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Meditation and mindfulness

Try this relaxation activity:
Close your eyes, and breathe like you normally would, but deeper inhales and exhales.

As you do this, try to clear your mind of what is stressing you out...

Instead, try to picture your favorite peaceful scene — a sunset, the beach, leaves falling from the trees...

Listen to a music clip if you want to, or shut it off if it's distracting you...

But either way, be sure to focus on your breath, and staying in this very moment...

If your mind starts to wander, then acknowledge it and focus on your breathing again....

....Do you feel more relaxed now? Good!

Congratulations, you have just meditated.

Many meditations are longer (10, 20, 30, 60 minutes), but the practice of meditation revolves around the basic principles of mindfulness, focusing on breath, acknowledging but not judging your thoughts and feelings and "letting it go."  Life is full of stressors (relationship issues, exams, papers, sleep issues, family issues, etc.), but if we incorporate these principles into our daily lives they will seem a lot more managable.  Next time you are stressed out about an upcoming presentation or you are fighting with your significant other, try this activity.  Try to think about your breath, and staying calm.  This will help your mind and body stay healthy.

Benefits of meditation and mindfulness:
-Higher attention span               -Reduces anxiety
-Helps us to cope with stress    -Helps us to focus on our breath
-Healthier bodies                      -Helps us to be more self-aware     

Some people like to meditate:
-In the morning               -Sitting on the floor/cushion
-At night                        -Standing/walking
-Sitting on a chair           -To music
-In silence                      -In a group
-In a room alone             -For five minutes
-For 20 minutes              -For an hour
-Every day                     -Only sometimes

For more information:
- Ask the peer educators (P2Ps) — they'll be all over campus!  
- Try it out on your own and see what works

*** There is no "right way" to meditate or to breathe. Try out different techniques and see what works best for you.  Meditation is an art, and there is no correct way to do art ... it's all about what feels good for you.