World meditation day: become your own guru

Posted 3 weeks ago

Inhale, exhale...

Finding peace can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. That's where meditation comes in! It's like a secret weapon against the buzz of daily life, helping to calm the mind and reduce stress in a very real way (which after mental health awareness week, we should all know is important!). So, let's break down the benefits of meditation for stress relief and share some straightforward tips on how you can become your own guru.

Why Meditate?

Meditation isn't just about sitting quietly, it's about training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts which can be a powerful tool for reducing stress. When you meditate, you can actually decrease the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body. This can lead to:

  • Less anxiety: Regular meditation helps lower levels of anxiety and leads to an improvement in your overall stress management.
  • Enhanced mood: Meditation can boost mood and overall psychological well-being by creating a positive shift in how you respond to stress.
  • Better sleep: By calming the mind before bed, meditation can help you get a better night's sleep.
  • Increased focus: Regular meditation can increase your stamina for concentration, making it easier to pay attention during daily tasks.

How to meditate at uni

Starting a meditation practice doesn’t require any fancy equipment or a lot of time. Here’s how you can get into it:

  1. Find a quiet spot: It could be a corner of your bedroom, a dedicated meditation space, or just a comfortable chair. The key is consistency, so try to use the same spot for meditation each time.
  2. Set a time limit: If you’re just beginning, it might be helpful to start with short periods, like 5 or 10 minutes. As you get more comfortable, you can gradually increase this time.
  3. Get comfortable: Sit in a comfortable position. You can sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor, on a cushion cross-legged, or even lie down if that’s better for you.
  4. Focus on your breath: Close your eyes and breathe naturally. Focus your attention on the breath and how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. If your mind wanders, that’s okay! Just bring your focus back to your breath.
  5. Explore guided meditations: If you find it hard to maintain focus, you might want to try guided meditations. Plenty of apps and online resources offer guided sessions that can help steer your practice.
  6. Make it a habit: Try to meditate at the same time every day. Whether it's morning, lunchtime, or evening as this can help your body and mind get used to the routine.

Embracing regular practice

Like any skill, meditation gets easier with practice. The more regularly you meditate, the more naturally it will come and the greater the benefits will be. It's not about perfection but about persistence. Even on days when you feel too busy, a few minutes of meditation can make a big difference.

 It’s a simple tool, but it has the power to transform your day-to-day life, making things a little lighter and a lot more manageable. So why not give it a shot?