Students relieve stress through meditation

Victoria Manousselis, staff reporter

School does not only come with learning, it also comes with stress. While students choose to relieve their stress is many different ways such as through music, or art, many students some students cope with their stress by meditating. Meditating is defined as the act or process of spending time in quiet thought. Many South students incorporate meditation into their daily or weekly routine throughout the school year.

Incoming senior Sophie Hensley stated how she believes meditation has no true definition. According to Hensley, meditation varies in both degrees, and practice from person to person as to how they choose to implement the practice into their own life.

“I think there really is no real definition of meditating because there are so many different aspects of meditation in a way because certain people have their own definition of meditating and their own reasons,” Hensley said. “I feel like there isn’t a concrete definition to it.”

Similar to Hensley’s belief in the lack of definition for meditation,  incoming senior Jidapa Thia explained how she simply finds meditation to be the action of being completely bliss in relation to her religious practices as a Buddhist.

“For me, I started [meditation] religiously, so meditation is kind of a way of finding Nirvana, which isn’t really happiness but it’s a state where everything is bliss,” Thia said.

According to incoming senior Shahnoor Shahzad, meditation is a key stress reliever, particularly with the usage of technology and social media.

“I believe [meditation] is  just a way to take your mind off of certain activities that give you stress and take your mind off of technology,” Shahzad said.

With different opinions and utilization of meditation comes different reasonings. Shahzad, Thia and Hensley all have different reasonings behind why they began to meditate. According to Shahzad, she started meditating to manage her stress as she began high school.

“Starting high school, it was really hard to manage the workload because I was one of those students that wanted to get involved in everything,” Shahzad said. “So, basically in the beginning of high school it was harder for me to manage the workload which caused for me a lot of anxiety.”

Similar to Shahzad, Hensley explained how she has noticed a change in her stress levels in relation to her meditation. According to Hensley, meditation is an aspect during her day that allows her to take a step back and relax.

“I do [meditation] to clear my mind because I think about so many things during the day that’s it’s almost really stressful so it’s a good way to relieve stress and just have that anxiety taken off of you,” Hensley said.

Hensley added that there are a variety of apps or YouTube videos that are guided meditation. Hensley explained how there is an app that teaches inexperienced individuals all they need to know about meditation.

“There’s actually this app, it’s called Head Space, and it’s this British doctor who has been studying meditation for a really long time and created the app for people who aren’t really knowledgeable about meditation, so I use that app to guide me through it,” Hensley said.

Similar to Hensley, Shahzad explained how she uses a website in order to guide herself through meditation.

“So there’s guided meditation online,, and I choose either a five minute ten minute program and just do it in my room alone,” Shahzad said. “You’re basically with your own words. You realize your existence in this world is smaller than everything else.”

In contrast to Hensley and Shahzad, Thia does not use technology for her meditation practice. According to Thia, she uses her Buddhist practice that she learned from the temple whenever she’s feeling stressed out at home.

“I’m Buddhist, I’ve been doing [meditation] ever since I was a kid, my mom and dad took me to the temple,” Thia said. “We [meditate] at [our] house sometimes, too.”

According to Thia, unlike Hensley and Shahzad, she was introduced to the art of meditation at an early age for religious reasons, not based on releasing stress. According to Thia, Hensley and Shahzad, depending on the purpose meditation could be practiced in many ways. Thia explained majority of the reason why she does meditate is for her religion.

“For the most part, 80 percent of the time, I [meditate]  for religious reasons, but 20 percent of the time is if I’m really stressed out I will meditate just because it’s really peaceful,” Thia stated.