There are numerous benefits to meditation but today let’s focus on the benefits of meditation for college students. I have compiled all the benefits that I experienced once I added meditation to my daily regimen.
I should warn you though, that meditation is not a Band-Aid. If you want to enjoy the benefits you need to do it every day. Yes, every day. Once you do, your college life will seem a lot less stressful, you’ll see.
Table of Contents
As a college student, I know firsthand how stressful college is. Huge workloads, uncooperative group members, hard classes, and tight deadlines. It can often feel overwhelming and unmanageable.
Normally, mental and physical stress cause increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This produces many of the harmful effects of stress, such as the release of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines.
These effects can disrupt sleep, promote depression and anxiety, increase blood pressure, and contribute to fatigue and cloudy thinking.
2. Imagination & Creativity
College students are constantly tasked with assignments that require out-of-the-box creative thinking and coming up with innovative solutions which can all be improved through meditation.
According to research, Mindfulness mediation works to enhance creativity and innovation. Many executives have taken up meditation because they find it helps them switch gears when stress piles up.
Research shows that mindfulness meditation can have many positive effects on workplace outcomes.
Wow, I can relate to this one very deeply.
I have really bad anxiety. I get anxious over pretty much everything but meditation has been really helping along with being organized and prioritizing.
Meditation can reduce stress levels, which translates to less anxiety. A meta-analysis including nearly 1,300 adults found that meditation may decrease anxiety. Notably, this effect was strongest in those with the highest levels of anxiety.
4. Patience and tolerance
As college students, we often have to collaborate. It is part and parcel of the curriculum. One of the things that are also part of it is uncooperative group members.
It is for them that you need all the patience you can master and then some. This is where mindfulness meditation comes in.
Patience and tolerance go hand in hand as far as group work is concerned. There will be people who look and think differently from you and you will need to be tolerant of their differing opinions.
Tolerance involves a mixture of patience and understanding, and it’s a useful quality in relationships, jobs, and difficult situations.
As you continue to practice meditation on a regular basis, your tolerance to stress, frustration, and challenging situations will all grow.
Meditation teaches you to clear your mind of the negative thoughts that tend to run through your mind on a cyclical loop each day and focus more on the present, letting go of past frustrations and future anxieties.
The more you meditate, the more resilient and patient you will be when you face a crisis. You will discover that what used to cause you to worry no longer affects you.
5. Emotional health
As college students, we are constantly having to navigate several emotions. A way to help navigate them better is to meditate.
Meditation allows for slowing down and reflecting. This allows for a rational look at things and helps navigate emotions in a better way.
Mindfulness is a great way to become more aware. When you are mindful, you are intentionally present in your inner and outer experience.
A while ago I wrote a blog post on 5 types of goals every college student should have. Among which were leadership goals.
To be a good leader, you will need to look inside yourself often. You will need to grow to have the ability to help others grow.
7. Attention span
This is pretty self-explanatory. Whether you are taking your classes virtually or physically, your attention span is absolutely crucial. Not to mention those long study sessions.
Focused-attention meditation is like weight lifting for your attention span. It helps increase the strength and endurance of your attention.
For example, one study found that people who listened to a meditation tape experienced improved attention and accuracy while completing a task, compared with those in a control group.
Sleep is super important to all college students this is the time your brain gets to rest and recharge so that it’s working at capacity when you wake up.
With all that said, however, nearly half of the population will struggle with insomnia at some point.
One study compared mindfulness-based meditation programs and found that people who meditated stayed asleep longer and had improved insomnia severity, compared with those who had an unmedicated control condition.
Additionally, it can help relax your body, releasing tension and placing you in a peaceful state in which you’re more likely to fall asleep.
9. Brain function
Practicing brief sessions of Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation can significantly improve brain function and energy levels, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.
Everything that charges the brain is a friend when you are in college. After all, academics are a brain sport.
We all know how group work can be enraging.
A new study in the journal Consciousness and Cognition shows us that with meditation we don’t have to take that route.
The study suggests that meditation can help reduce your body’s response to anger/aggression. Occasional anger can be normal, and even healthy, but constant and frequent anger takes a toll on your body and mind.
Aggression and frustration cause us to be stressed, activates our sympathetic nervous system, and produce shallower, faster breathing, a rapid heart rate, and raises blood pressure.