Welcome to our special section, Thrive on Campus, devoted to covering the urgent issue of mental health among college and university students from all angles. If you are a college student, we invite you to apply to be an Editor-at-Large, or to simply contribute (please tag your pieces ThriveOnCampus). We welcome faculty, clinicians, and graduates to contribute as well. Read more here.

I let out an audible sigh as I walked into the kitchen. It was Sunday evening, spring break was over, and I had to jump back into reality. My mind and body begged for one more day, but that was one wish I would not be granted.

As I started to cook dinner, my roommate came home. She and I have a special relationship. She’s my go-to girl whenever I need to gush over meditation, yoga, and natural healing. We talk about the bigger picture and always question the world.

As she spun into the kitchen with a huge smile on her face, I couldn’t help but be annoyed. She seemed full of life and excitement. “How could she be this excited about starting class again?” I frustratedly thought.

So naturally I questioned her. And to my surprise her seemingly new found positive mindset stemmed from a documentary called Heal.

Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash

Heal follows the lives of normal people who suffered mental or physical grief and found healing in natural remedies such as meditating or sound therapy.

The way my roommate rhapsodized the film peaked my interest. So to cure my post-spring break blues, I watched the documentary. It was nothing short of inspiring.

Directed by Kelly Noonan in 2017, Heal explained the strength of the human mind. And talked about the power we have to control our lives simply by thinking positively.

The issues that crop up when someone has “mental clutter” or is harboring negative thoughts can be life altering. Noonan tracked each subject’s path to holistic healing and exposed the tangible outcomes that steamed from this seemingly “unorthodox” medicine.

But to me, nothing makes more sense than controlling your mind to create a more positive reality.

Western medicine is only a Band-Aid. For one to truly heal, he or she must control his or her mind.

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

As the credits rolled I realized I needed to make some big life changes starting with my morning routine. I deserve a happy, healthy mental state, which can only be found from holistic medicine.

Heal stresses the importance of meditation and inner reflection, something everyone should practice every morning. Starting the day with morning meditation instead of with coffee (a stimulant) and news (a depressant), is bound to create a positive mind.

The overstimulation we intake from simply watching, listening or reading the news is enough to drive anyone crazy.

When we ingest all the negative weight of world when we first wake up, we’re subconsciously setting a negative tone for the day.

Morning meditation is something I think everyone should practice. After watching Heal and reevaluating my mental state, I decided to add this into my routine. Noonan’s idea of a slow, peaceful morning have been my norm, and my mind feels more solid than it ever has.

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

Though holistic healing seems “hippie-dippie” as most people put it, it’s actually the core of who we are as humans. We are meant to live simply, eat healthily and coexist with the natural world.

I am not shaming western medicine. There is a time and pace when it does help so many people. It should not be disregarded completely, however, holistic healing isn’t as crazy as most people think.

Next time you’re having trouble sleeping, instead of taking a sleep aid try an evening meditation or a night time yoga class. Though we value brevity in the 21st century, all good things take time, and for me, with my mental health, holistic healing is the lasting antidote.

Controlling your emotions, happy and sad, is easier than you think, and the first step to a happy, healthy mind is living holistically.

Subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

More on Mental Health on Campus:

What Campus Mental Health Centers Are Doing to Keep Up With Student Need

If You’re a Student Who’s Struggling With Mental Health, These 7 Tips Will Help

The Hidden Stress of RAs in the Student Mental Health Crisis


  • Sammi Sontag

    Thrive Global Campus Editor-at-Large from University of Florida

    Sammi Sontag is a fourth year journalism major and Spanish minor at the University of Florida. Sammi is a prolific traveler and lover of language. She is passionate about the natural world and hopes to travel far and wide. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, current events, listening to podcasts, practicing yoga, cooking, and eating.