Posts Tagged ‘meditation’

5 Daily Ways to Check in with Yourself and Mentally Reset

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Long days and frustrations at school or work can often leave us wishing we had a “reset” button in our brains. Whether we’re over-worked, stressed, annoyed, or just tired, a mental reboot is often much-needed, and while we don’t have an actual button for this, taking a few minutes to check in with yourself can go a long way. Here are a few things you can do to metaphorically hit your “reset” button.

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https://be-nefit.co.uk/

1. Affect Labeling

Ask yourself how you’re feeling. Distracted? Anxious? Jittery? Insecure? The act of naming your emotions is called affect labeling, and it’s more powerful than you think. According to a 2007 study in the journal Psychological Science, “Affect labeling disrupts amygdala activity in response to affective stimuli.” That’s a mouthful. In normal-speak, here’s what researchers found: labeling emotions diminished the subjects’ responses to negative emotional images. Psychologists and wellness experts have long held that recognizing and naming our feelings diminishes their hold on us; this study simply provides the concrete evidence in the from neuroimaging—that is, images of brain activity.

Affect labeling reduces the passion and intensity of an emotion, returning us to a more rational state by allowing us to observe it instead of being overcome by it. So notice what you’re feeling. Maybe someone cut you off getting into the subway. Maybe you’re worried about a project. Are you over-caffeinated?Are you irritable because you’re hungry or didn’t sleep enough? Think beyond the basic categories of angry, sad, and happy, and try to label what you’re feeling as specifically as you can. I find this wheel of emotions very helpful:

http://inkwellideas.com/

http://inkwellideas.com/

2. Check in with your needs

When was the last time you ate? Washed your hair? Laughed? How’s your energy level? Last moment of physical contact with another human being? When you’re really deep into a project, an essay, or studying for an exam, it can be easy to forget your most basic needs. If you find yourself getting mentally fatigued, ask yourself if your baseline needs are in check. Maybe you need a walk around the block, a snack to boost glucose in your brain (i.e. fueling your study-power), or just a hug.

3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

This technique is a winner for reducing anxiety and hitting the mental reset button. Using guided mental imagery, you methodically relax each muscle in your body. One of my teachers suggests visualizing a glowing light gliding along inside each part of your body. Follow these steps from The University of Rochester’s Medical Center to reset your mind with progressive muscle relaxation.

4. Come Back to Your Breath

For the duration of our stay here on Earth, the breath is always there. You don’t have to make an effort to breathe; it happens naturally. Take five minutes out of your day— especially if you’re having a tough one—and sit quietly with your breath. Notice your chest rising and falling, your belly expanding and deflating. The air entering your nostrils. Your tongue resting against the backs of your upper teeth. I like to imagine the shore of the ocean: The inhale is the sound of the water sliding back from the sand after each wave breaks, gathering and building up the next wave. The exhale is the wave breaking on the shore. Even just a few minutes of concentrated awareness of your breath will allow you to reset and return to your day refreshed. Try out this 5 minute guided breathing meditation from www.mindful.org.

http://www.betsymccallworks.com/

http://www.betsymccallworks.com/

5. Alone Time

There’s a difference between being alone due to circumstance, like when you’re walking to the subway, and actually scheduling alone time with yourself. It can be hard to get an accurate pulse on your mental state in the company of other people, so it’s highly valuable to spend some time alone every day. It provides a space to notice where your mind really is, and from there you can recenter it. Even the busiest student has ten minutes to tuck into their day for sitting and reflecting, taking a walk, writing in a journal, or engaging in any activity that allows your internal state to become a little clearer.

Use these tips to stay in tune with yourself and hit the mental reset button when you need to!


By Sofia Lerner

Sofia Lerner is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is studying English as a senior at NYU. Passionate about literature, dance, and wellness, Sofia aspires to help the arts thrive and help others pursue healthy lifestyles. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services. 

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Finding a Meditative Practice that Works for You

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

Zillions of studies have been done on the benefits of mediation, from reducing stress and anxiety, to improving focus and mental performance, as well as decreasing the risk of some diseases and improving physical health. If you need a reason to try meditation, here’s a whopping list of 76 reasons. But… what if you hate meditating? For a lot of people, meditation is frustrating, difficult, or simply boring. If you’ve tried it and given up, or find the whole thing too “hippy dippy,” I have good news for you.

