Mindfulness in Students; Meditation in Stress

November 13, 2017

Stress. Anxiety. Panic attacks. Whether it comes from not understanding a concept, a math exam, or the lunch line being too long, many students deal with a form of stress every day. However, according to studies, practicing meditation can help deal with anxiety in life.

What is meditation? The Webster Dictionary defines meditation “to engage in contemplation, reflection, or mental exercise (such as to concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness.” So why does this have an effect on Seattle Prep students? Well, the inclusion of meditation into students lives an greatly increase your mental and physical well-being. When people meditate, their minds have the opportunity to gain peacefulness, once they have peacefulness within, it limits the negativity from stress, anxiety, and overall discomfort that enters the body, therefore, making life easier and filled with happiness.

How does it work? According to the website artofliving.org “When meditating, beta waves, which indicate a state where information is being processed, decrease and are replaced by alpha waves, which are associated with total brain coherence. The frontal and parietal lobes, which deal with reasoning, planning, and processing sensory information, slow down. And without a glut incoming stimulus, the nervous system is able to rest, resulting in relaxation and improved functioning in the entire body.”

The benefits of meditation are endless, both mentally and physically. Mentally, meditation can help decrease anxiety, help increase creativity, and help develop intuition. Physically, mediation helps lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety attacks, decreases tension related pains such as tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems, increases energy, and improves the immune system. All of which leads to greater happiness.

Mr. Bond, one of our school’s science faculty members, leads his students through meditation before they take a big assessment. Through meditation, Bond says, “It was also, and has continued to be a really good fit on how I try to handle the world.”

One of Bond’s IPC students, Lauren Royce ‘21, claims that when she was guided through meditation before a test has helped her. “I totally felt so calm and relaxed when I took the test. It really helped me concentrate,” says Royce. When asked what students should do as a simple meditation when stressed, he says they should try to:

  • “Think about something that makes you feel good. When you have a focus that makes you feel positive, or reminds you of something positive, I found that its easier to be calm because you’re thinking of something nice.”
  • Sit comfortably. “How do you sit and how are you in the world will help to facilitate to be more meditative.” Then, take a few deep breaths. Stop for a moment. It will help calm yourself and let you know that you’ve prepared for this moment. This is your moment to recognize that you’re ready to do well.”

According to various sources, these meditation practices can help reduce any stress:

  • Do yoga. It might seem trés bizarre, as French speakers say. However, simple yoga positions such as the cobra pose or warrior pose help to promotes relaxation, which is the natural opposite of stress.
  • Gratitude journal. This is where you write down a few positive things that happened during the day, what you were thankful for that day, and what you are hoping for to happen in the future.
  • Guided meditation videos on YouTube. Put some headphones on and sit comfortably. There are videos forever how long you want to meditate; 5 minutes, 10 minutes, even an hour!
  • Meditation apps: such as Headspace

Meditation can be proven very effective, for taking a moment to rest within silence becomes an excellent source of reducing constant high school stress. Through these exercises, it can lead to more appreciation and allow you enjoy life with ease. In the joy of silence, you may find yourself wanting to do it more often.

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