How is stress affecting me?
To effectively reduce stress from the body, it is first useful to reduce the amount of stress coming into our nervous systems every day. One may strive for the experience of a ‘de- stressed’ life, live as a recluse, move to the country or some other form of withdrawal, but the one thing we never seem to escape is the self-defeating thoughts/judgments we have about our self and the world. Stress can be found beneath many different masks. In fact the most subtle ‘mask’ is none other than our own ideas and beliefs about our lives. Positive or negative, these beliefs can and will keep us locked into a limited experience of life and can cause disharmony within our bodies.
The thoughts we entertain in our minds are sending signals to the rest of our body. Every organ, every cell has receptor sites for our thoughts. Scientists have discovered that the brain cells communicate in the language of neuropeptides. The brain cells produce protein molecules that send chemical messages to every other cell. The immune system also has receptor sites for these neuropeptides. This means that if we are thinking self-destructive thoughts and/or we are being self-critical then our whole body will feel the effects of the choice to entertain such thoughts.
There is a simple test one can do to demonstrate this fact, try it your self: look around you in the room, find something to praise/appreciate… Now find something and criticize it. Did you notice a difference? One experience is expanding. The other is contractive. The whole body is receiving the affects of that simple choice. The contractive thoughts and behavior patterns we entertain in the mind seriously affect physical and mental health. It could be said that the addiction to certain thoughts are causing the body needless suffering.
The body cannot differentiate the physical stresses (running from a burning building, escaping from an attacking bear) from the mental (feeling overwhelmed, worried, guilty, judgmental, critical or bored etc.), and spiritual. (reviewing relationships, values or life purpose). The physiological response – increase in blood pressure, heart and metabolic rate – is the same. Consequently, these behavior patterns and the emotions they solicit will ultimately have an effect on the body.
How can I stop stress affecting my life?
The techniques taught by the Ishayas’ are simple statements of Truth. Used innocently, they naturally draw the mind inward, allowing us to experience the deeper levels of the mind. They are tools that we can choose for any time, to gain access to the infinite stillness, silence, peace that lies beyond the mind’s boundaries (What we call the Ascendant). This is not a difficult thing to achieve. It’s like letting our attention move effortlessly away from the 90,000 plus thoughts we think per day. Then, from the solid platform of our True Nature we begin to ‘watch’ the thoughts in the mind. Witnessing the ‘dance’ of the mind instead of being swept around within the dance!
Having a vehicle to ride inward to the stillness is an invaluable thing to have. This is exactly what each person will gain by learning the Ascension Attitudes. Using these techniques with our eyes open dramatically reduces the amount of stress coming into our nervous system every day. The power of making a new choice in ‘stressful’ moments is huge. The power of making this new choice any time is huge!
Choosing to naturally move our attention towards the Ascendant is enormously beneficial. From the Ascendant one can see the ‘bigger picture’ and therefore let go of any positions being held, or release the attachment to our beliefs and ideas. This does not mean we become passive and allow people to take advantage of us. Instead, it means releasing internal attachments by simply choosing to relax into our True Nature. Stress cannot, and will not find a way into our bodies if we are consistently choosing in this way. It is the easiest thing in the world and yet the first step is often the hardest.
The willingness to change is always required for healing to occur. Commitment to make a new choice is also required to escape the minds limitation. It is much like a space rocket; at first progress seems slow, then gradually it lifts up-and-away at an ever accelerating pace. Escaping the pull of gravity takes a certain amount of acceleration. In the same way, to escape our false beliefs and limitations about our lives and the subsequent stress in our nervous systems, it takes a certain amount of commitment and practice. Through practice, the choice soon becomes automatic. Stress then becomes a non-issue. Something witnessed, rather than identified with. Upon making this new choice, one immediately rises above and beyond the victim scenario.
How do I release the stress in my body?
This in-fact is happening every night for most people. We have a natural cycle of waking, sleeping and then dreaming. As the mind settles down into deep rest, the body has an opportunity to heal itself. This is the natural tendency of the body. Scientists tell us that it is after 6-8 hours of sleep that we reach this level of deep rest. It is also around this time that we experience dreaming. Dreaming is a result of stress releasing from our nervous system. This is why dreams are often a mixture of abstract scenes and sequences containing familiar and unfamiliar people, places and experiences. The effects of impressions on the nervous system are being naturally cleared out. However, this cycle alone is not sufficient healing; the amount of incoming, accumulative stress for the average person is greater than the amount of stress released at night.
It normally takes 6-8 hours of sleep for the body to reach its deepest state of rest. The level of rest produced by twenty minutes of closed-eye Ascension is actually twice as deep as the deepest sleep at night. Thus, the body has a greater opportunity to heal. This process happens naturally, for it is the natural cycle for our body and mind. The minds natural tendency is to experience greater happiness. The body’s natural tendency is to heal itself. This is Natural Law. The Ascension Attitudes, wholly in alignment with nature, allow these functions to gracefully occur. So, the time it takes to heal our body, releasing all the stored stresses, is equivalent to the amount of time we give ourselves to Ascend.
We suggest at least three times a day, twenty minutes each time with eyes closed for maximum benefits. Also, using the Ascension Attitudes any time throughout the day with the eyes open prevents in-coming stress (not to mention allowing us to fully bring all of the benefits of Ascending into our everyday lives). The good news is that it does not take as long to ‘release’ all the stress as it did to ‘accumulate’ it! Most of it is released without our even knowing it.
Once our nervous systems become clear again, life can be lived in a more fluid manner, both mentally and physically. Health and energy are by-products of a clear nervous system. Life, evolving with the upward currents of creation, returns to its natural state of perfect harmony, in ever-increasing waves of peace, joy and happiness. Hence driving to and from work becomes a time to relax and unwind. Standing in line presents itself as an opportunity to center and become still. Any kind of situation can be transformed from frustrating to fulfilling, from nerve-wracking to nourishing, from tense to tranquil.
The choice is yours.