In our daily lives there is lots to be stressed and anxious about, particularly at university. Whether it be deadlines, friendship problems, annoying housemates or even homesickness, it can be hard to not feel overwhelmed sometimes.
The act of meditating is an increasingly popular method which has gained substantial awareness recently as a way of coping with the things that life throws at us. Many of you reading are probably sceptical as to the effectiveness of something like this. Or, you’re questioning how it can possibly beat a nice cup of tea and a new Netflix series for that feel-good factor after a stressful day. Am I right?
Its extensive reach and recent popularity in today’s culture proves it is not just a passing trend
Admittedly I was sceptical too, but when I started to look into the vast range of meditative methods available, I realised that its extensive reach and recent popularity in today’s culture proves it is not just a passing trend.
So the question is, where do we start? With meditation growing in popularity in so many different forms, how do we sift through each one to find what could actually be a useful and beneficial addition to our lives and mental wellbeing? I have compiled my favourites so that you don’t have to.
You may have seen advertising on Instagram or Facebook plugging this popular app and ignored it, wondering how an app can help you feel relaxed when using our phones is generally what keeps us awake at night. However, when I downloaded and began using the app I found I did actually agree with the bold claims made by the ‘world’s happiest app’. Having put this claim to the test, I can confirm I was pleasantly surprised.
— Calm (@calm) October 24, 2019
Although unfortunately some of the features offered require payment, it is definitely possible to appreciate the app without paying any fees, particularly its relaxing natural melodies and soundscapes that really transport you in a matter of seconds to a state of calm and relaxation. It’s offers of different meditative exercises to help combat stress and induce calm are also aspects that I recommend.
Another route into meditation for those looking for a more ‘old school’ approach, is a good old book. Specifically, the Little Book of Mindfulness by Dr Patrizia Collard. This little book that can easily fit into the smallest of bags, claims that if you follow its suggestions for just 10 minutes a day, which in our often busy student lives is a time scale that would appeal to most of us.
Having owned this book for over a year now, I can attest to the fact that it really does help put worries into perspective, and help you focus on breathing and being in the moment. If you are still sceptical, the £3.99 kindle price might persuade you, or maybe the 5-star amazon reviews? I really would recommend this if you don’t know where to start with meditation and want to try something other than binging a new Netflix series to help destress after a hard day.
It has to be acknowledged before I recommend this blog that there is such a wealth of different meditation-based blog content on the internet today, that it would have taken me a week to sift through them all. But this one by Mindworks really stood out to me because of the relatable article titles featured on the blog such as, ‘Meditation for students’, ‘Beginners guide to meditation’ and ‘How does Meditation reduce stress?’
These blogs would prove invaluable to a meditation beginner, and definitely help to explain how we can best use the methods of the apps and books to our advantage and the benefits we would see for our physical and mental wellbeing having attempted meditation.
So these are my recommendations, but I would implore you to look for others, as mediation has become such a popular method of de-stressing and relaxation that it means there is so much content out there.
Even if it is 10 minutes of your day or even your week, I truly believe it will really make a difference
I am a very anxious person myself and having given meditation a go, I could not recommend it enough! Even if it is 10 minutes of your day or even your week, I truly believe it will really make a difference.
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