Being a college student, we often neglect to take the time to center ourselves and relax our minds and meditation is a simple way to do that. Meditation is a practice known to increase calmness, awareness, and clarity that has been recognized for years. In this article, you will find out % reasons why every college student should practice meditation.
Handling with the everyday stresses of college life takes much more of a toll on our bodies than we realize or care to acknowledge. And though it may not be a cure-all, meditation is a sure-fire way to ease your mind and your body. With many different kinds of meditation that are used to target many different emotions and thoughts, this practice bound to promote good feelings and thoughts throughout different aspects of life.
How to Meditate
Before we get into the benefits of meditation we must first discuss how to practice it. You can practice meditation anywhere and at any time, but it is best if done in a quiet place. Start by sitting, most often with legs crossed and hands placed gently on your legs with palms facing up. Start by closing your eyes and breathing slowly. Try to keep your focus on your breathing. Even if thoughts come to mind breathe them in, accept them, then let them go as you exhale and redirect your focus back to your breathing.
1. Reducing stress
The amount of stress that college students face can sometimes feel unbearable. I can understand constantly feeling like there is a lot on your plate, with classes, extracurriculars, internships/jobs, and maintaining a social life. taking some time to relax your mind can really help. Meditation is different than simply taking a break and watching your favorite show. It is work to focus and redirect your thoughts. the type of meditation that is good for relieving stress is Love and kindness meditation. I know you’re probably thinking, “what does love have to do with relieving my stress?” But this type of meditation doesn’t focus on love and kindness in a way that pertains to relationships. It focuses on simply sending love to things in your life, including your stresses. The ultimate goal is to approach everything in life, including the things that cause negative feelings with love and kindness; changing the way you see them and thus relieve the stress that they bring you. This is extremely important because stress is one of the leading causes of anxiety and depression which plagues college-age students more than any other age demographic.
2. Controlling Anxiety
As stated in the last point stress is a direct relation to anxiety. Which means controlling stress helps control anxiety. Among college students, anxiety is the leading concern plaguing 41.6 percent of the college population according to the American Psychological Association. Anxiety can rear its head in many different forms. General anxiety, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder and the five main types of anxiety. and while each of these has a spectrum of severity in many cases meditation has been proven to help. The meditation practice mainly used for anxiety is mindfulness meditation this type of meditation pushes those who practice is to remain aware and present in the current moment. Mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere at any time. It is simply the act of being aware of your surroundings and that very moment and not concentrating on past or future occurrences. This helps to take focus away from what is making you anxious and gear your focus toward being present.
3. Improving and Promoting Emotional Health
For college students, emotional health is the second most concern directly behind anxiety with depression afflicting 36.4 percent of college students according to the American Psychological Association. Meditation practices are known to help improve and promote emotional health and stability. Going back to the meditation practice of love and kindness meditation, this is proven to stimulate positive emotions, therefore, improving your overall emotional health. Projecting a feeling of love and kindness toward the things in your life that are negative helps you to look at them in a different light. Making them feel more like things that are happening for you instead of to you. By changing the way you perceive these things change the way you receive them as well. Delving deeper into love and kindness meditation, while you are sending messages of to out you almost open yourself up to receiving it in return; knowing that you are deserving of the love and joy you send out.
4. Improving Sleep
Most college students, on average, get anywhere from 6 to 6.9 hours of sleep per night. The recommended number of hours of sleep for this age demographic is 8-10. College students very rarely will regularly get that amount of sleep because of the many activities that are constantly happening in college which seems normal. But, as many know, this is extremely detrimental as college students frequently get inadequate hours of sleep to then wake up and used their brains and bodies for hours on end without the proper rest. This can cause major health problems over time and can also be linked to problems in school. This is another reason why it is beneficial for students to practice meditation. Meditation, as it helps with stress which can be linked to insomnia or sleep deprivation, also aids in better sleep habits. According to healthline.com on top of helping to relax your mind meditation can also increase melatonin and serotonin which are the hormones in your brain that regulate sleep. Meditation somewhat mimics your body’s reaction to the beginning stages of sleep meaning that over time meditation could make it easier for you you to fall asleep.
5. Lengthening Attention Span
As college students, we are constantly using our minds and having to give our attention to many different things at a time. Sitting through long and difficult classes that can undoubtedly be less than interesting it is inevitable that our minds will wander. But wandering minds can result in missed information in classes which can affect your grades, which is why it would aid college students to practice meditation. The meditation practice called focused attention meditation urges the practitioner to focus on one object or event and survey their concentration to keep their mind from wandering. Once mastered it is much easier to focus your mind on a certain thing for an ample amount of time which for college students can be projected toward their schoolwork.