Susan Bailey MA

Counselling, Psychotherapy & Wellbeing

01708 348588

Relaxation & Meditation


You may have heard of the 'fight or flight' response This is a stress reaction which evolved as a survival mechanism.  

When we encounter a threatening situation, a surge of stress hormones prepares us to fight or to flee. As a result, our hearts pound, our muscles tense, and we are suddenly on high alert.

For some people the stress response is activated many times a day and all those surging stress hormones can take a toll on the body. Over time, such chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, increased heart rate & muscle tension.  

The relaxation response may help you to counteract the toxic effects of chronic stress by slowing breathing rate, relaxing muscles, and reducing blood pressure.

The Healing Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is one of the best tools we have to counter the brain’s negativity bias, release accumulated stress, foster positive experiences and intentions, and enjoy the peace of present moment awareness. 

A large body of research has established that having a regular meditation practice produces tangible benefits for mental and physical health, including:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Lowered cholesterol levels
  • Reduced production of “stress hormones,” including cortisol and adrenaline which helps to reduce anxiety
  • More efficient oxygen use by the body
  • Increased production of the anti-aging hormone
  • Improved immune function
  • Decreased anxiety, depression, and insomnia

 Meditation Reduces Stress and Burnout

We all know the correlation between our physical & mental health & chronic stress. As many scientific studies have found, prolonged stress can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, stomach ulcers, autoimmune diseases, anxiety, cancer, insomnia, chronic fatigue, obesity, depression, and accelerated aging.

In meditation, your body releases stress and reverses the effects of the fight or flight response. Intended as a short-term protection mechanism, fight or flight causes our body to speed up our heart rate, increase our blood sugar, suppress our immune system, reduce insulin production, pump out stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, and reduce the blood supply to our digestive organs. 

Regular meditation dissipates accumulated stress and cultivates a state of restful alertness. There has been much research which shows the power of meditation to relieve stress and promote inner calm. Regular practice of just a few hours each week can bring about a reduction in anxiety, stress & depressed mood. (Please see testimonials page)

During the relaxation & meditation group I will talk you through methods that induce a feeling of relaxation & stillness, then it is up to you whether you practise just when you come along to sessions or at home between our sessions too. The more you practise the more your mind & body become familiar with being relaxed, calm & centred which helps you to activate the relaxation response much more easily & quickly.

Given the times we live in, relaxation & meditation may be worth trying. If nothing else, it’s easy to do & you have little to lose in trying it. I hope to see you soon!