For many students, college seems like a world of late-night parties, endless deadlines, classes that stretch on and sleepless nights that seem difficult to alleviate. However, this doesn’t need to become a reality for those who wish to inculcate a sense of balance in their lives. College is a wonderful opportunity to explore new and healthy ways of living a mindful lifestyle, something that most students may not have experienced at home. And one of the best ways students can embrace this change is to connect with themselves through the practice of meditation.
Why should students practice meditation?
The pressure of studying, campus life, searching for the right career path plus the innate sense of finding your own purpose in life is high when students graduate from high school and step into college. As life starts to pick up the pace, it is but natural for students to feel a sense of overwhelm as the world around them changes continuously. But instead of fretting and caving under the pressure, it can be a great opportunity for them to seek their Zen.
Zen is a mind-body practice that comes from Chinese Buddhism and is a blanket term used to explain a general sense of physical and mental balance. But the idea puts emphasis on meditation, personal insight and expression for overall mental, emotional and physical growth. Research has shown meditation to be beneficial for the development of brain structures that handle attention, learning and emotion. This means those who meditate can train their mind to have sharper concentration, better memory, relieve stress and improve their overall mental health.
Instead of letting the external factors affect our innermost sensations, we should slow down and appreciate the small moments in life. As Buddhist monk and meditation master Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize.” When times turn tough, it’s hard to remain focused but meditation helps you not sit in silence but to sit in awareness, training your mind to eliminate distraction and realize with a clear understanding the connection between your mind, body and soul.
How does meditation benefit students?
Meditation helps you embrace the idea of being still and accepting what is happening around us. This trains the mind and body to be more focused and feel less anxious. It also helps us sharpen our memory and increase our patience. For students, meditation can help them study efficiently, improve memory recall and decrease the stress of exams, tests and the pressure of getting good grades.
One Harvard study has shown that participants who practiced meditation for 15 minutes daily over an eight-week period rose above with lowered blood pressure. MRI scans have shown how meditation changes the physical structure of the brain. It improves how our minds process information and progressively shrinks the brain’s “fight or flight” center, the amygdala.
Meditation also affects the pre-frontal cortex, a part of the brain that implicates decision making and concentration. By thickening the pre-frontal cortex, our brain becomes less reactive and more focused. This is especially crucial for college students who live under the constant pressure of staying connected and processing perpetual information.
Some of the key benefits of meditation for students include:
Mindfulness meditation improves our ability to cope with stress and gives our battery time to recharge. By practicing meditation daily, students can develop an inner connection that helps them find a place of peace and serenity when faced with stressful situations.
Concentration is one of the most important skills a student needs to develop. Guided meditations can help increase your focus and bring your attention to the present moment. Meditation helps you connect with your breath, which disciplines the mind to focus on one activity at a time. While it may take some time to mentally declutter and find a path towards peace, concentrating on the here and now can enhance attention span.
This brilliant meditation for concentration can be done anywhere and at any time.
At an age where our lives are just unravelling around us, it is extremely important to nurture skills that help develop our personality. Meditating daily has proven to promote creativity, improve levels of happiness and inculcate peace of mind. These factors help balance and improve our emotional health. Students in particular, should practice mindfulness to overcome their fear of now. By acknowledging and understanding our present feelings and emotions and working directly with them, we develop a mindset for positivity and success.
There is concrete evidence that meditation helps with sleep quality and can treat insomnia effectively. Students, who often have a difficult time sleeping thanks to their minds always being overstimulated, can benefit from meditation by training their mind and body to disconnect from the chaos of college life.
Guided meditation for students
Students, regardless of how prepared they are, worry about exams their corresponding results. This increases negative energy and anxiety in the mind and body, making students perform poorly even after knowing their material well. The pressure of receiving disappointing results instils a sense of doom that can be combatted through meditation.
Meditation helps create space in the mind and renews your confidence in yourself. Students developed a more balanced view of life and can handle the process of preparing for exams better.
If you’re interested in learning how student meditation works, we recommend starting with this guided meditation by Vidisha Kaushal.
We also have an array of thoughtful meditations to help develop focus and concentration by Vidisha Kaushal on our app.
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