Concentrate and Meditate

With exams just three weeks away, you might begin to feel stressed out if you aren’t already. The stress likely won’t go away until exams are over, but there is a way to relieve some stress NOW. That way is through meditation.

Merriam-Webster.com defines meditation as “the act or process of spending time in quiet thought.” However, Dr. Jean Mulloy, a psychologist in USF’s Counseling Center sees it a little differently.

“Meditation is being aware of your habits,” Mulloy said. “So any time you focus your mind on what you’re doing, you can be meditating.”

Meditation can be extended to any activity and has many benefits, Mulloy said. These benefits include:

  • Decreasing anxiety
  • Improving
    • Mood
    • Memory
    • Focus
    • Concentration 

All of these benefits can help you survive exam week when anxiety is sky high and mood is so low. The best part about meditation? You can do it for free at USF!

The Counseling Center at USF provides FREE group meditation three days a week. According to Mulloy, the groups use a combination of meditation techniques, which include:

  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Body scans
  • Guided meditations using suggestions of imagery
  • Sensation based meditation

Each session will also include a breathing component, as it will help attendees relax and focus their attention, Mulloy said.

These sessions will not only help you feel better, but also help you learn how to meditate on your own. And don’t worry about meditating getting in the way of your studying.

“First of all, five minutes (of meditation) won’t get in the way of being effective,” Mulloy said. “And worry-loops, thoughts that go around and around, can block your time.”

This means that you can spend hours in front of books, but if you spend that time worrying, you won’t be as effective, Mulloy said. Just by taking some time to meditate, you can reset your mind and get more out of your studying.

If you are interested in going to one of the sessions, you can stop by the Counseling Center at one of the three times the sessions are held. The groups are drop-ins, meaning no signup is required, and are led by professionals like Mulloy.

Just come in and lose your stress.

Contributed by: Michael Mezich

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