Seven Tips for Centering Yourself and Reducing Stress
From the staff of the Charles P. Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life
1. Utilize one of the four great meditation spaces around campus for a 5-minute “sit” to settle your mind, or try some yoga stretches!
• The Meditation Room at the Scott Center in Hathaway House, 135 South Main St.
• The Sanctuary Room at the Anderson Freeman Resource Center
• The McCullough Reflection space – 3rd floor, up the staircase opposite the Grille
• The Unplug and Recharge room at the Davis Library: http://sites.middlebury.edu/lis/2016/10/10/this-way-to-the-unplug-and-recharge-room
2. Keep a small bell around your study area. Before you begin studying, pause to ring the bell, gently, and simply wait until the sound dissipates entirely. The sound of a bell is known to have a physiological effect that reduces stress. Periodically throughout your study time, or whenever you feel tension rising or tiredness setting in, pause again to ring the bell, wait for the length of the sound, and return to your work a little bit more refreshed and re-centered. Here is a useful link if you’d like to learn more: http://www.delamora.life/sound-therapy/the-gong-instrument
3. Grounding: begin by feeling your feet connected to the earth/floor. Next, feel your body’s weight being fully supported by your chair. Lastly, take deep slow breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
4. Take a Walk on the TAM (Trail Around Middlebury)! Here’s the trail map: http://www.maltvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/TAMMAP20131.pdf
5. Visit the The Knoll, sit on the stone bench blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his 2012 visit, walk the labyrinth, and contemplate the blessings we have just by living in such a beautiful place.
6. Try some meditative movement practices. When we are busy studying, we often get tense muscles in our necks and shoulder. Or we start to feel problems from so much typing and mousing that can lead to repetitive stress syndrome. Watch Ten Mindful Movements by Thich Nhat Hahn here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqiM39HlexQ
7. Designate one walking route a day, between your residence hall and a class, for instance, as a mindful walk. Do not text, talk on the phone, or even listen to music during that walk. Instead, try to pay full attention to everything around you–from the temperature of the air, to the sound of the birds, to the pressure of your feet hitting the ground.