Written by Padua Senior Lauren O.
I couldn’t help but chuckle when my doctor gave me quite the unusual prescription: meditation. After sustaining an abnormally long concussion Freshman year that left me with months of incurable headaches, my team of medical professionals and I were endlessly looking for solutions. From different medications to reducing activity it seemed like I had tried it all, which is why I thought meditation was surely just my doctor grasping at straws.
Perhaps my doubtfulness in meditation had come from my ignorance to what it actually is, and only thinking about the stereotypical view of it. You see, when I thought of meditation I pictured a bunch of hippies “finding themselves,” which I now know is not reality. In all honesty, my first attempts at meditation were probably not from the book, but I just did whatever felt right. Every night before bed I turned on white noise and just laid down with my eyes closed, trying to shut off my thoughts. It’s a lot easier said than done. Meditation doesn’t come naturally because our minds are always racing. However, I learned that the more I did it, the easier it became.
Although meditation didn’t magically cure my headaches, it helped to relieve a lot of stress and anxiety that was a byproduct of my concussion. I found myself not only meditating at night, but whenever I felt overwhelmed. Being able to slow myself down and pause my mind became a very useful technique to combat a lot of the stress I dealt with. I never would have pictured my meditations going in this direction.
Although I fell out of my meditation habits after Freshman year, I was glad to try to pick them back up again when I was in Mr Shelton’s physics class. Not only did we learn about meditation and what it can do for you, we actually DID it and experienced the results for ourselves. As a class, we all agreed that the few minutes of meditation before class greatly aided our ability to focus and relieve stress. I also learned what meditation aims to do and who does it. Meditation is all about turning off your thoughts and observing them without judgement. I realized that it’s not just hippies trying to “find themselves,” and that I was too quick to judge my doctor’s recommendation. Most importantly, I learned that anyone can do it!