By Stina Landgren, Arc Wellness Warrior
We’ve all heard about meditation, but what exactly is it? According to Oxford, it’s a focusing of the mind in order to relax. I don’t know about you but I need all the relaxation I can get. WebMD states that meditating can reduce stress, improve mood, sharpen concentration and reduce emotional stress. Sounds good to me. The cool thing about meditating is that you can benefit straight away. With time it does get easier to tune out the world’s noises, but even just one session can provide a peaceful break.
Before starting meditation I was worried about how I would be able to slot it in among my assessments, retail shifts, and uni. I was surprised to find that it simply just fit in! Even just meditating for five or ten minutes a day can make a world of difference. I was also skeptical. Exhaustion, anxiety and low mood are consistent features in my life and I didn’t believe that something so easy could hep me.
My stress usually peaks at night, just before bed and so I decided that I would meditate each evening. I searched “five minute guided meditation” on YouTube, clicked one with the prettiest thumbnail, put on my pjs and got into bed – no serene forests, cross-legged poses or “oms” to be seen (apart from in the video’s thumbnail)!
The first session calmed my racing thoughts and exam worries and left me feeling sleepy and warm inside. I couldn’t totally switch off, but I was forced to have a quiet timeout for five minutes. On the second day I completely forgot, which was fine. We’re all human! I meditated for the next four nights leading up to my test, and after each session I felt a little warmer, a little more positive and very ready to sleep (in the best way possible). I woke up each morning feeling more rested than usual, and more ready to tackle life and my studies. The closer I got to the exam, the more at peace I felt with the future. Come exam day I was not my usual stress-head self, rather a relatively calm and ready student!
Yay or Nay?
Yay! All in all, I’d do it again. And keep doing it. No, it didn’t work miracles (but nothing ever does). After my little ritual I still had study and work to do, but I did, however, feel better equipped to deal with those tasks and responsibilities. I fell asleep faster, slept better and woke up feeling more rested and less stressed than usual.
If you take five minutes out of your day or night to water, feed and fertilise your crop you will soon reap the benefits.
We live in a loud and hectic society, and occasional stillness and silence is essential in achieving complete wellness. You deserve it.
Header Image: Jon Flobrant