Simplify your mind

Year 11 PLC students (L-R) Emily Ong,Tessa Moon and Leah Crabb making use of the Peace and Tranquility Room.

No matter how young or old you are, life can get stressful and complicated. Sometimes taking a minute out, or five, to relax and clear your mind  can make all the difference.

Meditation is a great way to do this. Religious meditation is a way for people to calm their minds, but also to grow in their faith and to feel close to God. Many people use meditation even if they aren’t religious, as a way to relax.

During exams, students at  Presbyterian Ladies’ College were able to take time out for meditation to help with the stress of study. This was a new initiative this year, put into  action by the head of the senior school, Neesha Flint.

Called the Peace and Tranquillity Room and held in the school’s chapel, the room makes  available a relaxing atmosphere with yoga mats, candles and flowers. Over 80 students used the room during their mock exams, and many  students gave positive feedback, saying that the room helped to relax and calm them during an otherwise stressful time.

Neesha said that as the  room was open before each exam, its aim was to relax students as they walked into each one, rather than working each other up in the corridor  outside the exam room.

“The students get quite anxious before exams,” Neesha said. “They felt calmer going into exams – they felt their  head-space was better.”

Meditation can have many other benefits too.

“Meditation, relaxation and random acts of kindness all prevent you from  getting depression and anxiety,” Neesha said.

There are also online tools to help you meditate. Sites such as Smiling Mind can guide you through  mediations which can be tailored to your age group. You don’t have to do it in such a structured way, however.

Neesha said that one of the first  steps to meditating is to sit still and concentrate on breathing deeply, relaxing your body and trying to drop all thoughts from your mind.

Why not  commit to meditation for 5-10 minutes each day? Perhaps  before going to bed, take a few minutes to sit in silence and relax your mind.

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