Thanksgiving: A time for meditation, introspection

By: Annie Sragner, Staff Writer

Ah, a much-needed break has arrived. Thanksgiving break offers students a reminding glimmer of hope that the semester is winding down.

A semester only comprises roughly four months, but the time within that period moves capriciously, with all of the schoolwork and responsibilities demanded of us.

When you’re sitting through a tedious lecture, time trudges. But when you’re scrambling to study for a test, time rushes.

It is easy to become so consumed in the daily lifestyle of school and work where we forget to cherish the here and now.

This break is the perfect opportunity to unwind and assess the situations of school and the rest of life; but you don’t need a break to do this. Anytime is fine.

The present moment is always here, but always fleeting, so it is important to appreciate what we have while we have it.

Meditation is an excellent way to tap into the experiences we often sacrifice for busyness. Many people think meditation is just a way to relax, but it offers so much more to us.

It is an opportunity to pay attention to the sensations of the environments inward and outward.

A key aspect of meditation is to notice the thoughts and distractions of the mind, and acknowledge them as they pass.

It is a time to refrain from running after the negative and aim to seek the positive. Meditation is an un-striving and passive process, which yields extraordinary results.

Meditation provides mediation between the mind and the heart.

Take a few moments over break to slow down and assess how you are doing — not necessarily as a student, but as a person.

Appreciate all that your healthy body and brain do for you while they are busy taking care of external tasks.

Focus on your breath and see where your thoughts drift to without judging them.

Feel your heartbeat, and think about the wonders happening inside you.

But with the list of obligations piling up on the to-do list, conscious passivity seems like anathema.

The brain is wired to think and problem-solve during waking hours, and it can be difficult to divert from this state to a more pleasant state, but mindfulness is a skill that develops with practice.

Juggling hectic schedules requires a familiarity with prioritization.

This mental skill is needed almost constantly. And soon that familiarity will morph into mastery, but it is not always the healthiest of evolutions.

Use this break to your advantage, but remember that you can incorporate introspection to calm things down at any time.

Be kind to yourself and give thanks for your achievements, while pardoning your defeats.

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