It is easy for many to get overwhelmed by the stress of college life. The switch back to live classes and ongoing virus concerns can add to the anxiety, which is why it is important to focus on mental as well as physical health. Mindfulness and meditation are great ways to find balance during hectic times.
“Meditation has been demonstrated to help people to manage stress, anxiety, depression and pain. It may also boost immune system functioning,” said Stan State psychology professor Kelly Cotter.
“The functions proposed include activating the parasympathetic nervous system, and thus allowing the body to ‘rest and digest,’ as well as engaging in introspection,” Cotter continued. “In other words, meditation can give the mental space to think and consider.”
The benefits of meditation would help a student who is overwhelmed with homework, exams and work be able to take a moment to reevaluate themselves, and it allows the body to physically relax as well. Stanislaus State student Gabriella Shimon (senior, Psychology) is someone who can attest to this.
“I meditate Monday mornings and Friday nights,” Shimon said. “It helps me manage my week and stay relaxed throughout my busy schedule.”
Meditation does not require anything more than time and the willingness to take a break. Taking a walk outside, focusing on breathing, or simply sitting in silence are all examples of beneficial ways to destress.
Amanda Alcantar, owner of the local metaphysical shop called Creative Vibez, offered some recommendations.
“Go to a park or just sit by a tree and just ground yourself… you can just sit there in silence and work on breath work,” she suggested.
Alcantar also spoke on the benefits of slowing down and being in the moment.
“A lot of people have lost their peace because they're just so caught up in trying to live their lives and do things that they forget it's going to happen tomorrow. Things can wait; you can grab a seat and just relax,” said Alcantar.
This taking life one day at a time outlook can help students maintain their stress. For more tips on stress management, check out this story by the Signal's Kerry Young and Berenice Jacobo Zurita. For more information about meditation, Cotter recommended Mindful.org, or consider trying guided meditations on YouTube.