As you go from campus to campus, you will quickly find that there are a lot of people with opinions on meditation. Some people are up early in the morning chanting away for a half hour while others write it off as a ritual belonging to another religion or something only hippies do. Most people, however, are unaware of middle of these extremes and the possible benefits associated with it.
Meditation is more than sitting on the floor with your legs crossed chanting om for a certain amount of time. It is a pursuit of mindfulness. What is mindfulness you ask? According to the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, it is “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment. ”
By practicing mindfulness everyday, you will begin to experience a variety of benefits. According to Headspace, mindfulness meditation helps reduce stress and anxiety and helps to increase creativity and focus. It can even help you improve your relationships. Another group found that meditation may have positive affects on the brain and immune function (1).
In life, there will always be stressful situations. Whether it’s exams, jobs, medical bills, or car troubles, things will go wrong. Sometimes they will all go wrong at once. In these situations, it is important to do everything in your power to stay healthy. Health has such a big impact on how you react to these situations. It is really easy to get caught up in problems and forget to work on your emotional health. Meditation is an easy way to help you deal with stress.
Personally, I have a crazy schedule. Taking 3 lab sciences this semester basically means any time not spent in the lab is spent studying for that class or preparing for the next lab. Some days I have two 75 minutes lectures followed by a 4 hour lab and a night class. Taking 10 minutes every day to practice mindfulness has been a huge help with stress relief and I would highly recommend it! 🙂
Still not convinced? Try it free for yourself!
Headspace will give you 10 free lessons to teach you the basics of meditation.
Let me know what you think!
(In case you were wondering, I am not affiliated with Headspace. I just really believe in their approach to mindfulness.)
(1) Davidson, R., Kabat-Zinn, J., Schumacher, J., Rosenkranz, M., Muller, D., Santorelli, S., . . . Sheridan, J. (2003). Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by Mindfulness Meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 564-570.