Swift Serenity: Six minutes of introspection that will change your lifestyle completely

Skye J. Lyon

Let go of your excess baggage. There is no place for that in academia.

It can be traumatizing enough to feel as though we float through the days, weeks, and countless years – unaware that the world around us can collapse and we wouldn’t have the slightest care.

Being jaded is the life of a student.

Detachment can seem as the only valid action to protect yourself from unwarranted disappointment.

But even through the toils of young adulthood, there are simple adjustments that can be made to improve spiritual and mental wellbeing in your day-to-day scene.

If your class schedule allots and you have six minutes to spare, a mindful breathing exercise will do the trick.

First and foremost, find a peaceful location that best suits you. Your escape could be at Interzone, in between the silent shelves of the library, or on the plush field that rests on the corner of 11th and Jefferson.

Take a seat and relax your body. Be still. Pretend as though your skin is slowly coming undone and melting in a pool around you.

Close your eyes. However, if you feel like keeping them slightly open, fix your gaze on an inanimate object that is laying directly in front of you. The aim of this exercise is to keep your mind aware, yet, your physical being enveloped in sweet serenity.

For two minutes, focus solely on your breathing.

Inhale through your nose for three seconds. Exhale through your nose for six seconds. How does the air feel moving through your chest? Are the channels being blocked? For an added challenge, ground your cognizance in empty thought. Sensationalize and conceptualize only your breath.

After those two minutes are through, shift your attention to the rest of your body. Move your breath from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Be mindful of your breathing through all of your extremities. Is the energy flowing clearly throughout? Simmer in this phase and subtly feel a shift in your minor movements.

Lastly, your final two minutes will be focused on the touch, smell, and sound in the current space you are infused into. Perform the same three / six interval breathing while doing so. How do these sensations effect you? Are they helping or inhibiting your practice? Why or why not?

Now, open your eyes.

Savor your mental state.

Once more, breathe in deeply through your nose, and now, with rapture, exhale through your mouth expelling all the negative energy that has been bottled up inside. Do this three times to close off your session.

I conclude, leaving you with this final note:

Be proud of all that you have accomplished. Your existence has touched so many lives around you, some you may even be unaware of. In the end, even the smallest of achievements should be actively celebrated amongst those you love and profoundly care for.

As soon as you relinquish the power you give your various anxieties, you liberate a part of yourself that has been inadvertently repressed longer than you possibly realized.

The opinions expressed in Lyon’s column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Barometer staff.

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