Hi! I'm Sally and I'm a third year Psychology student. I love music, photography and going to watch West End shows. I am very passionate about mental health and am currently the Mental Health Project Editor.
It is Meditation Day! Nowadays we don’t really use the term meditation and a more common phrase might be mindfulness. After doing my dissertation on mindfulness and the effects that it has on anxiety – I can tell you that mindfulness is definitely a useful technique to use and what better day to talk about it than on Meditation Day!
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a meditation technique that involves focusing on the present moment. It originates from Buddhist teachings but has been adapted by Western cultures. There are so many benefits to practising mindfulness and it can take such a short amount of time!
Key features of mindfulness include:
- Focusing on your breathing
- Bringing your focus back to the present moment when your thoughts enter your mind
- Focusing on the sensations that your body feels
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
There are so many benefits to mindfulness, such as reducing anxiety and improving your wellbeing. Even engaging in up to 5 minutes of mindfulness a day has been found to reduce anxiety. It has also been found that engaging in mindfulness interventions can reduce symptoms of depression and stress.
Why should you try mindfulness?
Well, why not? It only takes a few minutes and you can do it when you wake up or when you go to bed. Being a student, times are often very stressful and taking just a few minutes to focus on the present moment can have so many benefits to your mental health!
Where can you engage in mindfulness?
There are a few apps that offer mindfulness courses. For example, Headspace offers a great course for mindfulness. However, it has just become a paid subscription service – but there is a free trial. Maybe give the free trial a go and see if you want to pay for the full access. There are other apps available such as Smiling Mind which offers free meditations and The Mindfulness App. There are also a number of videos on YouTube that are free to watch if you don’t want to pay for the subscriptions.
Overall, mindfulness can be such a great way to calm down after a busy day or relax before the start of a hectic one! On Headspace there are courses that range from 3 minutes to 10 minutes so there is a wide range of options for people who are very busy!
I would really recommend giving it a go – just for a few days and see if you enjoy it!