Meditating for me, myself, and I: Manage stress through meditation

Igor Morski

How is your spring break going so far? Are you following my advice and taking the time to relax and de-stress? Well, regardless of whether or not you took my advice seriously, I am doing my part of the deal and delivering you a tip to manage your stress.

Is it just me or are promotions on meditation and mindfulness for stress-relief extremely prevalent in this day and age? It seems that since I entered college, numbers of people have tried to convince me that I should take up meditation to cope with my stress. I did not completely shun the idea. I actually gave meditation a good try last semester in the course Music & Meditation but utterly failed. I found sitting still and not thinking to be very challenging to the point of impossible.

Despite my inability to meditate, it is still highly recommended for stress management. Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe presented a wonderful TED talk (you are probably noticing by now that I watch a lot of TED talks) describing meditation as a means of escaping from and reenergizing for our busy, stressful lives. Puddicombe mentioned that while others cope with stress by distracting themselves with work, reaching out to friends and family for comfort and support, or using drugs to temporarily avoid the pressure, he instead became a monk and meditated. As a drug enthusiast, realizing that meditation can have as or more powerful stress-relieving effects as drugs really enforced the potency of meditation.

I continued to look up interventions to alleviate stress and found an interesting article posted on CNN titled “Training the brain to stress less”. Similar to Puddicombe, mindfulness and meditation are used to train athletes for a high-stakes environment. With the assistance of quantitative EEGs and individualized brain maps, athletes learn how to control their brain waves and reach favorable brain wave patterns. As a result of the training, athletes respond, adjust, and recover better to stressful stimuli and situations.

That is my bit on the helpfulness of meditation in stress management. I apologize for not being able to give more advice on how to properly meditate and achieve mindfulness. I am still struggling to learning how to meditate. Right now all I have to offer is that meditation is good for you and that you should try really hard at it because it receives many praises for the benefits it evokes. I will certainly let y’all know once I personally experience stress relief from meditation, and I hope you will let me know about yours too.

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5 thoughts on “Meditating for me, myself, and I: Manage stress through meditation

  1. I agree, meditation is frickin HARD! And I love that you posted this since I’ve been kind of obsessed with this topic recently. Since mastering meditation is a huge undertaking (and would probably just add more stress on top of your schedule) I think that simply attempting to remain mindful is a good way to cope with stress. I know personally I tend to always be thinking ahead to what I need to accomplish by the next week, month, etc., which adds a considerable amount of stress. By reminding myself to think strictly in terms of the here and now, I can cut out a lot of the useless worrying.

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  2. Oh I totally agree with you, Mariah! What stresses me out the most is thinking about all the deadlines . . . I find that my stress and worrying often hinders me from being productive at the moment. It’s been really hard for me to overcome this, but I agree mindfulness is the key. I often reach out to my friends in hopes that they can help me reach this mindfulness! I feel so bad for them, they are probably annoyed by me by now. Eek! :]

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  3. In an article I just read about training your brain to manage fear while skiing, there was a side blurb on meditation! It said that the training the author of the article was doing at this center called Neurotopia was essentially teaching him to focus, and meditation would have similar effects. Meditation really is everywhere now!

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  4. Super interesting Czarina, and I also find meditation to be extremely difficult. I find mindfulness best during more physical activities such as yoga or dance if I am doing a phrase I know well (learning new challenging phrases can be stressful though haha). I wonder if there has been research done on dance and yoga.

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  5. I agree with you Chelsea! of late, meditation is the key to overcoming stress. However, just like everyone, I can neither meditate or perform mindfulness training. I read an article about both meditation and mindfulness not only helping to relieve stress but also improve memory.

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