Posts Tagged 'stress management'

Mindfulness Meditation

I hope this week finds all of you in a peaceful, calm, and relaxed state of mind. I am anything but all of these right now! I am moving to a new apartment today, and it’s only a block away from where I was living. Needless to say, my day is a little hectic! So even if you are finding yourself in the midst of some crazy life change like me or just any old stressful day, week, or month, I’d like to remind you it will all be okay. But make sure you’re taking some proactive steps to help yourself along the way to a relaxed mind so you don’t get too stressed out. We’re lucky here at Marquette because we have lots of great resources to help you work towards a life of wellness.

One of these great resources is the free Mindfulness Meditation sessions that are held every week. Now I’ve definitely heard it before. “How is sitting there in silence and meditating going to help me?” And I have definitely been skeptical about it before, but this year I was given the opportunity and motivation to have a new experience with meditation. This past spring semester I took Theology 2310 – Explorations in Christian Theology with Dr. Nussberger. In this class we were assigned a project to spend half of the semester regularly performing or participating in any kind of prayer practice. I chose to do at least 10 to 15 minutes of meditation daily for the remainder of the semester. I did a quiet meditation where I focused solely on my breathing, allowing all of my other thoughts to escape my mind. And while this was not always an easy task with my crazy-busy, racing mind, it was well worth it in the end.

I could not believe what just a few minutes of silence could do for me. Letting myself turn off my brain from all of my worries and everything on my to-do list. Before my quiet meditation days I never realized just how necessary it is to give all of your body a break: yes, including your brain! Now, if you’re unsure how to get started on meditation, let’s backtrack to the Mindfulness Meditation classes that I mentioned. There’s just a few more weeks left of the summer session, so get started on your meditation now! Join this week’s Mindfulness Meditation on Wednesday from 12:15 to 1 in AMU 233. If you end up loving the Mindfulness Meditation, don’t worry that the summer session is almost over, we will surely be back with another session this fall! Mindfulness is just one step in the direction of living a life of wellness, but being mindful in your everyday decisions on nutrition, exercise, and a well mind are the key to overall well-being. Meditation is a great way to achieve a new level of mindfulness.

Hopefully discovering Mindfulness Meditation will allow you to find yourself in a new, relaxed and peaceful state of mind despite whatever craziness is going on in your life, just like it did for me. Happy meditating!

Alicia Diedrich

How pets can make you happy and healthy

petsI cannot stress enough how much I would love to have about 20 dogs and 15 other animals living with me. Unfortunately, I live in a tiny little studio apartment, and I am only allowed to have fish. Maybe in a different lifetime this crazy dream of mine will come true. One can only hope.

While you do not need to be as crazy about animals (especially dogs) as I am, having even one pet will add something to your life you never knew was missing in the first place. Although, I have always had a pet at home since the day I was born, I know what it is like to live with and without pets, and my life is always better when there’s an animal in it. One thing for sure is that they make me a happier and healthier person.

One of the best benefits of owning a pet are the social and emotional benefits. While you can’t really take a cat or a fish to a park to socialize like you can with dogs, each pet will bring its’ own benefits to you. And with the recent emerging of things like cat cafes, there are options for you to get out in the world and socialize with a cat as well. I don’t think I can say the same thing for fish… yet. Along with improving your social life, pets can improve your overall mood and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Having my fish around my apartment definitely does help put me in a better mood. Another great thing about having a furry companion around is that they will encourage you to be more active. You can go for walks, hikes, runs, or bike rides (if you’re brave enough), my dog and cat will even do yoga with me when I go home to visit. Sadly, I haven’t yet been able to get my fish to do yoga with me. 

Having a family pet will put everyone in happier and healthier state of mind, and is a great step towards living a life of wellness. You can find more information on how pets will make you a healthier person here. If you decide that you want a pet, make sure you do your research on how to care for your new friend because they aren’t always easy, but they are always worth it.

Alicia Diedrich


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