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Over quarantine and this past summer, like most people, I had a lot of free time on my hands. This led to me developing new interests and hobbies while cooped up in my house. One of those hobbies I picked up was meditation. I had never really meditated before so I was going into this clueless. I’m not claiming to be a meditation expert or guru now, but I’ve definitely noticed some changes in how I feel when I regularly meditate. 

To start, let’s go over the physical components of stress. Stress sucks. And while we mainly focus on its mental side effects (brain fog, anxiety, lack of memory), we often forget what stress can physically do to us. According to helpguide.org, stress can cause: Aches and pains, nausea and dizziness, chest pain, frequent colds or flu (yikes), weight problems, reproductive issues... and that's just the tip of the iceberg! None of these sound like fun, and as a person who stresses a lot, I really don’t want to experience any of these symptoms. 

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Now, let's talk about where meditation comes in and it’s relationship with stress. Meditating is known to physically help to manage and lower one’s stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, meditating can help manage the symptoms of: Anxiety, Asthma, Cancer, Chronic pain, Depression, Heart disease, High blood pressure, sleep problems and more. Some mental benefits listed are: Increasing self-awareness, Reducing negative emotions, Increasing imagination and creativity, and increasing patience and tolerance. I don’t know about you, but that was enough to convince me to make meditation a part of my routine.

I look at meditating as an act of self-care and a part of my health that I try my best to prioritize, even if it’s only 10 minutes of my day. If you think 10 minutes is a lot, trust me it’s NOTHING! Think about how much time you spend scrolling through Instagram and TikTok on a daily basis…. yeah, that’s what I thought. You can most definitely find 10 free minutes to do some form of meditation daily, even if it’s the last 10 minutes before you sleep or the first 10 minutes when you wake up, trust me, you’ll thank me later.

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Hi everyone! My name is Jill, I'm from Foxborough, MA and I'm a sophomore Communication and Women's studies major at UNH. This is my first semester writing for HerCampus and I am so excited to get started!
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