I am a graduating senior, and I feel an intense pressure from society to get a job right away and start making a living. Our culture has established the norm of making money and reaching a higher status, and these cultural norms can create an imbalance in our work/life balance. When I start to sense an imbalance in my life, I try to take on different activities that improve my physical and mental health. One thing I have been learning is how to meditate.
I can imagine we are all pretty stressed by now, especially with finals coming up. Spring is supposed to be a great time of year when the flowers are blooming and everyone is getting ready for the warm weather, but that’s the problem; I have no motivation to do anything because I just want to sit outside without a care in the world. My mind is so jumbled up that I can hardly grasp the fact that I am graduating. I started meditating, hoping that I would improve my motivation.
I used to be very skeptical about meditation. I thought it wasn’t going to work, and I didn’t really understand the point of it. Mediation is also not something someone can just do right the very first time; it takes a lot of practice to get even close to a genuinely clear mind while being very self-aware.
When I started to meditate, I didn’t understand what the goal was. Yoga International says, “In meditation, the mind is clear, relaxed, and inwardly focused. When you meditate, you are fully awake and alert, but your mind is not focused on the external world or on the events taking place around you.” With all the burdens that come with life, it seems like reaching this kind of mental state is impossible.
There are some great videos on YouTube that can help you get started, but my favorite website to use is Headspace. The website has ten basic sessions that are free, and they have more advanced sessions that require payment. I like Headspace because the instructor guides you through each step and makes it fairly enjoyable.
There is a lot of intrinsic value behind mediation; I have gotten to know myself and become aware the kind of person that I want to be, and the kind of people I want to surround myself with. If you know your self worth and you understand the kind of person you are, your relationships will improve and your self-esteem will increase.
One of the most important things to do while meditating is to pay attention to your breathing. Yoga International says, “Meditation teaches you to attend to what is taking place within, without reacting.” By practicing meditation, you can train yourself to be open to different opportunities presented to you. It may seem a little uncomfortable and strange at first, but it’s worth a shot at a peaceful mind.
Collegian Blogger Kelli Jones can be reached online at [email protected] or on Twitter @kellijayyy. Leave a comment and come back for more health and fitness posts.