- What is meditation
- The benefits of meditation for students
Before we go into the details of the benefits of meditation for students we must understand what meditation is.
Meditation can be defined as the process that involves techniques and methods to improve the focus and attention of an individual.
Apart from improved focus, meditation is also proven to have beneficial effects on the physical and mental well-being of an individual.
When we co-relate this definition of meditation to students, we get similar benefits and results.
The question is – Is meditation good for students? The answer is in the affirmative. So let’s look at how meditation helps students.
15 Fantastic Benefits of Meditation For Students
1. Increased Levels of Creativity
Meditation has proven to increase levels of thinking and creativity amongst students. A study in 2004 conducted by Marish University of Management and published in a press release, stated that the students’ intelligence and creativity improved as a result of transcendental meditation.
The publication further stated that students who were exposed to transcendental meditation techniques showed significant improvement in cognitive functions. It increased brain creativity by a significant level.
2. Improves Focus, Attention and Awareness
The technique of meditation involves concentration on the breathing process. The more you concentrate on breathing, the less distracted your mind gets.
With increased mediation the more power, you get to focus. This power of focus and attention can be used while studying and attending lectures.
3. Diminishes the Levels of Stress and Anxiety
One of the benefits of meditation for students is that it reduces the levels of stress and anxiety especially during stressful times in school or college.
A research study conducted by Southern Illinois University stated that the Deep Breathing Meditation technique was successfully implemented each academic year, and it provided students with a promising solution for meeting challenging academic and professional situations.
It was also concluded that it is not enough to lecture students about stress management strategies during orientation or as an isolated unit.
Rather, students must be provided with regular opportunities to develop and practice a strategy as it takes time to abandon an ineffective behavior and replace it with a behavior that is empowering.
There were significant behavior changes that occurred when students were given a continuous opportunity to practice a 5-min stress reduction technique meant to reduce the physiological and psychological effects that can be associated with academic stress.
The Deep Breathing Meditation or DBM course component allowed students, to acquire and utilize a coping mechanism to call on as stressful situations occurred and triggered the fight or flight response, a common human phenomenon.
Nervousness during exams is not an uncommon phenomena. Many students experience nervousness before exams and while writing exams.
It is not a feeling that is experienced only by students who are not prepared or have not studied. Even students who have prepared well can experience nervousness.
Meditation helps to calm the mind and body during examinations. Deep breathing exercises and relaxation of the mind can go a long way to help students fight exam anxiety and nervousness.
A study and research conducted by US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health concluded that students experienced a reduction in stress and anxiety levels after completing a six-week yoga and meditation program preceding final examinations.
Results suggest that adopting a mindfulness practice for as little as once per week may reduce stress and anxiety in college students.
4. Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
Meditation is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. A research conducted and published in the US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health has stated that Meditation is believed to be efficacious in reducing sympathetic activity, lowering cortisol levels via modulation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal pathway, and reducing negative behavioral activity.
Studies have shown that in addition to decreasing CV mortality, the beneficial effects of meditation improve conditions such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and high cortisol levels.
5. Meditation and Cheerfulness
A research paper published in the Art of Living Website suggests a remarkable range of results in meditation practitioners,” including:
A high level of activity in the parts of the brain that help to form positive emotions, such as: happiness, joy, and self-control, and a decreased level of activity in the parts of the brain associated with negative emotions like depression, self-centeredness, and lack of happiness.
Additionally there was a calming of the area of the brain that triggers fear and anger as well as a change in the section of the brain that controls the ability to reach a state of inner peace even when facing extremely disturbing circumstances.
6. Emotional Health
There are two components of health, that is physical well-being and emotional well-being.
The physical well-being of a person refers to the overall physical health of a person whereas emotional wellbeing is the mental state of the mental well-being of a person.
One of the ways how meditation helps students is that it provides emotional well-being to students. As discussed above, meditation is a technique that trains your mind to focus.
When your brain focuses on one particular thing, it can shut out all other thoughts that may come to mind. Therefore, being able to cut off all disturbing or negative thoughts leads to emotional stability in a student.
As a student, you may be exposed to a lot of stress. The stress may be due to academic-related or family-related stress.
During these times, meditation techniques can help to lower the levels of stress and thereby guarantee emotional well-being.
Engaging in meditation can help reduce depression amongst students. Depression is a common occurrence today.
