I Tried Meditating For A Week and Here's What Happened

As a college student with many obligations, life can get a little hectic. It’s easy to forget to stop and smell the roses when there is always somewhere we need to be, emails to check, and errands to run. A busy life can lead to a lot of stress, and sometimes even anxiety.

Just as we need take care of our bodies through exercise, sleep, food and water, we need to take care of our mind as well.

One way to nourish your mind is through the practice of meditation. Meditation is an ancient practice that every person can benefit from. It is all about being present in the moment. There are countless scientific studies on meditation that prove its benefits on the brain.

I heard about the benefits of meditation and tried it before, but never consistently. Recently, I’ve been searching for ways to de-stress, so I decided to challenge myself to meditate every day for a week.

There are many ways to meditate. Simply put, all you have to do is find a relaxing position and focus on your breathing and nothing else. When you find yourself distracted by a thought, return your attention to your breath.

The first day I began my challenge, I decided to meditate for five minutes. I sat down in the middle of my dorm in an upright position, closed my eyes, and set a timer on my phone.

In the beginning, it was a little hard to focus on nothing but my breath. Thoughts kept swirling around my head. Should I go to the gym tonight? What do I want to eat for dinner? Where should I buy an outfit for Friday? And so on.

Each time I found myself distracted, I returned my attention to the sensation of my breath. I focused on the feeling of the breath entering my body and then leaving it.

After repeating this pattern, I was surprised when my phone timer went off. I expected the five minutes to feel much longer. When I opened my eyes, not only did my mind feel calm but my body did as well.

The second day I meditated, I stuck to five minutes again. This went by even faster than the day before, so I decided to increase my time.

When I began to try ten minutes, it was hard to focus when I passed the five minute mark. After the time was up, I was surprised at how much a longer time makes a difference. I found myself doubly relaxed.

I realized after this that meditation allows you to take a step back from everything around you, and escape into a world that brings nothing but peace of mind. It is like giving your mind a cool drink of water.

By the end of the week, I made it up to 15 minutes. It was difficult for me to remain entirely focused, but I definitely mastered meditating for ten minutes.

I was surprised to notice the effects that meditating consistently for the short period of a week had on me. I loved the immediate overall feeling after a meditation session. It feels like pure bliss, as if you’ve woken up from the most restful nap. It made me more conscious of my place in the world around me. Also, my focus appeared to be slightly increased and I found that little things that would typically stress me out didn’t as much.

Sometimes it is difficult to deal with busy thoughts. Meditation is a way to silence your mind and take control over your head space. In its own way, it is like personal therapy for the brain. Everyone should try the relaxing practice of meditation.

Sophomore Communications major involved with Her Campus and The Signal at TCNJ. She is also a member of Alpha Xi Delta.

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