Beat the Stress: The Meditation Edition
By Shubha Rao
It’s 2018 and we now live in a society where whenever I tell anybody that I’m stressed, they tell me to meditate. But what does that even mean? With all of the different responsibilities swirling around in your brain, you start to feel your adrenaline pumping, your shoulders tightening, it’s all too much! I know when I’m stressed the last thing I think I’ll be able to do is turn my mind off and channel my Zen, but meditation is a lot more than sitting in silence and transcending your salient universe. There are many different types of meditation so my goal for this post is to help you find one that works for you, and to make sure you have a tool you can call up whenever you feel your stress start to bubble over.
You May Already be Meditating
There are many actions you may already be taking that fit the formula of meditating. Prayer, for example, has your mind focus on words and intent rather than on the many other things that are normally running around in your mind. Calmly counting to five and picturing your “happy place” when you get stressed are other forms of meditation because they also take your mind away from what may be stressing you out. So while you do not have to have a religious inclination when you meditate, tapping into some of the techniques that you may already be familiar with, like praying or taking deep breaths, will make the concept of meditating easier to understand and accomplish.
The goal of meditation isn’t to control your thoughts, it’s to stop letting them control you.
Did you know that you could walk and meditate? All you have to do is take the technique we already discussed of taking your mind from your busy life and concentrate on something else. In this case, the something else is on your legs and feet taking each step. Focus on action words such as “lifting,” “stepping,” “moving,” etc., as you find your rhythm. You may have to walk slower, but you will enter your destination feeling better and ready to take on whatever comes next.
There’s an App for that!
Like there is for most things in our society, there are many different apps for meditating. You can find a list with descriptions of different options. Apps usually provide you with guided meditations, which means that they will walk you through what you should concentrate on, or say, or how you should breathe, in order to reach peace and relaxation. I have personally found guided meditations to be easier because I can follow along on what to and not have to worry about how to turn my mind off. By the end, I always feel better. You can find a wide range of guided meditations on Youtube as well. You may have to kiss a few laidback frogs in order to find the meditative prince of your dreams, but once you find a video, app, or technique that works the best for you, meditation may become your first defense against stress.
This Completes your Session
Hopefully meditation has gone from a foreign concept to something that is very approachable. The best part about it is that there are so many forms of it that you can take pieces of whatever works for you and bring it into your life. Just know that no matter what is happening in your life, you can stop, take however much time you have or need, and meditate wherever you are or however you’re feeling. So while you are doing the always-stressful task of paying your bills, you can click submit on your student loan repayment and practice your favorite method of meditation. In this case, it all being in your head, is a good thing.