It’s no surprise that the generation entering the workforce is stressed, particularly students, and I am no exception. Stress is a fact of life and as we strive to do and achieve more, finding ways to cope becomes exceedingly important. Personally I love yoga when I have time; but it requires planning and, for many, it necessitates buying DVD’s or a gym membership. So what about the day-to-day? How about a free stress-reliever?
I have heard over and over again that meditation works wonders. I’ve given it a shot and, yes, it most certainly is effective. Meditation, to put it very simply, is the practice of stilling the body and the mind through intense focus on, for lack of a better word, focus. Even short periods of meditation will leave a person refreshed and ready to take on the days challenges. However, I am a naturally very active person. I walk everywhere I can, talk and chat whenever I can, and like to feel as though I’m accomplishing something at any given moment. This makes “stillness” a little difficult to achieve in my jam-packed work week. But I found another way; I read.
Reading may not work as well as meditation, because your mind is still actively processing information, but it’s a chance to let go of your worries and thoughts and focus entirely on something else. The plot line, the characters, and their motivations chip away at daily stresses and provide a much needed break. Reading is a stand-in meditative moment.
For this to work you have to read something you like. Don’t try to conquer War & Peace and relax. Ultimately you’ll just end up feeling frustrated with yourself if you have to work to enjoy it. So revel in your beach reads, peruse a cookbook, or master a mystery. It doesn’t matter if you’ve read it before (in fact familiarity may help) just find a book you like and while you’re waiting to fall asleep, or on a bus, or even at lunch, pick up your book and take a break. It’s something we’ve been doing naturally for pleasure, now read for refreshment.