Everyone could use a little help de-stressing, especially busy college students. For those who have been interested in meditation, but feel too busy to give it a try, consider the following information on simple ways to begin practicing meditation in your daily life without taking up much time.
According to The Chopra Center, meditation is an ancient art that existed as early as 5000 B.C. and wasn’t officially documented until much later in 1500 B.C. Without going into a full history lesson, note that this practice has had such longevity because of its legitimate benefits.
The physical and mental benefits of meditation may become more significant the longer you practice. In the past few years, countless studies have shown the positive benefits people receive from meditation. According to Collective Evolution, meditation has been shown to help decrease blood pressure and anxiety. One particular study found that meditating every day over a three-month period provided the best results for combatting stress, according to Science of People. Science of People also found research that indicates meditating can drastically improve mental focus. These are just a few of the noted changes people have experienced through meditation.
I’ll admit that it is very difficult to attempt to meditate when you have a lot on your mind: a busy workload, daily stress, etc. The mind tends to wander, and I know I find myself impatiently waiting to open my eyes and carry on with my day. Recently, I have been trying harder to maintain focus. Everyone’s intricate mind works differently and the meditational methods that inspire some may be less beneficial to others.
I personally find sitting in silence to be distracting for my mind, so I downloaded a meditation application on my phone to help guide me. There is a bevy of calming meditation apps in the app store that offer daily guided meditations. It’s useful having the voice on the app guide your thoughts in order to prevent mind-wandering. If you don’t know where to start with meditating, I recommend downloading one of these apps for some structure and guidance.
Remember to start small. Trying to meditate for a long period of time can be tedious and counterproductive, so begin with just a few minutes at a time. Perhaps start with a 3–5 minute seated meditation, and work your way up to 10 minutes. A seated 10-minute meditation is the ideal amount of time to reset your mind during a busy, stressful day. If you’re up for it and are maintaining focus, try to go longer!
There are no set guidelines for meditation; it is a personal practice. Short meditations can be particularly useful to combat academic stress. A two-minute meditation in the library after long hours of schoolwork can help alleviate writer’s block and is an essential break from staring at the computer screen. I personally have found this short meditation to be the most useful in the mid-afternoon at peak tiredness.
Explore meditation! You have nothing to lose from it except for a few minutes time, and there is so much to gain from making it a part of your daily routine. Try different methods: seated vs. standing, eyes closed vs. eyes open, using a guiding app vs. sitting in silence. There is no wrong way to meditate; it just might take some practice to learn which methods work best for you. It can be tedious as a beginner, but give it a try because everyone could use a little help alleviating the inevitable academic stress that comes hand in hand with college.