Have you ever taken a minute to think about how stress affects our health? If the answer is no, we recommend that you read Dr. Daniel López Rosetti's arguments.
Last update: 04 March, 2021
Meditation and stress are two concepts that are often linked. But in what way? We could say that the report is based on a problem and a possible solution. However, in order to be able to say with certainty, it would be good to understand how stress becomes pathological and how meditation can help us avoid its symptoms.
Doctors often avoid this topic, but Dr. Daniel López Rosetti does not. This cardiologist, writer and stress specialist has become famous for his particular view of everyday problems.
He is also considered "the doctor who speaks easy", distinguished by his conceptual clarity and proximity to the public.
"In medical terms, happiness is perceived as a subjective well-being".
-Daniel López Rosetti-
Stress: the inner enemy
Through his personal experience, López Rosetti identified the consequences of suffering and mental exhaustion in his own body.
The obstacles and problems that make us suffer have an impact on our body in the most physical sense. However, we tend to ignore them because they don't stop us from doing things at first. Yet, when we least expect it, they explode in the form of disease.
Loads against resistance
Doctor López Rosetti suffered a period of great stress due to the death of his father. Due to work and daily problems, at that moment he could not pay the necessary attention to the episode and endured the pain. He was later diagnosed with pleural tuberculosis.
According to Rosetti, stress is chronic suffering sustained over time. To understand this, we could represent it on a scale made up of:
- Loads: all we bear.
- Resistance: capacity beyond which loads are no longer supported.
When the loads exceed the stamina, symptoms appear. This process is referred to in psychology as somatization.
The drop that broke the camel's back
The fundamental problem arises when the equilibrium is broken and the loads exceed the resistance. Symptoms consist of information that the body sends us to tell us that something is wrong, including:
- Insomnia. Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep.
- Chronic pain. In the head, stomach or muscles.
- Nervousness. Anxiety and panic when dealing with situations related to stressors. It is one of the most common alarms in our body.
- Shortness of breath or agitation. The most obvious symptom of burnout. Patients feel agitated without having made a physical effort to justify it.
- Impaired memory and lack of concentration.
- Irrational fear.
Symptoms are information
For Dr. López Rosetti, symptoms are information we cannot ignore. Even if we can go to the doctor and he can tell us if he is empathetic, we ourselves have to interpret the signs of stress. To do this, we need to understand the following structure of the stress phases:
- Perception. Reality exists through our mental processes. The interpretation of reality predisposes the human being. Therefore, ignoring the symptoms of stress will not be the same as paying attention to them.
- Behavior and habits. By ignoring stress, you risk falling into a vicious circle. Therefore, a smoker when stressed will tend to smoke compulsively. This happens with food, alcohol, and any other bad habits.
- Physical and psychological symptoms. The behaviors mentioned become physical and psychological symptoms. A physical example would be sleep disturbance and agitation, and a psychological example would be anxiety or depression.
- Disease. If the stress does not wear off or lessens in intensity, physical and psychological symptoms lead to illness. It's our body's way of telling us to stop.
Taking action against stress is important
For Dr. López Rosetti, a stressed person is a person who is not happy. Stress treatment is medical, psychological and even philosophical.
Even a person who does not realize the consequences of stress on their body may not have a clear reason for doing so.
This surpasses any medical or psychological tools such as medicalization or behaviorism. It is at this point that the relationship between meditation and stress is considered as a possible approach.
What is meditation?
Meditation is not something esoteric, religious or strange, although by its characteristics and origin it is related to spiritual processes. For Dr. López Rosetti, meditation is a biological process. This statement is based on the differentiation of functions in the brain.
The rationalization of the left hemisphere
The left hemisphere, rational, logical and mathematical, is responsible for constant intrusive thoughts. When we focus the attention of the left hemisphere on an object and manage to concentrate, we are meditating.
The right hemisphere in ecstasy
When the left (usually dominant) hemisphere is focused on something, the right hemisphere, which is more abstract and spatial, begins to step forward. This hemisphere does not have the conception of time that the left one has and therefore we obtain a relaxation that lowers alertness and restores bodily functions.
How to achieve this state?
According to the author, meditation is achieved by using an object that captures our attention, regardless of its meaning. It can be a candle, a mandala or a rosary.
We must not observe the religious, mystical and superstitious side of the thing: the important thing is that this object manages to capture our attention. The left hemisphere will focus and our right hemisphere will work freely.
Meditation and stress, a matter of habit and practice
For López Rosetti, the relationship between meditation and stress is fruitful as long as the former is practiced regularly. This technique will not cure us, but it will break the vortex of negative feedback that turns bad habits into disease.
How many times have you stopped to check that all parts of your body are okay? Meditation is highly recommended in the case of:
- Guided neuromuscular relaxation. Progressively focus our attention on various areas of the body.
- Breathing exercises. Breathing deeply helps to lower the heart rate.
- Focused concentration. Concentrate on an object with the help of soothing music.
- Stimulus control. Give less importance to invasive thoughts: the trick is to let them flow without affecting us.
For example, we don't realize we have gastritis until we can no longer bear the pain. All this can be avoided by taking a few minutes a day to unplug and evaluate how our body feels in relation to the rhythms we impose on it.
“Anxiety is a normal process to some extent. But when it exceeds the limit it becomes abnormal and is useless ”.
-Daniel López Rosetti-