Meditation is the practice of calming your mind and centering your mind and body into the present moment. It is practiced by all different types of people, from monks to the average person you pass in the grocery store. Meditation has been growing in popularity in recent years and with good reason. There are so many excellent benefits of meditation that it almost seems silly not to give meditation a try.
Why Should Students Meditate?
Meditation can have so many amazing results for anyone, but these results can be amazingly helpful for a stressed-out student. We’ll be talking more in-depth about the possible benefits of meditation later on in this article, but the list of benefits really is endless. Meditation can help you concentrate, sleep better at night, and be more creative, just to name a few.
Given the amount of stress that students are under, any tool that can help students control their stress levels is super helpful. Meditation can be that tool for many students. While meditation is not the only tool that students can use to help manage their stress and anxiety, it is one of the largest and easiest to implement tools that students can use.
What are the Types of Meditation?
There are tons of different types of meditation out there, but we’ll be focusing on breaking down some of the main types of meditation here.
Zen Meditation is the most common type of meditation that people picture when they are asked to picture mediation. This style of meditation can be varied in its practice but generally involves being in a seated position and trying to clear your mind by focusing on your breathing.
Primordial Sound Meditation
PSM utilizes a constant noise or vibration to help the practitioner focus their mind. This is not a quiet style of meditation, since it is noise-based, so this is best practiced alone or in a place where you won’t bother other people.
This type of meditation can look different depending on the practitioner but focuses on the body’s chakras or energy points. There are other ways to calm down different chakras, but the idea is that by calming down and centering your energy points, you will be more in control of your body and your mind.
Metta Meditation utilizes a mantra or repeated phrase or word to help you focus your mind. This technique can be done in a seated position similar to Zen meditation, but it can also focus your mind while your body is going through some sort of pain. This type of meditation that many long-distance runners use to help them keep their mind focused while their body is feeling the pain from running long distances.
Transcendental meditation is much more focused practice. It involves meditating two times a day for 20 minutes each time. This is a great style if you are just starting out with meditating since it will make you practice your meditation every day.
Another option if you are looking to get into meditation is to try utilizing technology to help you learn more about the types of meditation out there. Many apps are available that offer short, free guided meditations through various styles of meditation. This is a great way to get started with meditation since the guide is able to assist you in getting settled, and they will be able to help you tone out any distractions that may be around you.
Although guided meditations can be found in many different types of meditation, they have almost taken on a life of their own during the digital age. You can find great guided meditations on apps and all over the internet. This can make meditation a lot more accessible to the average person since all you need is a few minutes to watch a guided meditation video.
What are the Benefits of Meditation for Students?
There are so many benefits of meditation for students, but these are the main benefits that a student is likely to notice as they develop their meditation practice.
Meditation is a great way to improve your concentration since the primary goal of meditation and of practicing meditation regularly is to get better at being fully present at the moment. In order to concentrate on one thing, you need to be able to be fully present at the moment, so over time, meditation can help you improve this skill.
Decreased feelings of stress and anxiety
Since meditation is a calming activity, it can be used to help manage stress and some anxieties. Many people find that by practicing meditation regularly, they are better able to calm themselves down when they feel themselves getting too stressed out or starting to get anxious.
More creative thoughts
Meditation is often seen as a free space for your brain. It is also seen as a way to clear your brain of unnecessary thoughts and distractions. This means that by practicing meditation, you can give your brain the space it needs to be more innovative when problem-solving, thus acting more creatively.
Better overall quality of sleep
Any activity that can help you manage stress and anxiety will have some impact on your sleep. Since high levels of stress and anxiety are some of the biggest culprits in bad sleep, controlling these triggers is a great way to improve the overall quality of your sleep. This means getting more deep sleep, so you will eventually have more fitful nights of sleep.
Improved emotional wellbeing
Stress and anxiety can contribute to a feeling of emotional wellbeing. By helping to control your stress and anxiety levels, meditation can help give you room to maintain your own emotional wellbeing. It is also a great way to help center yourself at the moment, meaning that you can focus on things that are impacting you emotionally and come up with innovative solutions.
Which Meditation is Good for the Brain?
We’ve talked about several different meditation styles, so we know that there are differences between all the styles of meditation in practice, but the results you are likely to feel from meditation don’t vary much between types. All styles of meditation will give your brain the rest it needs, and all sorts are good for your brain.
The key to finding the best meditation style for you and your life is to try multiple styles to see what fits best for you. You may be drawn to a style initially, but if you don’t feel like that style is working after a week or so of practice, it may be time to try something different. Every kind is good for your brain, so don’t feel like you need to worry about that when choosing which style of meditation to practice.
