As a meditation teacher, many of my students are interested in using meditation for studying.
They’ve heard that meditation makes studying easier, that it improves concentration, and that it can help to improve exam results.
And all of that is one hundred per cent true.
Scientific research (see below) shows that there are many benefits of meditation for students.
If you find it hard to focus when studying, your concentration is not 100%, or you’re worried about exams, you should definitely consider using meditation while studying. This will help whether you’re studying for a degree, mid-terms, certification, or any other type of learning.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of using meditation for studying. Then I will show you how to use meditation when studying for your exams.
Benefits of Meditation for Studying
Did you know that there are more than 100 benefits of meditation?
You may have heard that mindfulness is good for your health and that people who practice it are happier than the average person. But guess what? People who meditate study better too (see the science below).
There are many different benefits of meditation for studying. They include:
- It improves focus and concentration
- It reduces exam-stress
- It makes it easier to learn new things
- It helps you to relax between study periods
- And it makes you more intelligent
Simply put, if you meditate, studying will be easier, more enjoyable, and much more effective. And you will improve your exam results too.
Below I’ll show you how to use meditation for studying. But first an important question: Precisely why does meditation help with studying?
And the answer is: it tunes out noise in your mind so you can focus when you study.
Think about it.
On any given day you have a-million-and-one things running through your mind. You’re thinking about your friends and what they’ve been up to. You’re thinking about whatever chores you have to do at home. You’re thinking about dating. You’re thinking about stressful things like exams; you have a ton of thoughts and ideas running through your mind.
Then you sit down to study.
You lack concentration because of everything you’ve got going on in your life. And even though you know you should focus on learning, it’s impossible because of the amount of noise in your mind.
Simply put, you need to quiet your mind. One of the best ways to do this is by increasing Alpha Brain Waves, which are brain waves produced when we are calm but also productive. They are the best brain waves for studying, and neuroscience shows that meditation creates such waves.
You need a way to empty your mind and regain your concentration. Because until you regain your focus and concentration, you can’t possibly learn anything.
Meditation empties your mind of all that noise. It drains your mind of thoughts and anxieties so that you can focus on studying.
In essence, it prepares your mind so that you can learn the things you are supposed to be learning.
Now let’s look at the science.
We know that meditation improves productivity as well as focus and concentration. But why?
Before you invest your time into meditating before studying, you might want some proof that it works.
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, investigated the effects of meditation on studying. In particular, they researched how it affects mind-wandering. 
Mind-wandering is one of the primary problems you might have experienced when you’re preparing for exams. Mind-wandering makes it impossible to learn because it prevents you from focusing on the material, so while you are trying to revise for your history exam, you keep thinking about Tinder instead.
What causes this mind wandering when studying is essentially a lack of working memory (short-term memory that deals with immediate conscious perceptual and linguistic processing.)
But research from the University of California shows that meditating stops your mind wandering when you’re revising.
Researchers took 48 undergraduate students from the University of California. They tested the students working memory, mind -wandering, and performance on reading comprehension tests.
The group was then split in two. Half the group were given a nutrition program. The other half received an intensive mindfulness training program.
Two weeks later, all the study participants were tested again. The results showed that those students who had practised mindfulness meditation had less mind wandering when studying. They also had improved working memory. And, to top it all off, they performed better in the reading comprehension exam.
There are other benefits of meditation for studying too. For instance, meditation harmonises brain hemispheres to produce whole brain synchronicity, which is essential for schoolwork. It also stimulates the Hippocampus and frontal lobe, which are imperative for learning. And it balances amygdala activity while also balancing stress hormones like cortisol, so will help alleviate test anxiety and stress.
So, yes, science shows that there are some excellent reasons to use mediation for studying. But how do you do it?
How To Use Meditation For Studying
There are many different ways to use meditation for studying. Here is my best meditation script for studying, followed by three more excellent ways to use meditation for studying.
A Study Meditation Script
Simply follow this script to help yourself to relax and focus on your studies.
Take a proper meditation position, such as sitting in lotus or sitting in a meditation chair. Make sure your back is straight but not tense. Take a moment to check the position of your back, neck, and shoulders. You should have good posture. Lift your shoulders up to your ears and then drop them. This will put them in the correct position. Now tenses your back a little and then relax.
Lightly tuck your chin downwards a little. You should feel this elongated the muscles of your neck. I personally like to relax my face by scrunching up my eyes, ears, cheeks, forehead, brows, and mouth, and the relaxing.
You should now be completely relaxed.
Close your eyes gently. Focus your mind on your breath as it moves between your nostrils. Observe how your breath enters through your nostrils, moves through your mouth, your throat, and into your diaphragm. Hold your breath for two seconds at the end of the inhale. Then exhale and watch your breath move out of your body. Continue to do this for ten minutes. As you do this you will find your mind relaxing and calming. Once you feel this sensation of calmness, meditate on it. It will feel like open space. Observe the space. You will become incredibly relaxed. Continue for another five minutes. If you experience thoughts or feelings simply observe them. Let them come and go as they will.
1: For concentration when revising or doing homework
Arguably the most crucial reason for meditating when you study is that it improves your focus.
After all, you’re not going to learn anything if you can’t focus on what you’re reading.
I’ve written a complete guide to show you how to improve concentration.
2: Meditation For Exam Stress
Probably the worst thing about exams is stress.
It’s only natural for you to feel a little bit stressed about exams. After all, they are essential and they certainly do have a significant impact on your future.
That said, exam stress is only going to make it harder for you to study.
If you feel like you cannot study because you’re stressed about exams, meditation can help.
When you start to feel stressed while studying, stop and take 108 breaths through your nose while meditating on the movement of breath around your body. This will hep you to relax and refocus.
3: For general intelligence
You know you want to ace your exams. But perhaps you wonder if you are intelligent enough to score in the top percentile of students.
Trust me, you are.
You can make yourself more intelligent just by sitting there, focusing on your breathing for a few minutes. Scientific research has revealed that meditation heightens activity in parts of the brain associated with studying and memory. So if you’ve ever wondered if you’re smart enough to ace your exams, meditation will make you more intelligent.
So, those are the best ways to use meditation for studying. But what are the actual best meditation techniques for studying? Here are three exercises.
- Mindfulness: Use general mindfulness to cut out distractions and focus on studying.
- Listening to meditation music while studying.
- Anapanasati: Anapanasati (mindfulness of breath) is the best meditation for exam stress. So, when you feel the heat, focus on breathing.
Guided Meditation For Studying
If I have done my job as a meditation teacher, you should now be convinced about meditating when studying.
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And trust me, you can ace your exams. Especially if you spend twenty minutes focusing your mind before you hit those books!
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July 2020: Research by Yale reveals significant benefits of breathing meditation for students. [source]
Study: Meditating can help you focus and keep your brain young https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/06/study-meditating-can-help-you-focus-and-keep-your-brain-young.html