Meditation is widely known for increasing self awareness, patience, creativity, and tolerance. It is one of the most useful tools for improving one’s mental well-being. For this CAS activity, I meditated for 2 months for about 10 minutes a day in order to improve my overall health. The lockdown had severely affected me, made me very irritable and short tempered and I thought taking this CAS experience would help me tackle that. I covered LO1, LO2, and LO4 in this experience.
LO 1: Identifying own strengths and develop areas for growth
I decided to take up this CAS experience specifically because I identified my weaknesses and wanted to convert them into strengths. I recognized that I was short tempered and how that was affecting me and those around me. When I first started meditating, it was particularly difficult for me to sit still in one place because I am generally a fidgety person. To overcome this issue, I started using a meditation app called HeadSpace. This app was a lifesaver, it helped me track my sessions, had guided meditations, and had a wide range of courses that I could choose from. This helped me overcome my weakness because the guide explained what I was supposed to do and I wasn’t as overwhelmed.
LO2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
The most challenging part was meditating on the days when I was angry or not in the right headspace, ironically that’s when I needed it the most. I overcame this challenge by reminding myself that I was doing this for my own mental well being and how helpful this will be for me in the long run. Like any other habit, the beginning was a little rocky because it was tough for me to sit still as I previously mentioned. I had not done anything similar in the past which is why this was new and challenging. I am glad that I took this challenge because it helped me calm down and ground myself when facing overwhelming situations. This skill will always be useful because it improves my mental well being and it is a practice that I can continue for my lifetime. Having this skill makes me feel in control, especially in control of my emotions and actions. I think this is a gateway to a healthier lifestyle.
LO4: Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
Meditation, like any habit, requires daily practice and requires perseverance. I had to commit at least 10 minutes a day to myself and meditate, which was difficult on days with a tight schedule. It is quite easy for me to commit to things because I don’t like to leave things incomplete. I tend to find ways or tricks that help me stay focused on my goal. For example, in this experience, I accommodate a specific time slot for meditation in my daily routine, this way I had to meditate in order to move on to the next task. There were days where I couldn’t meditate but I was quite consistent overall. I think that showing perseverance and commitment is the key to success, if you want to achieve something then you need to give it the time and energy that it requires.
The learner profile attributes I developed through this experience were reflective and balanced. Reflective because every time I meditated, I gave myself time to reflect over my actions throughout the day and contemplate how I could improve and become a better person the next day. I was a balanced learner because I had to take out time for meditation irrespective of the amount of workload I had, I learned how to give time to academics and my well-being (both physically and mentally). The highlight of this experience was being able to see an improvement in my mood and productivity just after a few weeks. This gave me a sense of accomplishment and made me want to keep doing this practice everyday. From this experience, I learned that it is very important to take time for yourself and be alone with yourself. We tend to distract ourselves from what we’re feeling by avoiding alone time which can be detrimental in the long run. This CAS experience helped me a lot and I will continue meditating in the future.