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Five ways to fend off stress from UofGH instructor Dileeni Weerasinghe

Dileeni Weerasinghe

I now handle stress in a positive way."

It was through the practice of meditation and mindfulness that Dileeni Weerasinghe, an instructor with the Business program at University of Guelph-Humber, says she was able to find balance in life.

Seventeen years ago, Weerasinghe noticed the debilitating migraine headaches that had been part of her life had become even more severe.

At her mother’s urging, Weerasinghe decided to give meditation a shot. She combined the practice along with other lifestyle changes including incorporating a daily regimen of exercise and healthy eating habits.

The result? The headaches disappeared. The UofGH faculty said with the practice of meditation, she was also able to embrace a new mindset that now allows her to deal with the ups and downs of life with a sense of calm acceptance.

Weerasinghe credits the body and mind approach for her overall wellbeing.

“I now handle my stress in a positive way,” she said. “By practising meditation, I have learned, nothing is permanent, whether it’s the stress of a relationship, money, job, exams or life, everything will pass. The key is to be in the present moment. It’s not easy, but the more you practise meditation, the easier it gets.”

In 2000, she received her first meditation lesson from a Burmese nun who was visiting Toronto. Following that session, Weerasinghe enrolled in a 10-day wellness retreat in Montreal. Now, she incorporates the technique of mindfulness as part of a daily routine.

Whenever her students exhibit signs of stress, particularly before a presentation or exam, Weerasinghe is known to advise them to take deep breaths and direct their entire focus on the mechanism of breathing in and out.

Weerasinghe’s five rules for life:

1) Be “here and now” in the present moment

2) When your mind’s racing a mile a minute or you’re feeling anxious, focus on your breathing

3) “Letting go” because you can’t change the outcome by worrying about it

4) Learn to forgive

5) Look within yourself rather than blame others