Cortisol: How Meditation Extinguishes Inflammation, Anxiety, Stress
How Meditation Extinguishes The Body's Anxiety Inflamed "Wildfire"
The Inflammation & Anxiety Link
"Extensive research has shown that brain inflammation is connected to virtually all types of mental illness... [including] mood disorders like depression and anxiety."IntegrativePsychiatry.net
What’s the best way to prevent a massive 100,000 acre wildfire? Light a small one.
Through what’s called a "controlled burn," park authorities prevent wildfires by burning away the dense, highly combustible plants and trees within a forest.
Likewise, through a process called "inflammation," your immune system prevents disease by burning away the body’s heavy build-up of unwanted intruders, with stress the most powerful invading force.
Like a controlled burn growing into an uncontrollable wildfire, inflammation within the body can inadvertently fan its flames into something much bigger, much more dirty.
How Cortisol Inflames Anxiety
Chronic inflammation, especially within the brain, is a self-perpuating, highly toxic body condition — the perfect petri-dish for anxiety to proliferate.
Wake Forest School of Medicine professor Floyd Chilton, Ph.D. outlines the severity of the problem in his 2005 bestselling book "Inflammation Nation."
With stress as the leading contributor, Dr. Chilton believes that we are living in the midst of a chronic inflammation epidemic, with statistics becoming more and more alarming by the year.
Stress, anxiety, and inflammation live within a self-perpetuating ecosystem where if you boost one, you boost the other two. More stress increases inflammation, which increases anxiety, you get the idea. A toxic circle of life.
The whole medical dictionary, from A to Z, starting with anxiety, can be linked to the body’s chronic inflammation "wildfire" — addiction, arthritis, asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, just to name a few.
Luckily, we know the culprit. More flammable than gasoline, the 100% guilty, trial by doctor convicted arsonist is the body’s main stress hormone — cortisol.
Then, how do we reduce the amount of cortisol within the body, and therefore extinguish inflammation and all of its chronic anxiety flame-fanning effects? Meditation!
How Meditation Extinguishes Cortisol, Anxiety
Researchers from the University Of California (Davis) and Rutgers University found mindfulness meditation to dramatically reduce cortisol levels, with one study showing a precipitous 50% drop!
Further validation, these results were seen after only a handful of sessions! You don't need to practice meditation for years to experience the lion’s share of benefits.
By smothering the ultra-flammablehormone responsible for igniting so many diseases, especially generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), meditation is the always on call firefighting team, forever protecting your health and happiness.
Mindfulness creates a mental environment 100% incompatible with anxiety. A cactus can’t survive in the North Pole. Anxiety can’t survive in the brain of a meditator.
(Note: Piling on the research: In addition to lowering cortisol, meditation also reduces inflammation by altering the expression of pro-inflammatory genes. Most impressive, it takes as little as 8 hours for this to work!)