Think: more relaxation and less stress. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?
Meditation has been used for centuries to transform the state of mind, develop concentration, improve clarity, and create emotional positivity. The great part of meditation is that you can literally add it anywhere into your daily routine and can start noticing benefits right away!
I personally practice meditation when the stresses of school, work, and daily routines start to become overwhelming. I begin to feel an anxiousness in my body and mind that are reminders that I need to take a break. These feelings of anxiousness make me have a hard time with concentration and completing tasks. I notice that once I finish meditating I not only have lessened anxiety but I feel more focused, relaxed, and optimistic about the rest of the day.
Although meditation and yoga classes are offered at St Lawrence College, I have put together some simple tips to help you start meditation in your dorm and at home!
1) Keep It Simple: The easiest meditation to practice is ‘Mindfulness Meditation’. All you are required to do is sit in silence and focus on your breathing. I like to silently count on my breathing. One count on the inhale, two on the exhale, three on the next inhale and so on until I reach ten, then start over. There are also videos on Youtube that can guide you in Mindfulness Meditation.
2) Find Your Space and Make It Your Own: Finding your quiet place is so important! You will need to find somewhere that is comfortable for you and where you will not be disrupted. Luckily, I have an extra room in my apartment that I have decorated to become my meditation nook, but I have meditated on my bed and on my balcony.
3) Perfection Is Not Required: Meditating for five minutes a day is a great start in adding it into your routine. Once you are comfortable with five minutes, you can gradually increase your time. I recommend setting a timer on your phone or finding a beginner’s meditation app that will guide you. A great app I suggest you check out is Headspace, which is available for IOS and Android.
4) Just Breathe! You will have many thoughts rushing through your mind and that is okay! Let them! Acknowledge your thoughts and let them flow without putting a lot of stress on blocking them out. This will help in seeing the situation from a different perspective which may increase creativity and solve problems.
5) Make it a Routine: Just like any new habit, being consistent is key. I like to meditate best at the end of the night as a way of reflection and end to the day.
I hope these tips inspire you to try meditation today and keep up with practice! Meditation is easier than you think and there are plenty of benefits backed by scientific research. I have included an link that details all these benefits: 10 Science Based Reasons to Start Meditating Today.
We are constantly told about the importance of taking care of our bodies but our minds are just as important! I can assure you that once you start using meditation in your daily routine you will see why so many people have been using it.
-Lindsay Medeiros, Peer Contact Representative & IMC student