Our minds can be our worst enemies. They toss us onto emotional roller coasters and mash the knobs of our bodily sensations. But for what?
For that 1000th time of replaying that moment last week when you buckled trying to impress your professor? You already know that you cringe every time you think about it. Or for that rumination which started last month about how you could nail your job interview? (But your anxiety causes you to lose concentration.) Or for the 83rd time you lived through some exciting event still three months away in your imagination, all while missing the tidbits of life right in front of your eyes?
What's the point of living in the past or the future anyway? Other than indulging our daydreams or feeding anxiety, not much is accomplished by racing our minds through the same things over and over again. A more serene, pure and lasting happiness awaits you on the other side, once you build acceptance and gratitude for the present moment into your mental repertoire.
Meditation helps build a healthy distance between your emotions and your thoughts. It enables you to recognize how ephemeral our usual worries and joys really are, and trains us to revel in a deeper and calmer form of appreciation.
Meditation takes simply 10 minutes out of the start of your day. It doesn't have to be a huge commitment, religious or otherwise. But it does strengthen one's commitment to wellness.
You would be surprised with how much you can gain. Try taking a breather between classes in the Student Union's Meditation Room. There are guided groups of all forms all over campus, and free apps are also a great way to get started.
A deeper awareness of our minds, bodies and surroundings means letting them simply be — without judgement. By refraining from our usual propensity to add a story to our feelings, sounds, thoughts and experiences, we realize that things are often not what we make them out to be, for the better.