As busy college students, we all get so wrapped up in what is coming next and how we can be ready for the next thing. Sometimes though, it’s best to take time to appreciate the moment and what’s currently going on. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is through meditation and positive psychology.

You may ask, “What is meditation?” and “What is positive psychology?” The act of meditation is bringing your attention to one thing instead of thinking about the million things you have to get done. Positive psychology is most commonly described as “the study of what makes life worth living.”

Combining these two ideas of focusing attention and understanding worthiness of life are a perfect duo to keep us college students from getting bogged down. 

Meditation and keeping a positive mindset might seem super challenging, but it’s actually easier than you think. Here are some easy tips to get started and introduce these practices into your life.

Don’t meditate for extensive periods of time when first starting

According to Psychology Today, beginners should aim for 3-5 minutes when they first begin practicing meditation. This could include taking five breaths and channeling gratitude for the moment. Once you have more experience with meditation, try 10, 20 or 30 minutes at a time.

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Rentowski is a psychology senior and Counseling and Psychological Services ambassador.

Try using a meditation app

It can be intimidating to meditate on your own. Meditation apps like Headspace allow you to choose how long you want to meditate for and will guide your breaths and thought space. When there is a voice to listen to, it can be much easier to focus and actually reap the benefits of meditation instead of constantly wondering if you are “doing it right.” Which brings me to the next tip.

Don’t worry if you’re “doing it wrong”

There is no perfect way to meditate. As long as you’re trying, you’re doing it right. Finding your own way of meditating, or certain preferences, can also make it easier to find your flow and live in the moment.

Practice gratitude exercises

Gratitude exercises help bring attention to the people or things we appreciate and make life a little bit better. These exercises can be as simple as making a gratitude list every day or taking a study break and calling to mind what you are grateful for in that moment.

Meditate with CAPS!

Counseling and Psychological Services holds 30-minute meditation sessions on Mondays from 1:15 to 1:45 p.m. and Thursdays from 12:30 to 1 p.m. If you really want to incorporate meditation into your routine, going with other people can keep you in check.

The most important thing to remember about meditation and positive psychology is that they are tools to help you relieve stress, live in the moment and be thankful for life. No one is denying the fact that unfortunate events occur, like that test you failed last week, but the point is to not get hung up on the negative.

Through meditation and positive psychology, if you practice the motions enough, they can eventually become part of your routine effortlessly. Above all, practice! Start slowly, use a guiding app or come to CAPS. Put your self-judgment aside and practice gratitude. With these tips, you’ll become a pro and will be pushing your friends to engage in the activities with you.

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