Stress Relief During Midterms: Meditation
In the ceaseless commotion of daily life, our senses face a barrage of stimulation. A tsunami of information to process, from sounds, sights, thoughts and feelings, it is no mystery why we face burnout.
With the constant torrent of toil, when were you last able to give your mind a break? A rest that was not the prelude to sleep or does not involve zombie staring at a screen. It has come to be a taboo to be idle in university, so much to do, so much to be involved in, so much to catch up with. Peace of mind is a hard thing to come across this day and age, but you could head towards it by the route of meditation.
Meditation is basically sober idling. There are as many ways of engaging in the practice as there are cultures on earth, but it generally takes the form of a complete focus on thought or a focus on a singular action.
Wait a minute, it sounds a little contradictory to what I’ve heard.
“Isn’t meditation all about not thinking about anything and just being all floaty?”
Meditation feels like an absurdity, a conscious effort to not think about anything. It is a lot harder than it looks and if you find it easy, I suggest you head to the nearest monastery to progress to the next stage on the path to enlightenment. Gifted practitioners aside, us laypeople would find ourselves confronted with a glimpse into an unstill mind, that is unused to the habits of inactivity.
Still the benefits of concentrated inactivity are exponential and proper habit entails almost immediate rewards. A calmer mind makes better decisions, has better recollection and leans towards a calmer disposition.
How do you start ?
It isn’t all just about sitting down doing nothing, meditating comes in all forms. Next time you work out, whether it be yoga, running or the gym; zone out all sensations and focus purely on the activity and the miracle of your body in motion. Think of how you feel and focus on the repetition of motion to really channel your mind's energy into yourself. Meditation does not have to dig into more than what you already do, if you are able to channel its practice into your activities. Showering, walking, lying in bed, standing around, all are vehicles and the road is however long you want it to be. Even a minute makes a difference. But if you can find time for yourself to sit down and exist in silence, please do try to meditate in idleness. It is a different kind of high.
To really channel pure focused thought requires stillness and concentration, that is most possible through quiet contemplation. Sit there and let yourself drift into thoughts you otherwise would not of thought and perhaps you may benefit from your own secret insights. However, it takes some practice to be able to manage the initial barrage of loose thinking emanating from your subconscious, but there are various ways to handle it.
For the casual meditator, I suggest your mental focus to remain on the present moment of existence and center yourself with your breath. 7 deep passionate breaths are a good tangible first goal. In these 7 breaths no thoughts should emerge to dwell within you longer then a flash, any reply or reaction from the mind shall have you begin again on another count to 7. Do this for 10 minutes a day and you will feel the benefits within the week.
Now you can’t fail at meditating, just consciously trying is already succeeding in it. If you fail, you have meditated, if you pass, you have meditated better.