Due to the high levels of competition, stress levels and depression for students may set in. Meditation can relieve this stress and reduce depression to a great extent.
According to an article published in Harvard Health Publishing; Harvard Medical School, scientists have shown that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) becomes hyperactive in depressed people.
The mPFC is where you process information about yourself, such as worrying about the future and ruminating about the past.
When people get stressed about life, the mPFC goes into overdrive. According to Dr. John W. Denninger, director of research at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, “Meditation trains the brain to achieve sustained focus, and to return to that focus when negative thinking, emotions, and physical sensations intrude — which happens a lot when you feel stressed and anxious.”
Research over the years has shown the positive effects of meditation on the brain.
- Meditation increases brain size
- Enables whole brain synchronization
- Balances brain hemispheres
- Increases IQ level
Intermittent meditation and deep breathing techniques can increase your brain power, IG, memory and focus.
8. Improves Self-Confidence
Meditation for students is beneficial because it helps to improve self-confidence. As discussed above, practicing mediation techniques can help to minimise negative thoughts in your brain.
Lack of self-confidence and fear are all negative thoughts about yourself. Practicing meditation, therefore, can help to remove these negative thoughts from your mind and help you to build your self-confidence.
9. Reduces Addictive Behaviour
When you ask the question, what are the benefits of meditation for students? We can confidently say that one of the benefits of meditation for students is that it reduces the chances of addictive behaviour amongst the youth of today.
Today, the youth or students are exposed to a lot of vices. Smoking, drinking, drugs and other vices are rampant in today’s society.
Keeping yourself away from these vices is very important. One of the best ways to keep yourself away from these bad practices is through the practice of meditation. As meditation enables you to focus, it keeps negative thoughts and desires at bay.
10. Improves sleep
One of the ways how meditation helps students is that it improves the sleep pattern and cycle of the students.
The importance of sleep for students cannot be undermined. However, many students may suffer from insomnia for various reasons.
It may be due to anxiety, stress or an inherent genetic problem. It is important to treat insomnia in students before it harms the health of students.
According to an article published in the US Library of Science, National Institute of Health, meditation improves sleep in chronic insomnia.
The research-based publication stated that Chronic insomnia is characterized by disturbed sleep that occurs despite adequate opportunity and circumstances to sleep.
There may also be difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep and/or waking up too early in the morning. Research candidates received guided relaxation and meditation sessions along with an audio file.
It was found that heartfulness meditation significantly improved insomnia scores in patients with chronic insomnia.
It appears to be easily incorporated into the patient’s lifestyle, is cost-effective, and requires no special equipment.
11. Improves Creativity Amongst Students
Relaxation techniques such as meditation can work wonders on the creativity of the mind. This is because meditation relaxes your mind and body while removing all negative or wandering thoughts.
This gives ample time for your mind and brain to focus on essential thoughts. Meditation speeds up brain activity and allows it to focus on innovative and creative thoughts.
Meditation for students can significantly improve creativity and artistry amongst students.
12. Overall Physical Health Benefits
The importance of medication for students can be seen in the fact that it improves overall physical health too, over and above improvement in mental well-being.
You may ask, how meditation helps students’ physical health? Well, studies have shown that meditation techniques have lowered the blood pressure in students suffering from hypertension.
13. Social Skills Improvement
Another benefit of meditation for students is that it improves social skills. Students who meditate are able to interact better with peers and outsiders.
Research conducted and published in ResearchGate, mindfulness meditation may lessen anxiety, promote social skills, and improve academic performance among adolescents.
The content analysis of the research responses indicated improvement in interpersonal relations in 100% of participants, demonstrating a positive effect of meditation training on social functioning.
14. Improves Memory Power
Meditation improves memory power for students as it helps students to focus. When students can focus better, the retention power or memory also simultaneously improves because you can cut out other wandering thoughts from the mind.
As a student, improving memory is important because it has a direct impact on your academics. Therefore, one of the greatest benefits of meditation for students is that it improves memory power.
15. Develops Compassion Amongst Students
Students who meditate are a lot calmer than friends and peers who do not. A calm person shows more compassion, feeling and empathy towards others.
Meditation is a vital way to purify the mind and rejuvenate the body. Always remember, when you own your breath, no one can steal your peace and meditation is one of the ways of owning your breath. Meditation is to the mind what exercise is to the body.