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https://brunch.co.kr

The heart of meditation is mindfulness, defined by https://www.mindful.org as “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” Often a mindfulness meditation may focus on the breath, for example, creating a deepened awareness of each inhalation and exhalation. But you can be “fully present, aware of where [you] are and what [you’re] doing with just about any activity, whether that activity is sitting and breathing, or running a 10k, or even just washing the dishes.

Do you have an activity where you get so absorbed in the present moment that you forget about everything else? Time, stress, to-do lists and other thoughts melt away? When I was a ballet dancer, the time spent at the ballet barre was a form of meditation to me. For that hour or so, nothing else in the world existed—often not even the other people in the room. There was only my body, my breath, and the steps I was executing, an awareness of every fiber in my body. Mindfulness is all about intention and really noticing rather than going through the motions. I had a postmodern dance teacher at NYU who introduced me to walking meditation, which has become one of my favorite meditative practices. It consists of focusing all your attention deeply on the supposedly simple act of walking. With eyes cast downward, about where the wall meets the floor, feet bare, and hands clasped gently behind your lower back, you walk. You notice how the weight shifts from your heel to the outer edge of your foot, to the ball of your foot with each step. The shift in your hips. Your spine. How you are holding your hands. The same kind of awareness might be achieved while taking a shower; really notice the sensation of warm water running over you, the scents of soap or shampoo.

http://www.ayurvedaplusworld.com/

http://www.ayurvedaplusworld.com/

If you are open to traditional meditation, but in small doses, try 5 minutes a day. Like anything else, you will at get better with practice! Ph.D. Emma M. Seppälä points out, in an article from Psychology Today, that there is a range of types of meditation, and one may work better for you than another. Dr. Seppälä includes in this range: Mindfulness Meditation, Effortless Meditation, Breathing Exercises, and Loving-Kindness Meditation. Mindfulness Meditation is based on “paying attention to sensations, feelings and thoughts in a non-judgmental way.” More “Effortless” forms of meditation might involve repeating mantras or being more unfocused to relax the mind. Breathing Exercises as a form of meditation have a wonderful impact on the nervous system, and Loving-Kindness meditation “focuses on developing feelings of goodwill, kindness and warmth towards others,” according to Seppälä.

Finally, if meditation is daunting or challenging, you may prefer a guided meditation. There are some wonderful apps out there to help guide you through a meditative practice. Experiment with Sattva, Calm, Headspace, The Mindfulness App, and Buddify to make your way toward a calmer, happier, healthier you!

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ww.gauraastro.com


By Sofia Lerner

Sofia Lerner is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is studying English as a senior at NYU. Passionate about literature, dance, and wellness, Sofia aspires to help the arts thrive and help others pursue healthy lifestyles. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services. 

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


 

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My Personal Routine: What I Do to Improve My Own Self-Love

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

“the world

gives you

so much pain

and here you are

making gold out of it

-there is nothing purer than that”

-Rupi Kaur

This week I thought it would be good to talk to you about what I do to improve my own self- love. What kinds of activities am I doing regularly or every day to ensure that I am loving myself?

Image Credit: http://tdfitness.net/my-daily-routine/

Image Credit: http://tdfitness.net/my-daily-routine/

Some days are obviously more challenging than others, at least for me. I like to think that everyone probably has this issue; I don’t know how some could not, actually. There are days where I take plenty of time to relax and clear my mind and treat myself right and there are plenty of other days that I am forgetting to make myself a priority. At the end of days of the latter kind I feel down, often sad or disappointed in myself. I may be angry or frustrated, and then I realize that I could’ve done different things throughout the day to help me feel at least a bit better.

Of course, there are always things we can’t help. There are parts of our days and our lives that are just negative but that we have no control over. But, as I sit here thinking while I type this, I can’t help but to agree with the cliché that we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to what happens to us and how we allow it to affect us. Always easier said than done, of course.

So what do I try to do regularly to be at my personal best? For a while I would meditate when I woke up in the morning. While I slowly stopped doing that, I have wanted to get back into it. I personally am someone who always has a ton on my mind so meditating is a huge challenge for me. However, I think that further proves the point that I need to try to stick to it and I feel it is still a good way to start my day feeling fresh.

