The thing they don’t tell you: Meditation is good for stress
The two weeks before spring break are increasingly stressful as you proceed in your college years. It becomes deadline after deadline and test after test. As you approach your meltdown point, its a good idea to take a step back, take a deep breath, and try a little meditation.
The word meditation stems from the Latin word meaning “a thinking over.” However, most people think of it as a way to clear the mind. Meditation was thought to originate in India around 1500 B.C. It then spread to surrounding countries and eventually was incorporated into religions like Buddhism.
There are many ways to meditate. Many are as simple as taking five minutes out of your day to shut your eyes and breathe. While not as often as I should, I have a method that works well for me that I thought I would share:
First, I start by sitting in a comfortable position, like laying down or sitting in a comfy chair. I also make sure it’s quiet where ever I am. Closing my eyes, I imagine everything and anything I could be thinking about. When I have a few things in mind, I take a deep breath, and as I breathe out, I expel those thoughts as well. Once those thoughts are out, I tell myself I am no longer able to think about them. I keep repeating this until all thoughts are out of my head. After that, I just focus on breathing in and out for as much time as I feel I need. I find this to be extremely helpful when my mind is racing and preventing me from falling asleep.
But, that is just my version of meditation and there are plenty of other ways you can try. Sites like HowtoMeditate.org explain ways to meditate, ranging from simple breathing exercises to “Lamrim,” or the Buddhist path. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. What is important is that you let go of your worries and are able to take a moment for you. Peace can be as simple as taking a moment to look at the stars.
Just remember that amidst the strain of midterms, there is nothing wrong with taking a minute to regain your sanity and inner peace.