Have you ever tried meditation? I’ve participated in a few group meditation sessions over the past few years, but I’ve never really given it the dedication that it requires. For me, it’s always been one of those things that seems so easy – relax, breathe, clear your mind – but in practice it is a real struggle. Maybe it’s just because “meditation” sounds so serious to me that I have a tough time getting into it. I’ve done yoga quite a bit, however, and from that I know that having some time to just relax my body and mind can really help me gain perspective on the stressful aspects of my life. The great thing about meditation, though, is that you don’t need all the equipment that yoga requires; you can meditate at home, on the bus, or anywhere else you can calm your mind for a few minutes or more.
But why meditate at all? Well, besides the reprieve from all the things that may be weighing on your mind, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health recently released a report stating that “mindfulness-based cognitive therapy – using meditation – provides equivalent protection against depressive relapse as traditional antidepressant medication.” Whether you have experienced depressive symptoms in the past, are currently experiencing them, or are not experiencing any at all, it seems that meditation can truly offer powerful relief to the mind.
For meditation resources at UBC, Counselling Services offers weekly meditation sessions during the school year and the UBC Meditation Community hosts drop-in sessions in quiet spaces on campus throughout the year.