If you can’t get out of your head because your mind is cluttered with a rapid cycle of thoughts, then meditation might give you the sense of relief you are craving.
Meditation is a mind and body practice that originated in India. It provides calmness and relaxation, improves psychological balance, and helps overall health and well-being, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The purpose of meditation is “Not to just de-stress, but to find that peace within…to get in the space between your thoughts,” according to Deepak Chopra.
Although meditation exists in various forms, it generally involves a quiet place, a comfortable position, and a focused attention (on your breath or a mantra).
Meditation has always been prevalent to my family, but I had never understood its purpose. My conscientious personality causes me to overthink every scenario – there is a ceaseless strand of thoughts in my head no matter what time of day.
My mom has continuously encouraged me to meditate to reduce my stress and calm my thoughts, but I had always resisted it and claimed that it was “pointless, unhelpful and a waste of time.”
However, my worries and anxieties only began to accentuate during my college years as I faced new challenges in an unfamiliar environment. Just a couple months ago, I left my home in Los Angeles for my study abroad journey in London.
I decided it was necessary to take with me an intangible, yet essential piece of home: the practice of meditation. Moving to a foreign country, becoming immersed within a different culture, and taking classes in an unknown environment is nerve-racking and challenging.
Along with the exhilarating and remarkable aspects of my study abroad experience, there of course comes times of angst – and that is why I finally forced myself to embrace the practice of meditation with open arms.
Only recently, I stopped resisting and decided to accept that the legitimate, scientifically proven benefits may actually be useful for me.
Most mornings, I wake up with a fast heartbeat, anticipating everything I need to accomplish throughout my day. So, I made a pact with myself to begin meditating as soon as I wake up.
I arrange my pillows against the wall to support my back and move to a comfortable seated position with my eyes closed. My hands rest in my lap with my palms facing upward, allowing myself to be open to “[receiving] information from the outside world.”
I meditate for five minutes, breathing in and out, and repeating my mantra in my head. It slows down my heart rate and prepares my mind and body to conquer the day ahead of me.