As we head into one of the more stressful points of the semester – finals week – the staff at the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life offers some helpful advice for students.

Six Tips for Centering Yourself and Reducing Stress During Final Exams

Utilize one of the three great meditation spaces around campus for a 5-minute “sit” to settle your mind, or try some yoga stretches!

  • 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

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.

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.

Walk on the TAM (Trail Around Middlebury): Here’s the trail map and the website.

Visit the Organic Farm: Sit on the stone bench blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his trip to campus in 2012 and contemplate the blessings we have just by living in such a beautiful place.

Get the kinks out of your body and brain: 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. Here are a couple (of many) examples of meditative movement practices to help you get the kinks out:

    by Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh

  • Whole Body Intelligence with Qi Gong