Meditation benefits the body and mental health

Abelina J. Nuñez
Arts Editor

Many people benefit from the use of meditation not just to calm themselves but to be able to help their mental health. Various apps guide and ease into a specific mental space to relax the body and mind. 

According to DisturbMeNot!, the risk of being hospitalized for a coronary disease can be reduced by 87% by just meditating. It can improve anxiety and reduce waking time by 50% for people who have insomnia. In a survey of 20 people, 10 said they meditate, six are thinking about meditating, and four said no, they do not. When asked what they do to meditate, many said by focusing on their breathing, sitting alone and reflecting on their thoughts and actions, listening to music and taking deep breaths, exercising – hiking, walking, yoga, or just being outside – or using a guided meditation app. When asked if mediation has benefited them, 12 said yes while eight said they have never mediated.  

Meditation to me is finding your center point of comfort,” University of La Verne Instructor II in Modern Languages Alexander Lev-Da-Silva said. “It has helped me to focus in myself because we’re our worst critic.” 

Lev-Da-Silva said he started meditating about five years ago. For meditation, he sits cross-legged on a cushion focusing on a point on a wall for about 25 minutes and thinks about his day. He goes to Koyasan Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo every Thursday with friends to attend a class. 

“I suffered from severe anxiety and any little noise will trigger me, and I had to find a way to relax,” he said. “It took me a while, but eventually, I found out how to identify and control my triggers and my anxiety.” 

Aliyah Mosser, senior educational studies major, said she started meditating her sophomore year in college. It benefits her by allowing her to become more aware of her emotions and how they impact her day-to-day life. 

“I think it allows you to become one with your thoughts and to recognize how you feel,” she said. “You get to become more mindful of thinking about your thoughts. It’s like metacognition. You think about what you’re thinking about and how that makes you feel or how that influences your day.” 

Liyah Ferris, sophomore biology major, said her definition of meditation is surrounding yourself in a quiet, peaceful setting where you can relax and reflect. She said she usually goes to a quiet place and sits in a comfortable chair to reflect on her day or week while listening to calm music. 

“Meditation has made it easier for me to control my emotions, and it has helped me find other ways to cope with whatever I am currently struggling with,” she said. “It has provided a healthier coping mechanism.”

Ferris said she had been meditating for the past few years and started meditating to release stress and anxiety. She said it has been working effectively.

Lilly Dyer, sophomore educational studies major, said she began meditating her sophomore year of high school and recommends it to others because it is a good way to calm down from the outside world. 

“I think that meditation has benefited me because when I do it before a busy day, or at the end of a long, stressful day, it helps me to realize that whatever I’m stressed about is not that stressful or be a problem down the road,” she said. 

If you are interested in meditation or need to relieve stress or get away from society, look for a local meditation center or free classes online or use an app like Headspace, Calm or Healthy Minds Program. 

Abelina J. Nuñez can be reached at abelina.nunez@laverne.edu.

Abelina J. Nuñez, senior journalism major, is a photography editor for Campus Times and staff photographer for La Verne Magazine. She previously served as LV Life editor, arts editor social media editor and staff writer. In Fall 2023, Nuñez was La Verne Magazine's editor-in-chief and was previously a staff writer as well. Her work can be found on Instagram @abelinajnunezphoto.

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