Meditating Away With Yoga

It’s that time in the semester where midterms and exams are starting to take place. Along with that may come stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues on the rise. Students may look for ways to calm their nerves and have their mind at peace during a heavy workload. An article from shares how in the midst of mental awareness week at Syracuse University, students are embarking on yoga to help them meditate and find peace within themselves. This yoga event was a way for students to come together and escape from their chaotic schedule of school, work, etc.

While being in college, yoga is a great way to not only exercise but also to free your mind, de-stress, and stay grounded during tough times. Students can set aside anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes to an hour of their day to practice yoga at their own convenience (in their dorm rooms or any quiet open space).

As I’ve listed how reading can help improve your mental health, so can yoga. Not only are you able to get a workout in, but you’re also finding ways to alleviate your mind from any negative thoughts or problems you may be dwelling on in the time being. Yoga Journal and Power Yoga looks at the impact that yoga has on mental health. It can help ease symptoms of mental health conditions, while providing benefits to our overall well-being. It provides a deeper connection between the mind to body through the different yoga techniques. Some ways that yoga has been shown to improve and benefit mental health are by:

1. Reducing depression and anxiety: Through yoga, self-awareness is developed where we are able to focus on the emotions and moods that we are feeling such as negativity, dwelling, etc. One that is experiencing anxiety may have tightness in their chest and sweaty palms, all which can be reduced during yoga by focusing on our breathing. Yoga works to slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure while increasing brain activity.

2.  Building self-awareness: As mentioned earlier, yoga can help one become more centered and focused on themselves. It allows people to get to learn more about themselves, in and out while appreciating the qualities that they have to offer. By practicing this, you are able to build upon your confidence, which can build self-trust.

3.  Improving romantic relationships: When you’re more comfortable and centered with yourself, your energy will be transferred to others around you – this creating a positive affect. By practicing peace and being centered through yoga, you learn to be compassionate with your partner. Your mood and outlook will reflect onto them.

4.  Reducing stress:  Our stress is “tamed” and calmed down through using different yoga techniques, which helps out with our nervous system. The reduction of stress is set in place, as our cortisol (stress hormone) levels are decreased.

5. Conquering trauma: Through traumatic experiences, our mind can lead to fear, which can ultimately lead to a complete shutdown. Yoga instills individuals who have experienced  trauma to relearn how to manage thoughts of fear through the mind and body to a more healthier mindset.

Yoga With Adriene on YouTube demonstrates a 15 minute practice of  “Yoga For Depression” on how to manage, balance, and ease the body through different yoga techniques. Check it out here below!


The Importance of Self-love

What do you prioritize the most? Within the hustle of a struggling, young adult who is just trying to graduate, some may say their grades, jobs, deadlines, making time for friends and/or significant others is their main priorities – which can sometimes lead us to putting ourselves last. With everything piling up, where do we find the time to put ourselves first?

We try to make time for everything but ourselves, which can be daunting to our mental health.  An article from The Wittenberg Torch states how an Ohio State student had committed suicide by throwing themselves off of a parking garage, only several weeks into this year’s school semester. This would then initiate a movement and outrage of prioritizing mental health on campuses.

As we focus on what we should prioritize and focus on, that brings up the topic “self-love.” Why is it so important? As you may know self-love goes hand-in-hand with our self-esteem. The National Alliance on Mental Illnesses explains why self-esteem is so important for mental health. Low self-esteem can be linked to mental health issues and affect us in ways that we may not even recognize such as poor relationships, addiction, and depression and anxiety.

I (as well as I’m sure of many others) can testify that when I’m not feeling my best self or 100% confident, my whole world seems to slowly catch onto the negative energy, which then seems to bring everything else down around me. Like how J.Cole says,  “love yours,” it is important to do just that in reference to appreciating what you have, even when times are rough and you’re feeling down. Know that you are enough and worth it.

Talkspace as well as Heart and Moxies provides ways on improving body image, confidence,  and mental health. Here I list ways that help me practice self-love:


  • Remind yourself that you are enough: When you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and tell yourself what you love most about you. It may seem silly or weird to some, but it doesn’t hurt to try it. As much as we may focus on the negative and get wrapped around those thoughts, it’s also very important to focus on what you love – what makes you special. This exercise helped me build my confidence in high school. I would look at myself in the mirror everyday and give myself a pep talk around the lines of “you are beautiful, you got this, you can accomplish anything you want.” Saying these positive lines and putting it out into the universe actually can make a huge difference in your day, with improving your mood and creating a healthy mindset.


  • Take a break from social media: This is an important one for my generation. In this era, we are constantly comparing ourselves to the next person, especially from what we see on each others social media apps. We have the outlet to showcase our lives in a light that may seem perfect than what it really is. Seeing this constantly on a daily basis can sometimes put a dent on our self-esteem, whether we realize it or not. If you have to, take some time away from social media. Put the phone down for a couple hours and find a hobby that will benefit you. Sometimes even deleting certain apps that consume a large amount of our time (such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.) can be beneficial and clear your mind out. This is what some may call taking a “social media cleanse”. In my own experience of deactivating Instagram for pretty much the whole year, I felt a significant relief within my life. I didn’t feel drained anymore and felt free from toxic influences.


  • Tell yourself what you’re thankful for: Everyday, name five things that you’re thankful or blessed for. It doesn’t matter how small it may seem. Appreciating and understanding the value of gratitude, can put a lighter touch on your heart. There are many things that we may overlook and take for granted.


  • Don’t compare yourself to others: This ties in with taking a break from social media. It’s hard for us to not compare ourselves to the next person, but it’s also important to remember that there is no one else like us and we should use that to our power. Learn to appreciate all of your attributes and characteristics that you offer. One’s life may seem great compared to yours, but we do not know what they may truly be going through behind closed doors. We only see so much and they only choose to expose happy and positive moments, but leave out everything else. Focus on you and do not let the lives or thoughts of others get in your way.


Here below is a video presented by Leo from on the concept of self-esteem and working on ourselves. I highly recommend to check it out.

*If you are having thoughts of suicide please contact 1-800-273-8255 or visit