Meditation means to engage in contemplation or reflection, but it can also mean many different things for different people. Whether it is just taking a few minutes to breathe or going to sessions, meditation can take a lot of different forms. We all know school can get pretty stressful, so can meditation actually help?
Meditation is proven to help with stress and anxiety. It helps by clearing the mind and improving memory and attention span, which can help improve test scores. For students, meditation can increase focus and decision making skills. Not only can meditating help in everyday stress and anxiety, it is also proven to help with trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
“It gives you a clear state of mind and I think you can make better choices after meditation, and I feel like it reduces stress levels because you can think more clearly,” said junior Kenneth Canales. “I know a lot of people use meditation to feel more peace at mind, and veterans also do it to relieve PTSD.”
Meditation, like everything, can be difficult to start up. Luckily, there are several types of meditation. Zen meditation is the type of meditation we typically think of; sitting and clearing your mind. A more active type of meditation is yoga. Although not all yoga is considered “meditation,” certain types of yoga like Kundalini can help with everyday stress and anxiety. Sound bath meditation involves using instruments like bowls and gongs to create sound vibrations to help focus your mind.
If you or someone you know truly wants to begin meditation here are a few easy steps to help you start: pick a time and place that works for you, make yourself comfortable, and use a guide at first until you are used to meditating. There are several guide apps that you can use, like Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer.
“Meditation can be used to alleviate stress or anxiety just by taking a few minutes,” said sophomore Kate Castañeda.
As well as decreasing stress and anxiety levels, meditation can help one become more “mindful.” Mindfulness means being present and in the moment, not thinking about anything other than what you are engaged in at the moment. Now, in society this is even more difficult than before to achieve because of all the technology and distractions around us on a daily basis.
Whether or not meditation works for you personally, it is always a good idea to just take a couple of minutes to yourself to calm down and collect your thoughts from the day.