Or a meditation where you repeat a certain mantra as you go about your chore of the day!
According to the Mayo clinic, benefits of meditation on stressful situations-even for a few minutes, include
• Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
• Building skills to manage your stress
• Increasing self-awareness
• Focusing on the present
• Reducing negative emotions
An article in the NYTimes
M.R.I. brain scans taken before and after the participants’ meditation regimen found increased gray matter in the hippocampus, an area important for learning and memory. The images also showed a reduction of gray matter in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress. A control group that did not practice meditation showed no such changes.
read more here http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/how-meditation-may-change-the-brain/
U of M Medical School
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, recorded the brain waves of stressed-out employees of a high-tech firm in Madison, Wisconsin. The subjects were split randomly into two groups, 25 people were asked to learn meditation over eight weeks, and the remaining 16 were left alone as a control group.
All participants had their brain waves scanned three times during the study: at the beginning of the experiment, when meditation lessons were completed eight weeks later and four months after that. The researchers found that the meditators showed a pronounced shift in activity to the left frontal lobe. In other words, they were calmer and happier than before. The study will be published in the next issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.
There is substantial evidence that you will be a better performing individual if you tune out for a few minutes a day.
And, at the end of the day, isn’t that what survival is all about?