Meditation and practising mindfulness can help you when you are in or approaching stressful situations such as exams. Carving time out of your day to calm your mind has numerous potential benefits such as stress reduction, increased self-awareness, promotes emotional health and many more. You can practice meditation virtually anywhere and it doesn’t require any big monetary investments to start. So what are you waiting for?
Here are some short easy meditation exercises for you to try:
- Ten candles: Close your eyes and imagine a row of ten lit candles in front of you, any style or colour. As you exhale, imagine yourself blowing out one of the candles. With each successive breath, blow out each candle. Let yourself become more deeply relaxed with each one. When all the candles are out, let yourself enjoy the peace and quiet of the room.
- Standing meditation: Imagine a tree standing beside you. Breathing deeply, feel your feet rooted into the ground. Imagine the depth of the roots and the strength under you, supporting you. Imagine your body a solid trunk, but one that is flexible and giving. Allow it to sway, slightly bending in the breeze, your arms open like branches, your hands turned like leaves towards the sun. Breathe deeply and think about the strength and beauty of the tree. Feel the depth of the ground and all its support.
- Falling leaf: Stare at a point on the wall across from you. Visualize a leaf on this spot. With each breath, count backwards from 20 to 1 as you watch the leaf slowly drifting to the ground. At 1, the leaf reaches the ground and you are deeply relaxed.
- Try an app: There many apps that can help you with guided meditations. This is something you can do on a daily bases that takes relatively little time to help you slow your thoughts and keep your mood balanced. Try some of our favourites, like Calm; Stop, Breathe and Think; Insight Timer; or Headspace.
Listen to a guided meditation or relaxation track
There are lots of meditation and relaxation exercises online. You could try a guided imagery exercise, a mindful breathing exercise, a 5,4,3,2,1 exercise, or a cognitive diffusion exercise from one of our workshops and seminars. They can also be found on our IGTV on the Campus Wellness Instagram. If your about to go into an exam, try and give yourself 5-10 minutes beforehand to practice a quick breathing exercise listed above to help calm your nerves and increase your focus.
For more information about stress management and practising mindfulness, view our Stress Management Seminar.