As the semester comes to an end, and days begin to move faster, the anxiety of finals and the holidays have begun to really sink in.
In the midst of all this stress, it almost feels impossible to be in the moment or to bare the thought of getting through it all. If you’ve waited until last minute to hand in your assignments, you may be familiar with the exact feeling of tension that flood the mind and body.
On the bright side, there is a way to find some peace of mind through the ancient practice of Meditation. Originating in India over 5,000 years ago, meditation has been practiced for centuries by many cultures and religions around the world.
This practice can be your path to salvation and can even help boost your energy to get things done.
Most people have this idea that in order to meditate, you have to sit cross legged in silence for long periods of time, while this can be the result of practice after a few months it’s not required. There is no right or wrong way to do it, meditation is not very difficult, it’s actually so simple that anyone can do it. The idea is to be bring consciousness into the body, all you need is yourself, your breath, and an open mind.
Within minutes you’ll notice a calmer, clearer state of mind and relaxed body. Here are some simple steps to begin the journey to your inner world:
1. Be comfortable
Find a seat in a calm, comfortable setting, keeping your spine long and straight. Be in a position that feels best for you, whether it’s sitting cross-legged, in a chair, or lying on your back. Placing pillows and blankets beneath the hips, knees, or back help soften the body and ease you into a more relaxed state.
2. Close your eyes and tune into your breath.
Soften your eyes, relax your face, and bring your focus inwards. Notice how it feels to breathe and watch the breath as it moves through each space of your body. There are two sides to the breath, be observant of slow, steady, inhalations and exhalations. It’s helpful to imagine the breath like water, every inhalation is like a wave of serenity and calm, while each exhalation washes away what no longer serves you. Do not force the breath; allow it to be at a natural steady pace, following its path inwards.
3. Be aware of the life within
Thread awareness into each breath, and notice your senses, such as smell, taste, sound, sight, and touch. Listen to the noises of your surroundings, and feel everything, especially your own presence. Whatever thoughts enter the mind, try not to push them away, but to observe them with non-judgement. Allowing each thought to flow through the mind like a wave and pass through naturally. Bring awareness into the whole entire body, from the feet, belly, chest, fingers, and face.
Remain in this state for as long as you would like, and when you return to waking consciousness, take notice of how you feel and any changes that may have taken place. Meditation can be practiced daily, beginning with 3-5 minutes, when that becomes comfortable try adding a minute each week.
Remember these simple steps and bring them into your daily life.
Montclair State | New Jersey