Meditation is found in many of the world’s religions but has spread to become a more common, global practice. In many different cultures, people are increasingly incorporating mediation into their everyday lives, whether it is at home or in the work place. Meditation, in short, is ultimately a practice in which one can be still and mindful.
As students, we find ourselves living with expectations and time constraints. There never seems to be enough time to get everything done. Because of the fast-paced world that we live in, it is hard to find the time to truly let go and rest. By meditating, we take a break from the hectic world we live in and oftentimes reduce our stress. It allows our minds to take a few moments to relax and be rid of the burden of the many tasks we are required to complete.
People often choose to participate in group mediations where they can be guided by a teacher and be surrounded by people who are doing the same. However, you can meditate anywhere, from the comfort of your own room or as a study break at the library. Self-guided meditation can easily provide a 10 to 30 minute period where you can recover and rejuvenate both your mind and body. Below is an easy guide on how to meditate on your own.
Find a comfortable space: Find a quiet place where you will most likely not become distracted by others. If you are in your room you can choose to sit on a mat, the floor or even to lie down on your bed. Try out different positions and find one that is most comfortable for you. Meditation cushions or yoga mats can also be tools which you can try and invest in.
Remove distractions: This may sound difficult, but by turning off your phone and other electronic device and putting them away you reduce the urge to check your social media or reply to texts from friends. If your thoughts are continuously going back to your notifications, you will never be able to be still and calm.
Be mindful: One of the hardest challenges you might find when you first begin to meditate is that you can’t seem to turn off those worrying thoughts. Try to focus on different parts of your body, this can be your breathing or even the tips of your toes. By having your mind focus on something you will find it less likely to wander. You can even try to repeat a certain mantra/sutra if you find it relaxing.
After meditating: If you have been sitting crossed legged or in a lotus position, you might find your legs sore and uncomfortable, especially after your first time. Try out a few stretches to get your blood flowing, and if you’ve been lying down, shake off the the remaining fatigue and clear your mind to begin work anew.