With my back against my pillow, I lean against my wall. Ready to meditate, I spread my legs out straight on my bed, press play and close my eyes. My daily meditation exercise has begun.
In through your nose…. out through your mouth. Deep breath. One. Deep breath. Two.
The deep voice, marked by a heavy British accent, belongs to the guided meditation program “Headspace” founder Andy Puddicombe. The voice calms me and signals my mind that it’s time to relax. My daily guided meditation exercise has begun.
As I continue this exercise all the way up to the count of ten, I become relaxed. All the stress of the day evaporates. My constantly-running mind becomes empty as I focus only on my breath.
After my 20-minute exercise ends, I feel refreshed. I feel focused. I feel ready to take on whatever the rest of the day may bring.
Headspace is a guided mediation program, where Puddicombe walks through a series of daily 10-20 minute exercises, dealing primarily with your breathing.
I discovered meditation as a freshman, when my brother introduced me. When he first told me about it, I laughed. Meditation? What am I, some Buddhist monk?
But after he convinced me to give it a try, I discovered that meditation is much more than that.
Meditation provides its user with a long list of physical and mental benefits. According to artofliving.org, some of the main benefits include an increased attention span, better sleep, improved general functioning of the brain, lightened mood, decreased stress, aging and a greater appreciation for life.
The benefits go on and on, but these are the ones that have personally affected me the most.
Now ask yourself: does any of this appeal to you? Of course it does. Everyone could use better sleep, less stress or better focus.
Sure, you’re probably busy with all that you do outside of school or work, but I promise you, finding 20 minutes a day is very possible and very worth it.
When I first read about these benefits of meditation, it seemed kind of unreal, but when they started becoming a reality for me, it was an incredible feeling. Simply focusing on your breathing and stepping back to just relax daily should be something everybody does.
I’m a guy who deals with a lot of stress, and meditation has helped me tremendously. I’m telling you, give it a try. Every single person at this school and on this planet could benefit greatly from meditating. So after you finish reading this, do yourself a favor. Take a seat on a comfortable chair, go online to Headspace.com and try the free trial. You won’t regret it.