A few weeks ago, during a time of high stress, I learned that students get an 85% discount on a subscription to Headspace, a mental health app that takes the user through guided meditations. With the apprehension of approaching finals and busy family holidays, I felt that it was a perfect time to begin to integrate more gratitude and peace into my life. After only two weeks, I am already feeling a huge difference.
I started with short meditations before bed to let go of tension from the day and to put myself into a state of mind where I was feeling at peace and prepared to rest. After two days, I began to feel that need for peace throughout my day and started to do meditations when I woke up, while I walked to campus, and while I waited between classes. Taking this time to really enjoy and experience these everyday moments in a mindful way opened my eyes to the things I took for granted, and just a few short days later, I became excited to walk past the library on my way to class or to sit outside Search Hall and feel the cool breeze.
Above all else, I have felt a sense of peace and a lack of anxiety that I had yet to experience during my first few years in college, with projects seeming much less overwhelming and my connection to friends and classmates feeling much closer. The deep breathing and grounding techniques I have learned from meditation have become important tools in my pocket which I begin to implement when I feel that stress getting a bit too overwhelming. I even have found myself doing deep breathing techniques without even realizing to improve my focus in class when I am struggling.
I cannot wait to see where this habit continues to take me after seeing its benefits for just a few weeks, and I feel grateful to myself for being able to continue to make this a part of my daily life. I am so glad to be going into this Thanksgiving season with a mind that is more at peace so that I am able to fully show my gratitude for myself, my family, my friends, and my life.