We all know that meditation can be helpful in relieving stress. Why? Because for at least 20 to 30 minutes (hopefully longer), a person who practices meditation is learning to cultivate mindfulness surrounding one’s stressors rather than engaging in those things that are causing the disharmony in the first place. The question is, why would you want to practice mindfulness apart from the obvious reason that stress basically sucks?
Martin Boroson, in his latest Huffington Post, coins the phrase stresscalation and uses it explain a person’s tendency to pick up stress from others and in turn, to pass it on. According to Boroson, by practicing meditation a person affords themselves the ability to become witness to stress and in doing so, detach oneself from drama. Less drama creates a new relationship within oneself and towards others.
This state of mind — peaceful, compassionate, rational — is precisely the state of mind that is cultivated through the practice of meditation. In fact, if you are curious about how meditation could help you cope with stress, or help you help others cope with stress, I can think of no better metaphor than this story.
Meditation helps us find a “witness” position within ourselves, a perspective from which we can see the drama of the world (and the drama of our own minds) clearly, without getting caught up in it. And from this position, we can help more effectively.
Read more from Boroson on using meditation to stop stresscalation here.