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Two women Meditating


The Basics of Deep Breathing and Meditation

December 24, 2020

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As you return home after a long and taxing day, your mind starts to think about everything that you still need to get done in the upcoming week from school assignments, to exam prep, to laundry, and so much more. When you're a college student, it may seem as if your to-do list is neverending. It's very easy to begin to feel overwhelmed and even stressed. Thankfully, there is an easy solution that you can easily access anytime, any place; deep breathing and meditation.

Deep breathing and meditation are skills that you can use during your time in college and beyond. The two go hand-in-hand and are powerful tools used by some of the most influential people in the world such as Oprah, Jeff Weiner (CEO of LinkedIn), and even Katy Perry. It has been proven that meditation and deep breathing can ease anxiety, reduce stress, and enhance the quality of your overall well-being. In fact, a recent study found that performing just 1 mindfulness activity per week for 6 weeks can reduce anxiety and stress in college students, which is truly remarkable.

Though there are major benefits to deep breathing and meditation, many students aren't sure where to begin. Thankfully, we have some tips to help you. Let's start with some basics:

Example of a peaceful location

Find a Peaceful Location

It will be a lot easier for you to relax if you're somewhere quiet with no distractions around you. We've found that some of the best places to practice deep breathing and meditation are in your bedroom, backyard, or simply in a comfortable chair. Then, you'll want to proceed by closing any blinds or curtains, dimming the lights, and if it's safe to do so, light a scented candle. The key here is to find a place that feels comfortable and calming to you.  

Set a Schedule

Sticking to a set routine can really help keep your stress and anxiety levels down. When you practice meditation and deep breathing on a consistent basis, you'll end up training your body's internal clock to relax and unwind at the same time each day or at the same time each week (depending on how often you decide to practice meditation). For example, if you find that you're stressed after a specific class each week, you may want to consider setting aside some time for deep breathing after that class so that you can recoup, relax, and reconnect. Think about your day-to-day schedule. What may be a good time to make room for your wellness activities?

Wear Comfortable Clothing

Be sure to wear comfortable clothing whenever you are breathing deeply and meditating. This will ensure you can fully immerse yourself in the process instead of focusing on your appearance. When you wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and safe, you will be able to connect with your inner self. Try to avoid clothes that are too tight or constricting.  

Don't Force It

One of the most important parts of deep breathing and meditation is that you have to truly want to participate. If you aren't in the right headspace or aren't committed to fully investing in these wellness exercises mentally and emotionally, it's best that you don't force it. If you try to take part when you aren't quite ready, you may just end up stressing yourself out more than anything and that would defeat the purpose. If you try to meditate and just do not "feel it", step away from it for the day and come back to it when you are ready.

A woman teaching a virtual yoga class

Follow a Beginner's Guided Meditation Video

Once you've found a peaceful location, have put on some comfortable clothing, and feel mentally and physically prepared, it's now time for you to deep breath and meditate. As a beginner, you're going to want to follow along with some videos that feature guided deep breathing and meditation exercises. It can be somewhat confusing to know what to do when you're starting off, but as you get the hang of it, you'll be guiding your own sessions in no time. Ready to get started? Here's one amazing 15-minute guided meditation exercise for beginners that you'll love.

College and life in general can be stressful at times which is why it's crucial that you find an activity and/or routine that can help you destress, relax, unwind, and reconnect with your inner self. Deep breathing and meditation can truly help your mind, body, and soul in so many ways, and as you continue to practice these wellness activities, the more fluid you'll become.\ If you still feel like you'd like to partake in more wellness activities after trying deep breathing and meditation, don't be afraid to try out some (or all) or these 10 great self-care tips for college students.

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