Relax, take a chill pill, and leave all the stresses from your life, just for a moment.
Meditation is the practice of thinking deeply or focusing one’s mind for a period of time. This is done in silence or without the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes, or simply as a method of relaxation.
You may be thinking, “well, meditation is useless, I don’t have time for that. Why would I really want to sit down and spend time ‘relieving stresses’ when I have more important things to do?” The truth is, there may be more benefit than loss for you by practicing some meditative techniques.
The benefits of meditation are manifold, believe it or not. Unfortunately, a survey I conducted myself at school showed that 68.5% of students don’t know anything about meditation! It was astounding, and quite sad actually, considering that I was doing the survey for an article on the benefits of meditation.
The human mind and body are very interesting creatures. The way we breathe reflects the state of mind. There is a esoteric connection between our mental, emotional, and physiological states and the quickness of your breath. Our mental state influences our breathing patterns. Therefore, we can choose to change our breathing pattern and thus change our mental state. When you relax and slow the pace of your breath, the pace of the mind is calmed and quiet.
A study published in Biological Psychiatry brings “scientific thoroughness to mindfulness meditation and for the first time shows that, unlike a placebo, it can change the brains of ordinary people and potentially improve their health.”
There are so many stresses in life, whether it be work, family, friends, social media, or even that exam next Wednesday that you haven’t started studying for! But don’t fret. The ‘life-saver’ is here to help you! As mentioned earlier, meditation is shown to have a calming effect on your body, and it is an effective way to relieve stress.
The best part? It’s easy to do.
First, sit or lie comfortably. Close your eyes and let go of all the tensions of your body. Relax yourself. Make your arms loose, with your shoulders down, wiggling your toes. Start breathing softly and steadily. A way to make breathing more interesting is by imagining that when you breathe in, dark clouds enter your body, and as you exhale, those dark clouds and gloomy weather exit.
Now smile! Remember to make sure that you don’t have to make an effort to control your breathing. Breathe in for as long as you can, and steadily breathe out for however long you need to. Repeat this process for as long as you need to bring down your heart rate and feel more relaxed, and then voila! You’re done!