It’s that time of the year for the majority of university students.
You’ve no doubt left your assignments until the last minute, currently relying on a caffeine-induced mania, with a ratio of 1 essay sentence per 20 minutes of ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ viewing.
You pick up your phone to open Facebook, and then realise that you just closed Facebook and put down your phone 30 seconds ago.
Amidst the 5 cups of coffee circulating through your body, you spend most of the night trying to decipher if the 12:00 deadline time means am or pm.
You start by delaying the inevitable as you attempt to teach yourself 12 weeks of subject content in one night.
You now decide to arrange and colour code your family packet of M&M’s to achieve some sense of accomplishment as you stare at the text cursor on your word document whilst questioning your life choices.
And suddenly the fact that Lisa Tran didn’t invite you to her Grade 4 Birthday Party at Timezone seems more important than your 4,000 word thesis on the effects of molecular biological research of rare genetic disorders to help provide keys to understanding disease and illnesses.
All of these factors begin to accumulate into a whirlwind of stress and anxiety that carries you over the border to insanity.
Stress no more.
There is a solution that will help clear your mind and ease your anxiety.
So put down that sixth cup of coffee, series link whatever awful television show (that is falsely depicting reality) that you’re currently watching and enter the world of MEDITATION.
Many of you would probably associate meditation with an old, semi-naked man sitting on top of a hill, in grass as long as his beard, with his pet goat tied to a neighbouring oak tree.
However, meditation can be practiced in whatever way you deem most comfortable.
Suze Yalof Schwartz, the founder of Unplug Meditation explains that meditation, “Is about learning to distinguish between thoughts that serve us and thoughts that don’t.”
So push out those traumatic grade 4 memories and help relieve your stress by following these tips to get you started on meditation.
It is best to find a place where you won’t be interrupted. So if you decide to meditate in your bedroom where there are other people home, let them know that you will be busy for the next half hour or so, and that you would like to be uninterrupted.
Warning: denying your parents the ability to barge into your room uninvited at any given time may send them into a hysterical state of frenzy.
Find a spot where you will be able to remain comfortable for an extended period of time. It could be seated on a cushioned chair or you could lie flat on your back on your bed.
Hey, hang from the ceiling in a Spider-Man costume if it’s what you find most relaxing, just find what works for you!
It is best to close down your eyes and start by taking a long, deep breath through your nose, filling your lungs completely, then very slowly and gently releasing the air from your lungs through your mouth.
Just be aware that you will be breathing in your recently exhaled air, so I suggest indulging in a breath mint prior to meditating.
Feel your muscles relax and the stress leave your body every time you let the air release from your lungs. Notice the slowing of your heart-rate with every breath as you continue to repeat this technique and draw attention to the temperature of your body.
If you notice that your entire body is colder than a room full of ex-wives, you may have been too successful in slowing down your heart rate, therefore − you are now technically deceased.
Redirect your Attention
If you feel your mind slipping away, focusing on your unprepared assignments or upcoming exams, or the fact Sam somehow managed to snatch Tara, just slowly and kindly redirect your thoughts back to your breathing and the rise and fall of your chest.
You might find comfort in the silence of your own company. You might want to listen to soft, calming music. You may prefer listening to a pre-recorded playlist of gentle, peaceful sounds of nature.
Whatever you decide on, I suggest using headphones to drown out any external noise that may interrupt your focus.
This tip is generally applicable on a Sunday morning when your parents elect to do each and every household task as loud as possible.
When beginning Meditation, it can be difficult focusing your mind and blocking out external factors for long a duration.
You might start off by exercising your mind for only a couple of minutes each day. After a few practices, you will notice you’re able to focus and relax for much longer periods of time.
However, don’t meditate for too long or else you may find you have ran out of time to complete your assignments, which could lead to heavy episodes of stress!
But don’t worry, if you find yourself getting stressed over upcoming deadlines and exams − simply meditate…