Everyone seems to rave about how meditation improves overall well-being these days. But facing specific challenges of college life, you crave particular solutions. So what improvements to expect when you start to meditate?
Your GPA Will Go Up…
Let’s face it – lack of focus and constant distractions cause your academic performance to suffer, and meditation turns out to be a real shield against them. Studies report that students experience a decrease in disturbing thoughts and reduced reactivity to distractions shortly after starting a regular meditation practice. Some studying meditators even had a 16 percentile increase in their GRE reading comprehension scores!
According to recent research published in the journal Memory & Cognition, another benefit of meditation comes with improved verbal learning. That means you will memorize much more during the lectures and reduce the time needed for self-study.
If it feels like you do not have a single minute to meditate, there is no need to dedicate time during the day for it exclusively. For example, you can easily incorporate a meditation similar to this rest practice into your study breaks. Many meditation studies, including the ones mentioned in this article, were conducted by providing meditation novices with 10-minute practices that proved to be effective.
…Meanwhile, the Level of Academic Stress Will Go Down
College life is trying at times. While the challenges are not going anywhere, meditation can become an antidote that changes the way you perceive and react to stress.
Research shows that after only four weeks of brief daily meditation, students showed reduced cortisol levels and improved emotional regulation. Admittedly, meditation allows extending the time between the outside stimuli and the response allowing you to choose your reaction rather than act on autopilot.
One of the common reasons for not trying meditation is the fear of facing reality and experiencing the full spectrum of your current emotions. Indeed, a certain degree of immersion is necessary to digest our feelings. But if you are overwhelmed by sitting in silence and listening to your breath – don’t. You have many more options, like playing around with different versions of visualization meditations. This one, for example, lets you imagine drifting on a cloud!
Your Social Life Will Improve
The active social life associated with college years can be a blessing and a curse depending on your communication skills and level of confidence. It turns out meditation can help with both.
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School found that consistent daily meditation practice leads to “an increase in the concentration of gray matter in the areas of the brain associated with introspection, empathy, and the ability to acknowledge others’ viewpoints.” That means meditation makes you a better communicator on a physical level!
The quality of relationships depends on our psychological well-being, and meditation reportedly improves your mental stamina. A 2020 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found increased self-compassion in those who regularly meditated. The meditators experienced a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms (including social anxiety) and depression while finding more meaning in life and embracing all experiences with grace.
You Are More Likely to Find, Clarify and Stick to Your Calling
Or life purpose, or mission – many names and no unified way of uncovering your own. Frequently future students choose and commit to a certain degree under parents’ pressure, inspired by their idols or looking at the job market trends. These are all great, but listening to your intuition is often missing, and meditation can help to make your inner voice louder.
In the master book on the inner knowing In Touch, John J. Prendergast describes it as “something that is sensed, rather than thought.” Hence how we can receive the signals from our body and emotions define the ability to make intuitive decisions.
Meditation “improves somatosensory perception,” which means that you naturally listen to your body better and align decision-making with your gut feeling. We already mentioned that meditation helps to step back from negative thoughts. Thus, space opens up to be more receptive to other people’s emotions, think critically about the given advice and your unfiltered emotional response to it.
In addition, you can try out meditations that help you to create a developing purpose mindset.
Are you now excited to start or level up your meditation practice? Or maybe there are still questions or concerns that are holding you back? Share with us in the comment section below.