As I am sitting in psychology, I am unable to concentrate on what is even coming out of my professor's mouth. All I can think of is the endless list of tasks that I need to accomplish this week. Even worse, I am constantly thinking about the future, wondering if I am making the right choices in my life. I am sure many people can relate to this excessive anxiety, and how distracting it can be from what’s happening in the present. All I wanted to do was push those thoughts out for another time, but as the invaders that they are, they wouldn't leave. That carried on all day, and at 9:30pm, I had enough. I was getting nothing accomplished, and the little invaders became even louder. I turned off all my technology, some of the lights, closed my books, and sat right on the floor of my bedroom. I decided to be still and I started to meditate and pray. After ten minutes of this, my mind was in a blank, peaceful slate, and I was able to concentrate on what I needed to get done. But not only that, I was able to be at peace and not worry at all. My state of mind was altered completely just through the simple act of sitting still for a tiny moment of the day.
I believe that meditation, prayer, or just sitting still can vastly improve a student's grades, as well as their thoughts. In fact, there are countless studies that prove this, including one from the Harvard Medical School, which claims:
“Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day. This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing."
In this study, it was also concluded that meditation can rebuild the brain's grey matter in eight weeks. The grey matter is in charge of the central nervous system.
I strongly recommend meditating; you can do it any time of the day- before or after school, before some homework, or even before bed. Just sit, lay down, or do whatever feels comfortable to you. Concentrate on slowing down your mind by not thinking of any stresses from the day. Focus on your deep breaths, allow your body to relax, feel your surroundings, and you can repeat a mantra to meditate on a positive thought. You can also pray, and you can listen to calming music too, allowing your mind to be at ease and have a break.
I hope you give meditation a try so that you can truly perform your best in life. Everyone deserves a little break, even that busy brain of yours!