How Mindful Meditation Can Help Get You Through Exams

How Mindful Meditation Can Help Get You Through Exams

Avoid feeling quickly burnt out during finals week.

With the end of the semester creeping upon us, it is easy for anyone to feel overloaded with the number of work that has to get done. The college environment pushes students to consistently stay focused on creating a successful future. There is an insane amount of pressure on us to succeed and make the most of our time in school.

This time of year seemingly brings a never-ending list of assignments and deadlines. This pressure can take a large toll on our mental health, and we can easily forget to take care of ourselves amidst the long list of other things we have to get done.

During this stressful time of year, avoid feeling burnt out by exploring the benefits of mindful meditation. Designate five to 10 minutes of your day to sit with yourself, and draw your attention to the physical sensations of breathing. Notice your body rising and falling with each breath you take. Begin to feel how the flowing oxygen helps loosen the pressure in your brain. The mindfulness in your breath during this short session can translate into mindful awareness throughout the entire day.

Famous Zen Buddhist and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh says,

“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.”

The powers of mindful meditation can be used as a stress reduction technique to help foster a stronger mentality. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara discovered that through practicing mindfulness, student participants were able to cultivate reduced mind wandering. Thus, leading to increased performances on their standardized test scores and working memory capacity.

Mindful meditation allows us to release the stress and pressures we feel from everyday life, helping us live more productively and efficiently. Mindfulness practices help train your mind to focus on the present moment. This can then allow us to stay focused on any task at hand, and improve our overall attention span.

Taking time to take care of your spirit through mindfulness practices, you can then perform at your highest optimal level.

Finals and grades are important yes, but not as important as taking care of the well being of yourself first. You won’t perform as productively if your brain is clouded with scattered stressors. Use mindful meditation as a tool to unload and reboot your mental capacity. When you are thinking and acting with mindful awareness, you can then make decisions with greater clarity.

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An Open Letter To The Girl Trying To Get Healthy Again

"I see you eating whatever you want and not exercising" - Pants

Dear girl trying to get back in shape,

I know it's hard. I know the hardest thing you may do all day is walk into the gym. I know how easy it is to want to give up and go eat Chicken McNuggets, but don't do it. I know it feels like you work so hard and get no where. I know how frustrating it is to see that person across the table from you eat a Big Mac every day while you eat your carrots and still be half of your size. I know that awful feeling where you don't want to go to the gym because you know how out of shape you are. Trust me, I know.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Trying To Lose Weight In College

The important thing is you are doing something about it. I'm sure you get mad at yourself for letting your body get this out of shape, but life happens. You have made a huge accomplishment by not having a soda in over a month, and those small changes are huge. I understand how hard it is, I understand how frustrating it is to not see results and I understand why you want to give up. Being healthy and fit takes so much time. As much as I wish you could wake up the day after a good workout with the 6 pack of your dreams, that just isn't the reality. If being healthy was easy, everyone would do it, and it wouldn't feel so good when you got there.

Remember how last January your resolution was to get back in the gym and get healthy again? Think about how incredible you would look right now if you would have stuck with it. The great thing is that you can start any time, and you can prove yourself wrong.

Tired of starting over? Then don't give up.

You are only as strong as your mind. You will get there one day. Just be patient and keep working.

Nothing worth having comes easy. If you want abs more than anything, and one day you woke up with them, it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as watching your body get stronger.

Mental toughness is half the battle. If you think you are strong, and believe you are strong, you will be strong. Soon, when you look back on the struggle and these hard days, you will be so thankful you didn't give up.

Don't forget that weight is just a number. What is really important is how you feel, and that you like how you look. But girl, shout out to you for working on loving your body, because that shit is hard.

To the girl trying to get healthy again, I am so proud of you. It won't be easy, it will take time. But keep working out, eating right, and just be patient. You will be amazed with what your body is capable of doing.

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What Could Have Been

Changing your mindset from living in the past to living in the present can change everything.

As we get older, we make more memories, new friends, new thoughts, and form new views on, well, life. While all of these new things are being created, it’s so easy to get caught up in “what could’ve been,” but what’s more important than what could’ve been is what is.

A belief I strongly live by is the idea of what is what’s meant to be, will be. Because of this belief, any time I find myself living in the past, or wondering how alternate situations may have affected my life, I try to reflect and remember that if it’s meant to be, it will happen.

With every person you meet and every experience you have, it’s so easy to wonder why someone came into your life or left your life, to wonder how your life would be different if you didn’t meet that person, if they didn’t exit your life; what would’ve happened if a certain situation didn’t happen or occurred differently. In these instances, you just have to remember that every experience helps shape the person you are today.

Despite how much you may wish something didn’t happen to you, something did happen to you, or how much you wish someone stayed in your life, you can’t linger in the world of what could’ve been because quite frankly, it just isn’t. If you’re living in a world of wondering and overthinking situations, you’ll never be able to move forward into a life of the people and experiences you’re supposed to indulging in.

There are so many cheesy phrases that encompass this general idea, what’s meant to be will be, it is what it is, the idea of destiny, but essentially, I believe in all of these. Obviously, there are courses of action that can be taken to control one’s own destiny, and I am all for creating your own destiny. However, part of creating your own destiny is moving forward in a positive direction, taking every experience and making the best out of each and every moment, wipe your tears and move on.

Living in the past leads to having a negative outlook on life because you’re not making the best out of every moment, you’re wondering “what could’ve been.” Instead of pondering this thought in your mind, focus on what can be. You’re probably thinking that these are the exact same phrase, but honestly, these two phrases are extremely similar to the idea of looking at a glass as half full or half empty.

If you’re someone who sees a glass as half empty, you are stuck in the world of what could’ve been; if you’re someone who sees a glass as half full, you are someone who is making the most out of life, looking at what can be, and will be.

Nothing is impossible. If you work hard enough, and change your mindset to one that is positive, everything that is meant to happen to you, will. Of course, it is difficult to maintain a purely positive outlook on life, but if you try hard enough to see the good in everything, what could’ve been will truly be a thing of the past.

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