Set a date to meditate

The amount of stress on high school students is incredibly high at times, but one overlooked approach to reducing this stress is meditation. Quieting your mind and meditating not only can help you fall asleep, but it can also improve memorizing abilities and is a great tool for relaxation and health.

Some common misconceptions about meditation are that it “takes too long” or that you must pay a professional yoga instructor to learn it. In reality, you can successfully meditate in the comfort of your own bedroom. All that is required for meditation is a quiet space. You do not have to be an expert; simply sit or lie down and focus on your breath. It is up to you to decide what time of day to meditate. You may prefer to meditate before sleeping, as it can quiet your mind and help you wind down for bed. Alternatively, if you are stressed, you can take a breather any time, anywhere, by meditating.

Sophomore Elodie Thaler enjoys the benefits of meditation, “It helps me keep a better mind and feel good,” she said.  She also said if she gets sad about something that “[meditation] just calms me down.”

According to the Huffington Post, students who practice meditation perform better academically. One particular research study from George Mason University and the University of Illinois found that students who meditated before attending a lecture performed better on quizzes than those who didn’t. Although meditation does not guarantee perfect grades, it can help you be more calm, and, therefore better at decision-making.

A good night of sleep is vital for you to perform well on assignments. Whether you have a hard time falling asleep or not, meditation can help you fall into a deeper rest so your brain can absorb and process information better.

Harvard University conducted a study that showed the effects of meditation regarding adults who had trouble sleeping. In their research, all the participants completed a mindfulness awareness program that taught them meditation. The other half completed a sleep education class that taught them ways to improve their sleep habits. Both groups met six times, once a week for two hours. Compared with the people in the sleep education group, those in the mindfulness group had less insomnia, fatigue and depression at the end of the six sessions.

Although it may seem as if meditation is just another thing to add to your long to-do list, its benefits are plentiful, and it can improve your life, one breath at a time. To learn more about how to meditate, check out: https://www.nytimes.com/well/guides/how-to-meditate

Carrie Kuecks
Features Editor

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