Biologically based personality and health psychological issues are studied in relation to the Cardiac Defense Response and its individual differences, using a controlled clinical experimental design involving anticipation and impact of high intensity auditory stimulation. Physiological and psychological dependent variables are heart rate, electromyogram, breathing rate, Eysenck personality inventory (EPI), Strelau temperament inventory (STI) state anxiety and adjective check list. The issues under investigation are: Individual differences in response to high intensity (HI) stimulus and in anticipation of the impending HI-stimulus. The effect of one month's practice in stress management methods in reducing anticipation and impact responses. Stress management involved progressive muscle relaxation or complex meditation involving listening, visualising and chanting. Correlation of scores on the EPI and STI scales with different aspects of heart rate differences. The relationships between personality and the choice of stress management training and the likelihood of completing training. The discussion of the changes in anticipatory stress responses focuses, among other things, on recent research into the effects of controlled breathing on the cardiovascular system. Studies of yogic lifestyle, clinical studies for controlled breathing and recent neurophysiological studies on meditation are reviewed. The introduction reviews existing research in a historical context, particularly the "Russian School" of temperament and research into meditation, and includes a critical review of Holmes's famous Critical Review (1984/7) of meditation research.