I was told time and time again to try meditation to help cope with my anxiety, but as an eternal pessimist with a mind that never stops, I struggled to see how keeping my mind ‘quiet’ would help. I worried that the quieter my mind was, the more room there would be for my mind to be filled with worries and fears about looming deadlines and the fact that I had no idea about what I was going to do after graduation. However, I was wrong. Meditation does work and if you’re struggling with anxiety, you really should try it.
Meditation has its origins in Buddhist religion, used by those on a spiritual journey to enlightenment. Although it began in around 1500 BCE, meditation and other mindfulness practices have grown to be a booming cultural trend in the 21st century, with yoga classes with long waiting lists appearing on every fitness class timetable there is (if you’ve tried booking with Team Hud, you’ll know what I mean!). Although meditation has its roots in Buddhist tradition, you don’t have to convert to enjoy the benefits. Most of us meditate without even being aware – do you take deep breaths when you’re stressed or frustrated? Do you enjoy walking alone, listening to music and just emptying your mind for ten minutes? Yep, that’s a form of mindfulness.
You definitely don’t have to sit crossed-legged on the floor and chant ‘Ommm’ like the stereotypes suggests- I mean I can’t even sit crossed-legged on the floor for longer than five minutes without getting pins and needles. The main goal of meditation is to stop our mind from racing and to be in a state of thoughtless awareness.
If you are stressed and busy you might think that you don’t have time to meditate, however a Zen proverb points out that “you should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy. Then you should meditate for an hour.” Meditating for an hour may seem a little extreme, but you get the idea. The point is that out of the 1440 minutes there is in the day, taking 10 minutes away from Instagram or Facebook to work on your own mind (which in turn will help you concentrate for that assignment coming up) is not completely unachievable.
Blood pressure will decrease
Tension pain will be relieved
Energy levels will be restored
Emotional stability increases
Gain clarity and peace of mind
Attention span and concentration increases
Meditation has been greatly popular with celebrities and sports people such as Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey who credit some of their success to their meditation ability.
Meditation Classes in Huddersfield
If you are interested in the meditation practice, a great place to begin is the Vajrapani Kadampa Buddhist Centre here in Huddersfield. The centre offers classes on relieving stress, anxiety and anger through meditation. The welcoming centre is open to anyone and the classes are based on authentic Buddhist teachings which are made relevant to modern-day lives. The teachings are even delivered by genuine Western Buddhist monks.
There are also a number of mindfulness workshops held here at the university by the well-being service.
Yoga classes at Team Hud:
The New Meditation Handbook – Kelsang Gyatso Geshe