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.