When most people hear the words “college life,” they imagine never-ending parties, hangovers, and a constant lack of sleep. Even though many students indeed have such a lifestyle, it doesn’t mean that everyone should do the same. For many students, a college is a place where they can gain knowledge and explore this world. College also gives you an opportunity to learn more about yourself and to develop as a person.
When you go to college, you become more independent than ever, and you can use this independence to become healthier and to learn to deal with stressful situations, especially given the fact that you will experience a lot of stress. Even though college life can be very stressful, you shouldn’t let stress distract you from your academic goals. Mindfulness and meditation can help you deal with stress on a daily basis. Moreover, such practices can help you improve your performance. You can improve your memory and stay more focused. And meditation can help you study, too.
What Are Mindfulness and Meditation?
Mindfulness and meditation have a lot in common. However, these two terms refer to different things. Let’s consider each of these concepts so that you will know the difference.
Every day, students deal with many distractions that don’t let them focus on the task in hand and prevent them from reaching their highest potential. Mindfulness can help you avoid distractions. Mindfulness is all about focusing on the present moment and increasing awareness. Mindfulness is an approach that can help you stop thinking about dozens of different problems so that you can work on one problem at a time.
There are many practices that can help you increase mindfulness, and meditation is one of them. However, you don’t need to meditate to practice mindfulness during your everyday activities. You can practice mindfulness when sitting in class, having lunch, or having fun with your friends. All you have to do is focus on the present moment and stop thinking about everything that distracts you from it.
Meditation is a process of relaxation and creating a sense of calmness. There are many kinds of meditation, and here are some of the most popular techniques.
- Transcendental meditation requires you to meditate for 20 minutes. You can do it twice a day, achieving mental clarity and reducing stress.
- Zen meditation, or Zazen, requires you to focus on your posture and breath.
- Primordial sound meditation doesn’t require you to meditate in complete silence. This technique allows you to listen to music, mantras, or vibrations.
- Vipassana is all about focusing on your breathing and body sensations.
- Chakra meditation requires you to focus on chakra points in your body that correspond to different aspects of your physical and emotional well-being.
- Kundalini includes breath practices and mantras that are aimed to awaken your “life force.”
There are also many other meditation techniques. You can experiment and try different approaches so that you can understand what works best for you. All kinds of meditation are based on deep concentration. Concentration will help you forget about distractions, focusing on the present moment and your goals.
Many people imagine meditation as sitting in the lotus position. However, there are many types of meditation that allow you to meditate while walking or even while doing chores. You can practice different types of meditation so that you can quickly relax in any situation, no matter what you’re working on.
How Mindfulness Can Help Students
Mindfulness practices and meditation, in particular, can help you become more aware of your feelings and thoughts, clearing your mind of unnecessary thoughts and anxiety. Mindfulness can also help you reduce stress and become more concentrated. When you focus on your breath, you can observe your thoughts and understand which thoughts are actually useful, and which thoughts simply make you experience negative emotions.
Many people struggle to achieve mindfulness when they start to meditate because their mind wanders and they cannot feel completely relaxed. This is normal so you shouldn’t feel frustrated. Don’t be too tough on yourself, and you will become more patient and compassionate, getting rid of negative emotions and being able to focus on your important goals.
Here are some of the main benefits of meditation and mindfulness for students.
It’s virtually impossible to demonstrate high academic performance without having a good memory. Mindfulness can help you improve your ability to memorize your course material. According to research, students who practice mindfulness can increase their short-term memory. They also better deal with distractions and demonstrate improved verbal skills.
Reducing Anxiety and Stress
Many college students develop anxiety because they’re under constant pressure. In fact, according to Adam Simon of LegitWritingServices, writing a dissertation is one of the most popular causes of stress among PhD students. Meditation can help you decrease the concentration of stress hormones in your body. In addition, according to research, people who practice mindfulness for eight weeks are less likely to experience depression and anxiety, even when dealing with negative factors.
People who practice meditation and other mindfulness techniques are better at focusing on the necessary tasks and they are more likely to avoid distractions. According to the above mentioned research, people who practice meditation have increased attention spans and improve their cognitive skills.
You may think that practicing mindfulness is a difficult task, but the truth is that you can incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life. There are many simple tricks that can help you stay more aware of the present moment. For example, you can take a deep breath to slow down your heart rate. It will help you when you feel anxious.
We also recommend that you don’t multitask and focus on one task at a time. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can take a walk and sit in a park. Take a look at the trees, listen to the surrounding sounds, and take your time to relax and forget about your daily troubles for a while.
You can also use visualization. This approach is often used by athletes, executives, and actors. This method can help you overcome your anxiety and self-doubt. Besides, it will help you focus on your goals so that you can stay motivated. You can make visualization your daily habit and practice this mindfulness exercise in any situation.