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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Oswego chapter.

Does meditation sound boring to you, or too “zen” of an activity? Do you feel like you would never be able to concentrate long enough to be good at meditating? Maybe you don’t even see the point of meditating or doubt that it will add any benefit to your life. 

If you don’t consider yourself a meditator, these are all valid perspectives! Maybe meditation isn’t for everybody, and I can’t deny that there ARE other ways to decrease stress or enhance personal growth. In addition to meditation, working out and being with family and friends are major stress relievers for me. 

If you have any reservations keeping you from meditating, I’d like to shed some light on meditation as a practice and its benefits by sharing a little about my own meditation journey.  

My Journey

I first started meditating around junior year of high school. The main reason being that I am an extremely anxious person… I don’t want to say this is a ‘personality trait’ of mine, but it practically is at this point! Add to this the fact that I was a varsity athlete, musical theater performer, member of multiple choirs, and a perfectionist, and you can see how my enormous stress led me to trying a new coping tool: meditation. 

Up until senior year, I meditated every once in a while – to calm test anxiety, performance anxiety, or just to fall asleep at night. That changed when I took on meditation as a subject of study for my senior project. I meditated every day for a month because I really wanted to see if meditation is a ‘life-changer,’ as so many claim it to be. It turns out that I did experience some of those benefits I doubted were truly possible… I felt myself to be more calm and yes, even happier overall. 

Thanks to the Calm app, a meditation app I downloaded, I had access to meditations geared toward decreasing anxiety, increasing gratitude, increasing self esteem, and halting negative thought spirals. However, you DO NOT need an app to meditate. This was a personal preference. 

Fast forward to now, I still have the Calm app and use it. In complete honesty, I am no longer an everyday meditator and I do not have perfect concentration. Also in complete honesty: I am not a hippie lighting up incense in my bedroom while I meditate, nor is meditation necessarily an ‘exciting activity’ for me – these aren’t accurate ideas of meditation! Also, am I happy and calm all the time? No! But meditation still increases the frequency of these feelings.

The Takeaways

Consistency builds concentration and makes benefits more noticeable, HOWEVER, you do not have to meditate everyday to experience some benefit. If you still think you don’t have the time, meditation can look like taking a minute out of your day to do deep breathing, reflect on one thing you are grateful for, or set your intentions for the day. There are still benefits in doing that. If you need guidance for meditation, pull up a quick meditation on YouTube to do before your shift at work. Make meditation realistic and adapted to you and your lifestyle!

Meditation also takes practice. Don’t let the fact that you have ADHD or a busy mind keep you from trying it out and sticking with it. No one is good at concentrating for long periods of time, especially in today’s age of instant gratification. Meditation is the practice of focus, and it’s OKAY to be imperfect or even wish you were doing something else during your meditation. Trust me, the slightest effort can go a long way, and can make meditation more enjoyable and easy over time. 

Most importantly: If you are able to trust that there is benefit to meditation and that your slightest investment may be worth the benefit, I encourage you to try it! Not one time, but a few times – and see where this takes you. 

Happy meditating!

Hi, I'm Bailey and I'm a junior at SUNY Oswego from Rochester, NY! I have passions for writing and storytelling, as well as health and wellness. I also love music, sports, being in nature, and spending time with family and friends.