Meditation for Stress Relief

By Anja trenkwalder

Elm Staff Writer

The year has barely taken off, and we are already encountering the nasty college mood-killers: assignments, pop-quizzes, essays, part-time jobs, and exams. Feeling stressed yet?

With the packed schedule of a average college student, it is no wonder that most of us will experience stress during our college career. The bad news is, what you are experiencing now at the beginning of the year will most likely only get worse as the year progresses. I am talking about midterms, research papers, final projects, and final exams. By the time due dates for essays, summer internship applications, and important exams roll around, most of us will be in need of some serious stress-relief. High and continuous levels of stress can actually have negative implications on your health and can lead to both mental and physical complaints.

Fear not for here comes the good news. While you will encounter the inevitable collegiate stress, there are ways of countering it. A convenient do-it-yourself option can be meditation. By adding a few 15 to 20 minute sessions to your weekly schedule, studies conducted by Harvard Medical School have shown that you can make a notable and positive impact on your tolerance towards every-day stressors. In addition, meditation is associated with many health benefits. It is said to improve blood circulation, lower cholesterol level, feelings of anxiety and depression, and blood pressure.

Students work on relieving their stress in Anne Briggs’s guided meditation session that took place on Sep. 20 in the Casey Academic Center.
Students work on relieving their stress in Anne Briggs’s guided meditation session that took place on Sep. 20 in the Casey Academic Center.

Indeed, many Washington College students are eager advocates of this rejuvenating practice. “Meditation is when you connect your mind and body,” said sophomore Benjamin Cooper. “It is not just about relaxing but listening to your body and breath. It is about making a connection and listening to your inner mind.”

With people all over the globe praising this fantastic stress-relieving tool, meditation is definitely worth the try. If you wish to experience the many wonderful benefits of meditation, you can do so without even leaving campus. WC offers complimentary meditation sessions to enrolled students, co-sponsored by the Philosophy Club and the Department of Philosophy and Religion. Sessions take place under the guidance of Anne Briggs, a certified meditation leader with years of experience. She is a Community Dharma Leader and involved in “The Insight Meditation Community of Chestertown.”

Sessions will be held in the common room of Casey Academic Center at 2 p.m. on Oct. 11, Nov. 1, and Nov. 22. In order to maintain the session’s atmosphere, it is very important that attendees do their best to come on time.

It is up to your preference whether you will spend the session seated in a chair, or lying on the floor (it is smart to bring a towel or blanket if you choose the floor). No prior knowledge of meditation is required, and all you need to bring is an optional pillow for extra comfort. Briggs recommends that attendees wear loose and comfortable clothing.

Swing by and try the easy and convenient stress-reliever meditation for free and under professional guidance. Meditation truly is time well spent.

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