If you haven't yet, you should download this app ASAP! Image Credit:https://www.headspace.com

Image Credit:https://www.headspace.com

It is also important for me to start my day with a good breakfast. Of course, I have days here and there when I don’t really eat breakfast or I take that frightening trip to get McDonald’s breakfast. However, I feel my best when I wake up in the morning with enough time to make myself a nutritious, protein-rich breakfast and maybe even a cup of coffee. The mornings that I do this typically lead to days where I am not as hungry and have more energy.

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 9.57.24 AM

Image Credit: https://www.onnit.com/academy/skip-breakfast-get-ripped/

Something else that I am definitely good at is relaxing. I always have a bunch of schoolwork to get done or other productive things I could be doing like checking off my “To Do” list. That said, while I try to be productive, I also recognize the importance in checking items off of my Netflix List as well. We all need to take moments to sit down and just do something that we enjoy, or something that will take our minds off of all the other stuff we are “supposed” to do. Of course, sometimes I get carried away and catch myself binge watching my new favorite show (okay, a lot of times), but it’s okay as long as I’m still completing the To-Do list, right?

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 12.25.03 PM

Image Credit: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/netflix/deceagebecbceejblnlcjooeohmmeldh

I’m sure that many people show themselves some love by making sure they get at least eight hours of sleep a night, or whatever magic number works for you. Personally, I like to stay up until at least midnight and fit in time for a quick nap throughout the day; who’s with me here?

Finally, something I try to do regularly in order to feel my best is go to the gym. I am far from perfect when it comes to the gym. I fail to go every day, and I am certainly not the most impressive performer while I am there. However, I notice that mentally I feel my best when I go to the gym. Even if I only go for twenty minutes and get in something quick, or even if I do some small activities in the comfort of my home, I love how my mind is clear and my body feels great afterwards. Of course, life gets busy sometimes and I will admit that personally it is easy for me to give up the gym before something else sometimes, but I try to get back into it as soon as possible!

Anyway, these are my personal ways to regularly love myself. Hopefully, this gave you some ideas of what you can try doing to improve your own self-love. If you have different ways that you improve your own self-love that I did not mention, I would love to hear them!

 

By Chanelle Surphlis


Chanelle Surphlis is a Campus Clipper publishing intern, who is graduating from FIT this May. Passionate about giving back and pursuing volunteer opportunities, Chanelle aspires to work for a fashion or beauty company that includes philanthropy in its core values. If you like Chanelle’s writing, check out her blogs here and here. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 

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Relax Your Mind and Feel Good

Friday, May 14th, 2010

As a student, it may sometimes seem that stress is never-ending, especially in New York City, which, based on data from forbes.com is the third most stressful city in the country. The difficulties in balancing school, work, and our relationships can increase stress to the point where it has a negative affect on our physical and mental well-being. According to WebMD, “People who don’t manage stress well can have headaches, stomach pain, sleeping problems, illness, and depression.” However, if it is managed effectively, stress can be defeated, allowing us to live a healthy and more fulfilling life.

Cost Effective Ways to Reduce Stress in Your Life

Workout at the Gym for Free- Many gyms offer guest passes that vary from one day to two weeks for non-members. Colleges and Universities around the city also offer students free access to their facilities. This is a great way to work out without coming out of your own pocket. Just contact your local gym for more details or click on the link below for access to another way to get fit for free.
Shape Up NY

Talk to Someone- Sometimes you just need someone to talk to. Contact your school’s mental health center for details on what services are available to you free of charge. It may also help to find a clergy, relative, friend, or therapist that will listen to you; afterward you may feel relieved to have let it all out. If you still feel a sense of urgency, you can always call 1-800-LIFENET.

Meditate- Look for a quiet place to relax, put your body in any position that you feel comfortable in; stand up, sit down, or lie down and take deep breaths, keeping the focus on your breathing. Continue to do so until you feel the stress melt away. For more information on meditation courses in New York City, take a look at the link below or go to your local library for some books on the topic.
Meditation in New York

Listen to Music- Ever wonder why music is a universal language, it’s because no matter what culture or background you come from tunes can speak to you. Just turn on the radio and before you even realize it, you’ll be dancing and singing or humming and bopping your head. There are also places throughout the city where you can listen to free music. Check some of them out below:
Music at Madison Square Park
Music at Licoln Center
Music at Central Park

-Shana H

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