You sit on the floor. Cross your legs. Put your hands into little “okay” symbols and lay them along your knees. Close your eyes, and start to hum. “Ooooom” “ooooooom.” Sure this may look like what you think of meditating, but are you actually meditating?
Wikipedia defines meditation as, “a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or as an end in itself.” What this means though is you use meditation to try and clear and focus your mind, either to focus on one item or idea exclusively, or just as a means to give yourself a little quiet in the raucous brain of yours.
Instead of the Hollywood portrayal of meditation, as in the first paragraph, try this instead. Find a comfortable place to sit or even lay down. Take some deep breaths and continue thinking only about those breaths. Imagine your lungs as a large vessel you are pouring water into as you take in a breath. When you exhale, imagine a feather taped right over your nose that you are trying to disturb as little as possible. See how slow and relaxed you can make your breathing. If any stray thoughts enter your mind imaging them exiting your brain when the air exits your lungs. This type of meditation is calming, energizing, and great for health issues like blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.
You can also try a version of meditation when you are taking exams. Meditation encourages you to focus on a single thing, practice focusing every drop of attention towards a test question. By expunging miscellaneous thoughts you are fully focused on figuring out exactly what the question is asking. This is particularly important for tests that are notorious for trying to trick it’s students such as the SAT.
No need to go out and buy a fancy rug or mat. No need to pick up some incense or candles. Meditation is a thousands-of-years-old practice with lasting mental and health benefits even to today. Why not try to use it to your advantage in your studies?
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