How to quit stressing and start living

Simply sit and do nothing for 5-10 minutes everyday.

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College is a time to meet new people, get a great education and, of course, get stressed out on a regular basis. Luckily for us there are people who have dedicated their lives to figuring out ways for us to stop this unhealthy habit and live a happier, fulfilling life.

One of these proven methods to decrease your stress levels and improve the time we have here on earth is to simply sit and do nothing for 5-10 minutes everyday. This simple technique is called meditation, and I know first hand it has the power to change your life.

Although meditation has been around for thousands of years with Hindus and Buddhists, it didn’t make its way into American culture until the beatniks and hippies started practicing it in the late ‘50s through the ‘60s.

Now meditation classes are offered on college campuses, local yoga shops and of course online for both religious and mental improvement purposes. If this was some quick fad it would be long gone by now, so we can expect to see and learn more about it as time goes on.

So, where do you start when you want to add meditation to your daily life? Meditation teaches you how to live in the present moment so we can stop regretting the past and becoming anxious about the future.

To start off, all you need to do is find a quiet place to spend 5-10 minutes focusing on your breathing every day. Focus on the air coming in and out of your nose, and when your mind starts to wander simply bring the focus back to your breathing.

The more you continue this practice, the easier it will become to stay focused throughout each session. With a little research, you can find thousands of other techniques for meditation, but the majority will recommend the breathing exercise I just mentioned.

If you would like a book to help implement meditation I recommend the one that got me started, 8 Minute Meditation by Victor Davich. Also, there are plenty of free-guided meditations available on YouTube, and apps like “Calm” provide tools to possibly make your mediation experience more enjoyable.

Don’t believe taking less than 10 minutes out of your day to focus on the present moment will help? During meditation, brain scans have shown increase activity in regions of the brain that decrease anxiety and depression.

With your practice you will put your mind in a default mode network that will increase memory, self-awareness and goal setting. Also, numerous studies have shown that practicing meditation can increase your ability to stay focused. Still think it’s just for people wearing bathrobes, sitting on the top of hills?

Just remember the goal is to help you recognize when you are stressing about things that can’t be changed in the past or events that most likely won’t happen in the future. You’ll soon notice how much more clearly your thinking is, an increase in overall focus and a more enjoyable life all around. Good luck!

Garrett Adkins can be contacted at [email protected]

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