There’s no better time than university to start practicing meditation. If you’ve never meditated before, you may have the wrong idea of what it involves. It’s not a passive activity where you attempt to think about nothing — it’s about paying attention to your thoughts and sensations to improve concentration and decrease anxiety. This can have the following significant benefits for students.
1. Improve Your Concentration
Meditating will teach you to control where you focus your attention, which leads to better concentration. It also helps you to ignore distractions, including thoughts that pop into your head and stop you from absorbing what you’re reading. This will help you stay focused on tasks longer and improve your productivity.
2. Reduce Stress
Many people who meditate on a regular basis find they suffer from less stress. In addition, they are more resilient, meaning they are able to cope better when stressful situations do arise. For students, this may mean being able to complete a big project by the due date without becoming overwhelmed or feeling less anxious before a difficult exam.
3. Decrease Negative Emotions
Meditation can reduce negativity in general. When your mind is wandering, you are often dwelling on unhappy memories or worries about the future. When your focus is on the present, you experience more positive emotions.
4. Higher Self-Esteem
The emphasis on self-awareness in meditation can give you a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. This results in higher self-esteem, which can have multiple positive effects on your student experience. For instance, it can help with your social life, make you more willing to participate in class, and give you the confidence to try new activities.
5. Improved Social Interactions
As well as giving you the confidence to seek out more social activities, practicing meditation can result in better social interactions. There are several reasons for this. One is that you’ll bring the positivity you gain from meditation to your interactions with others. Another is that students who meditate are more likely to be trusting, empathetic, and compassionate — all qualities that lead to stronger friendships.
6. Better Academic Performance
Meditation can help develop some cognitive functions. Although these effects are less pronounced than some of the other benefits of meditation, they are still significant. Besides, anything you can do to improve your academic performance is worthwhile.
One way meditation can help you study is by improving your working memory — this is the information you hold in your mind for a short time. Improving your working memory helps you learn new information and solve problems. It can also help with response inhibition: the ability to control your initial impulses. This is particularly useful if you are prone to making mistakes on quizzes because you fail to take the time to read the question fully.
You can practice meditation at home — provided you have somewhere to sit in peace, away from interruptions. This can be difficult when you live on campus, but it’s easy when you have your own bedroom. You can find University of Alberta off-campus housing where you’ll have the privacy to meditate whenever you want at 1Ten on Whyte. Apply now for the floor plan of your choice.