November 3, 2016

Cleveland State offers meditation sessions

By Michael DeRosa

With midterms right around the corner, the stress levels of college students have a tendency to be on the rise.

To help cope with these stress levels, Dr. Mary Hildenbrand, one of the senior psychologists at Cleveland State University, is leading a weekly meditation session to help students manage their anxiety.

“I’ve been doing this course for about eight years now,” said Hildenbrand, “Five at Case Western and three at CSU.”

According to Hildenbrand, the overall goal of the session is to have a designated space, in this case her office, where the sessions are held on campus where students can drop in once a week and learn techniques in mindfulness and meditation that they can use in their everyday lives.

“It’s a little bit different every week,” Hildenbrand said. “People can come in every week to learn techniques to help them sleep better, focus more in school, and relax. Because it’s usually easier if someone guides you through the techniques. Then you can practice them on your own.”

The sessions include a variety of relaxation exercises involving progressive muscle relaxation as well as, guided imagery, self-meditation and controlled breathing.

Katy Zeltinger, a first-year grad student at CSU, said, “I’ve only done it once, but I like it a lot.”

“It’s guided meditation,” Zeltinger said. “It takes some of the responsibility off the participant and allows you to really separate yourself from your surroundings and find a state of true relaxation.”

According to Hildenbrand, meditation is counterintuitive to a general culture where people are always multitasking and thinking about what they have to do next.

“Meditation is an active challenge to just observe your mind,” Hildenbrand said. “Your mind is still going to be busy -- you don’t have to quiet your mind -- but you can feel like you’re more in control because you’re taking a step back to just observe your surroundings.”

The sessions start at noon every week in the second floor of the Union building on Euclid Avenue and range from 30 to 45 minutes. Students are welcome to stop in.


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