When you think of the word meditation, many people imagine an ancient monk levitating next to a river, or something to that effect. However, meditation for students is a growing trend and is nothing at all like the image you have in your head.
What exactly is meditation and how can it benefit University students?
What is Meditation?
Without going into a major spiritual and philosophical debate, the meditation we’re discussing here can be summed up as follows:
“Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.” (Source)
So, mental clarity and calm sound like a huge benefit to everyone, not just stressed-out students.
What are the Benefits to Students?
It’s worth knowing that there are various types of meditation and that it’s a learned skill, much like any sport you can think of.
One of the meditation types is called mindfulness meditation, and it encourages you to quietly observe your thoughts without getting emotionally involved or trying to label them as good or bad. This has the effect over time, of becoming more aware of your thought patterns and feelings, and can assist with emotional issues or stressors.
Another type is concentration meditation. This is a little different as you’re training your brain to be still, to focus and refocus your mind on a particular object or thought. Therefore, you’re not letting your mind wander and explore, rather you’re pulling it back to a single focus.
While these are deep topics and would benefit from further reading, the long and short of it is that these techniques produce favourable results. One article lists them as follows:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved blood circulation
- Lower heart rate
- Less perspiration
- Slower respiratory rate
- Less anxiety
- Lower blood cortisol levels
- More feelings of well-being
- Less stress
- Deeper relaxation
The great thing about meditation, especially for students, is that it costs nothing but a little time, and really doesn’t take that long – even 5 minutes a day will benefit you.
Take a look at some of these articles and see if you can find something that would work for you.