Destress and Get Productive

Ava Spolec, IV Leader Columnist

I have always struggled with deciding what is a good use of my time. Our lives feel endless to us, but there comes a point where we do end. To be granted the gifts of health, an environment that provides free schooling to many, friends and family, reliable hospitals, and safe streets,
I wonder, “what do I do with all this wonderful life?”

With all these abilities and oppor- tunities that are nestled in our coun- try, a country that is much safer than other parts of the world struggling with proxy warfare or starvation, we tend to use our safety to our own disadvantage. We do this by taking things for granted.

We also do this by piling our plates too high. We pile our plates with plans we might not even want, stress-inducing job environments, or pages of homework for a subject we just can’t stand. Sometimes these are commitments a person must dedi- cate themselves to for reaching their future goals in life. Sometimes one just puts oneself through unneces- sary stress.

A good use of time is something that reduces these stressful situations. It is important to reduce your stress in lively ways. One of the simplest forms of this relief is reminding yourself
of your breath. To enjoy this natural stress reducer, you can just sit down and breathe.

To be alive is to keep breathing. Feeling the importance of our living breath reminds us of our life. In Tai Chi, a martial art that originated in China, your breath is called your life force energy. Consciously breathing is called “feeling your chi.” This is the core of meditation.

Meditation is a common way of letting yourself feel the satisfaction of each breath. Sit up. Sit down. Close your eyes. Open them. Stay however you feel most comfortable while slowly and deeply breathing, focusing on the breath and its relief.

We all pile the plates very high but, during this dedicated time for breathing, we remove everything from the plate. Once we feel the ease of this stress reliever called breathing, inside all of us lively beings, the plate of responsibilities and requirements is empty for a time.

This life we live is packed with never-ending chaos. It never ends un- til you stop feeling; it’s all there is to know. However, inside us all is a safe and comfortable place. To question whether you are spending your time wisely or not is not the important question. To solve your stress wisely is an important answer.

Next time you and your mind feel quiet, let yourself dive deeper into relaxation. For some, this meditation will feel like the hardest practice they have ever tried. Yet, everyone has the full potential to soak into their own relaxation. All it takes is dedication and focus.

Dedication and focus are two traits so deeply rooted inside the very stressed people who pile their plates so high. Anything is possible with fo- cus. Why not practice? Why not daily try to breathe consciously? Every single day of life is a dif- ferent song, and in between lyrics, breaths are always necessary. Take your time to relish in your breath while it still flows through you.