Stress and Meditation: Dr. Daniel López Rosetti

26 February, 2021
Have you ever thought for a moment about how stress affects your health? If the answer is no, we recommend you read Dr. Daniel López Rosetti's advice on this subject.

We often speak of stress and meditation as being linked. Indeed, the relationship is generally seen as stress being the problem and meditation the solution. However, in order to confirm this, you first need t0 understand how stress actually becomes a disorder. Then, to understand how meditation can help you relieve its symptoms.

This particular subject often appears to escape doctors. In fact, it seems that they prefer to avoid it. However, this isn’t the case with Dr. Daniel López Rosetti. Indeed, this Argentinian cardiologist, writer, and stress specialist speaks very publically about his particular view of everyday problems. He’s known as a doctor who’s easy to understand. Indeed, he’s noted for both his clarity and his rapport with the general public.

Stress, our internal enemy

Dr. López Rosetti identified the consequences of mental and physical exhaustion on his own body, due to certain personal experiences.

The problems and obstacles that make you suffer have a real physical impact on your body. However, you tend to ignore them because they aren’t disabling in any way. Then, when you least expect it, they tend to manifest themselves in the form of illness.

Dr. López Rosetti.

Load versus resistance

Dr. Lopez Rosetti suffered a great deal of stress around the time of his father’s death. However, due to the pressures of work and daily life, he was unable to pay any attention to his stress at the time. Therefore, he just put up with the pain. Then, while on holiday, he was diagnosed with pleural tuberculosis. According to Dr. Rosetti, stress is a chronic condition that’s sustained over time. To understand it, it can be represented in the following way:

  • Load. The things you should resist.
  • Resistance. Your capacity to resist the load.

When the capacity of your load exceeds your capacity of resistance, you suffer physical symptoms. In psychology, this process is generally understood as somatization.

The straw that breaks the camel’s back

The basic problem arises when load overwhelms resistance and upsets the balance. Your body is telling you that something isn’t right and this information manifests itself in the form of the physical symptoms you’re suffering. These symptoms are usually:

  • Insomnia. Being unable to fall asleep or stay asleep.
  • Chronic pain. Head, stomach, or muscle pain.
  • Nervousness. Anxiety and panic when dealing with situations linked to stressors.
  • Shortness of breath or agitation. The most common symptom of burnout. Patients feel agitated for no apparent reason.
  • Disturbance of memory and concentration.
  • Irrational fear.

Symptoms as information

For Dr. López Rosetti, these symptoms are information that you can’t ignore. In fact, even though you might go to a doctor who may well be empathetic, you should interpret the signs of stress yourself. In order to do this, you need to understand the structure of the stages of stress:

Perception. Reality exists through your own mental processes. Indeed, your own interpretation of reality forms a part of being human. However, your own perception of reality might mean that you just don’t notice your symptoms of stress, rather than giving them the attention they deserve.

Behavior and habits. If you ignore stress, you’ll find yourself in a kind of negative feedback loop. For example, a stressed smoker smokes even more. This can be the same with food, alcohol, or any other maladaptive habit.

Physical and psychological symptoms. The above behaviors become physical and psychological symptoms. An example is anxiety or depression.

Disease. If your stress doesn’t end or reduce, physical and psychological symptoms lead to illness. This is your body’s way of telling you to stop.

A stressed woman.

Stress and meditation: meditation as therapy

For Dr. López Rosetti, a stressed person is an unhappy person. Treatment for stress can be medical, psychological, and even philosophical.

You might not notice the consequences that stress can have on your body because there’s no real reason for you to look for them. Tools like medicalization and behaviorism don’t really help here. For this reason, meditation is recommended.

Stress and meditation: what’s meditation?

Firstly, there’s nothing religious, esoteric, or strange about meditation, even though it tends to be associated with spiritual processes. In fact, for Dr. López Rosetti, meditation’s a biological process. He bases this statement on the differentiation of functions of the brain.

The left hemisphere is rational, logical, and mathematical. It’s also responsible for constant intrusive thoughts. When you focus your attention of the left hemisphere of an object and manage to concentrate, you’re meditating.

The right hemisphere in ecstasy

When your left hemisphere, which is usually dominant, is focused, your right atmosphere, which is more abstract and spatial, flourishes. This is because your right hemisphere doesn’t have the conception of time that your left hemisphere does. Therefore, you tend to relax. Furthermore, you reduce your levels of alertness and restore your bodily functions.

How do you achieve this state?

According to Dr. López Rosetti, you can meditate by focusing on any particular object that captures your attention. It could be a candle, a mandala, or a Christian rosary.

You can forget the religious, the mystical, and the superstitious. What matters is that this particular object captures your attention. Then, your left hemisphere will concentrate, freeing up your right hemisphere.

A candle.

Stress and meditation

For Dr. López Rosetti, the relationship between meditation and stress is productive if you practice meditation conscientiously. You won’t be cured but you’ll cut that negative feedback loop that turns habits into diseases.

How often do you check that all the parts of your body are working as they should? Meditation is recommended for this.

  • Guided neuromuscular relaxation. Concentrate and gradually focus attention on each area of your body.
  • Breathing exercises. Breathing deeply helps lower your heart rate.
  • Focused concentration. Concentrate on an object with the help of relaxing music.
  • Stimulus control. Make those intrusive thoughts irrelevant. Don’t focus on them. Just let them pass by.

In your whirlwind of daily life, you might not realize, for example, that you have gastritis until you can’t stand the pain anymore. However, you can avoid all this by simply taking a few minutes each day to disconnect and evaluate how your body is coping with all the stresses you impose on it on a day-to-day basis.

  • Moulton, S. (2008). Meditation, Well-Being and Cognitive Ability: A Metaanalysis and Five Quasi-experiments. Harvard University. Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
  • Nidich, S. I., Schneider, R.H., Nidich, R., Foster, G., Sharma, H., Salerno, J., Goodman, R. y Alexander, C. N. (2005). Effect of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Intellectual Development in Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 17, 217t226.