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  • Ask any high schooler about the importance of the next two weeks and all you will get in response is a weak, tired smile. With finals just around the corner, students feel burdened by the intense pressure to meet and exceed all of the expectations of parents, teachers, and themselves. The frustration and desire to perform well is often accompanied by overwhelming levels of stress, pulling several all-nighters, and feelings of irritability, fatigue, and anxiety. To counteract this stress, Amador Valley High School is offering morning meditation on campus for the two weeks preceding finals and during the week of finals itself.

    This morning meditation is part of Amador’s Stress Less activities. Planned by the PTSA Wellness Committee, these events are designed to “promote mindfulness and wellness at Amador to help students stress less.” They are called the “Wellness Room,” and take place on the third Wednesday of each month during lunch. These events include Vinyasa yoga, motivational lectures by guest speakers, relaxation through art and coloring, and a “Stress Less for Success” student panel. These events encourage healthy and mindful behaviors and promote mental health and wellness for students encountering the inevitable pressures of high school.

    The morning mediation starts at 7:15 everyday and begins with a reminder about the importance of sustaining healthy practices to reap any benefit from them. Students then meditate for twenty minutes. This is followed by a five minute “integration” period during which students are encouraged to slowly slip out of the meditative state and return to the real world.

    Mr. Neil Bello, the teacher that coordinates and leads the meditation, believes that this is a profound knowledge and it is his duty to share it with all of the students on campus. His purpose behind leading this is “to provide students with a tool to deal with the stress of school, promote mindfulness, and equip them with the resources to improve their health.” He stresses that this is a form of fitness and, much like any other, can only be perfected and understood through practice and a regular schedule. He also believes that meditation is a way for students to increase the global conscience, connect to others around us, and become more empathetic.

    Meditation “has been proven to relieve the physiology of stress… [which is] the #1 factor for distraction and inefficiency in function,” states the PTSA Wellness Committee. It is a way for students to retain their focus and study efficiently. Having this skill at their disposal, students are capable of overcoming their anxiety and succeeding in all that they do!

    By: Mahika Nayak

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