Meditation group on campus helps students manage stress

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     The TCU Counseling and Mental Health Center is helping students manage their stress and anxiety through a meditation group on campus.

    The program, called Mindfulness Meditation Group for Stress, Anxiety, and Sleep, meets once a week for five weeks to learn how to effectively meditate.

    Psychology Today defines meditation as the practice of turning your attention to a single point of reference. Meditation can involve focusing on the breath and or bodily sensations. Also, meditation does not have to be a religious experience.

    The practice of meditation means turning your attention away from distracting thoughts and focusing on the present moment, according to Psychology Today.

    Michael Hernandez, a junior math and physics double major, said he experiences stress frequently as a student and had no idea that there was a meditation group on campus.

    “I think it’s a pretty cool idea,” Hernandez said. “The fact that [meditation] seems calming and soothing and it gets your mind in the right place.”

    Dr. Matthew Johnson, a licensed professional counselor, leads the meditation group at TCU. Johnson said the focus of the group is to teach students different types of meditation that will help with stress, anxiety and sleep.

    The group has as many as 10 people and students go through a pre-interview before joining the meditation group, he said.

    “It’s a life skill that anyone can do and learn,” Johnson said. “It’s also a chance to learn from someone who has experience in meditation.”

    Jennifer Guest, a studio art graduate student, is a member of the meditation group. As a graduate student she said she experiences stress and has trouble sleeping.

    “I’m trying to find a way to be more mindful about everything and let negative thoughts go,” she said.

    Guest said her first time with the meditation group was a lot more fun than she thought it would be.

    “It’s definitely more playful than you think it’s going to be,” Guest said. “I think that helps you to realize that meditation isn’t something that doesn’t have to be taken with dire seriousness and that other things in life are probably similar.”

    For more information about the meditation group contact the Counseling & Mental Health Center.