My Journey with Meditation

My journey with meditation has been a long, erratic one. It began during my sophomore year of high school when academic pressure and stress consumed me to the point where I couldn’t even close my eyes without worrying about school—totally unhealthy, I know! 

Although my parents often emphasized the importance of meditation to help retain my peace of mind and lower my stress levels, I was then in my rebellious teenage “know-it-all” phase. Obviously, I never really listened until my dad dragged me to a meditation session in the midst of my exams, and though I had nothing to lose, I was still hesitant. I did, however, ultimately go. 

I didn’t realize the power that simply closing my eyes and taking deep breaths could have on me both physically and mentally. I always thought along the lines of, “I don’t have an hour to waste like that.” But guess what? It doesn’t have to be an hour, and it most definitely isn’t a waste! In fact, all it takes is 10 minutes of your day, wherever you are, to just stop and take a breath to rejuvenate your mind and body. 

Yet, unknowingly, my mind only associated meditation with difficult times. Since I wasn’t really stressed when I got to college, meditation took a backseat. Before I knew it, life got in the way and binging Netflix became my nighttime ritual—the thought of meditation didn’t even occur to me until I went home for winter break.

As much as I love watching shows for hours and eating my Flaming Hot Cheetos and sour gummies, my time at home—getting some good rest—really made me reflect on how unhealthy and unsustainable my sleep cycle at college last semester really was, not only in terms of when I was sleeping but also how I was sleeping. 

So, this semester I’ve promised myself to make an effort to alter my sleep cycle and change my habits before bed by bringing my old, erratic relationship with meditation back into my life. With the deep, sound sleep I’ve been enjoying since getting back into the routine of my 20 minutes of meditation every night this semester, my mind feels clearer and my body is well-rested. While the heavy workload never goes away in college, I don’t get as stressed about it as I did during my past semesters. I’ve finally developed the ability to keep my cool in most situations and I can't wait to see how much more I can accomplish now that I'm putting my wellbeing first. 

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