How Do You Meditate as a Student?
Finding time to meditate as a student can be challenging. Between your classes, your studying, and any jobs or social commitments you might have, you are likely to have a pretty busy schedule. It might seem hard to find time to meditate, but it is essential to carve out some time so you can meditate.
Try to make a schedule of what an average week for you looks like. This means writing down all your class and job commitments, blocking out the general amount of time that you spend eating or hanging out with friends, and estimating how much time you spend studying each day. Once everything is written down in one place, you can start to figure out where you have some free time that you could use to meditate.
Maybe you look at your schedule and decide that you are super busy, so your best bet to meditate some every day is to set your alarm 20 minutes earlier and meditate each morning. Maybe you have a 30-minute break in the middle of your days that you can use to meditate. The goal is to find a chunk of time during each day that you can set aside for meditation. While it is nice if your meditation falls simultaneously because that will help you build a habit, it is ok if the time you choose is generally the same each day, such as a morning meditation or an evening meditation.
Finding time to practice mindful meditation or any other slow and relaxing activity as a student can be hard, but it is really good for you. Try to find a short, guided meditation video or podcast that will help you start your journey with meditation. Many websites have specific guided meditation videos aimed at assisting students in relaxing and focusing their minds.
What is the Best Time to Meditate?
Some people find that they like to meditate right after they get up in the morning, while others find that they like to meditate at the end of the day. Either option is great. The most important thing to think about when you are trying to start a meditation practice is to pick a time and get into the habit of meditating then for a while before you try changing it. Meditation is a skill that takes time to develop, so keeping the time consistent for a while can make that easier.
Meditating right after you wake up is a great way to start your day. It can help you wake up and help clear your mind of any stress from the day before. Many students find that this extra amount of time spent preparing for the day helps them feel fully ready for whatever the day has in store for them. Mornings are also a great time to incorporate a positive affirmation or thought for the day, which goes hand-in-hand with meditation.
How Long Should You Meditate?
Meditations can range from under a minute to days on end, so there really is no short answer to how long you should meditate for. When you first start practicing meditation, you will likely find it hard to maintain the amount of focus needed to clear your mind for more than a few minutes at a time. The longer and more consistently you practice meditation, the easier it will become to meditate for longer periods.
Since meditation is a skill that takes time to develop and get good at, the best way to start meditating is, to begin with a short practice every day and slowly increase the amount of time you are meditating for. Maybe think about starting by only meditating for two or three minutes a day and increasing the length of your meditations over time.
As you get better at meditation, you may find a sweet spot in terms of the balance between the amount of time you spend meditating and the benefits that you see in your life. Many people find that meditating for anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes will give them the benefits that they seek. We know that this is a vast range of time, but some people don’t have the same amount of time to dedicate to meditation practice as others, so it is important to realize that you can benefit from a shorter meditation.
It may be a good idea for students to start out short, as we suggested above, and slowly increase the amount of time each week. You could add one or two minutes to your practice each week until you get to about 10 to 20 minutes of meditation per day. This is generally a good amount of time for a busy student since it is long enough for you to start to see benefits, but it won’t take up too much of your time.
Best Places to Meditate
When we say the word meditation, you probably think of a monk or yogi sitting in a cross-legged position with their hands on their knees. They are likely either sitting on a matt or outdoors somewhere, maybe high up in the mountains or near a tropical beach. All that being said, you really can meditate anywhere, at any time, in any position.
Meditation isn’t about where you are. Meditation is really about giving your body a chance to calm down and recalibrate itself for the rest of the day. Since meditation is all about your body, the best place to meditate for you might be different than your roommate or your best friend.
The main thing to pay attention to when picking where you are going to meditate is making sure that you are comfortable and seated in an upright position. This position can be changed later on but sitting up is generally the best way to start meditating.
Find a place where you can sit comfortably. If you want something to lean back on, try sitting against a tree or wall. If you want to sit on a cushion, you can, but if you would rather sit on the grass, a rock, or the ground, you totally can. Try to find somewhere that is relatively quiet, especially when you start out, since this will make it easier to concentrate on your meditation and not get distracted.
It’s also worth mentioning that meditation doesn’t have to be something that you only do when you are stationary or not moving. Many people find activities such as yoga or running to be very meditative since they can help you calm your mind and remain focused on the moment. Incorporating physical movement into your meditation practice can also be a great way to switch it up every now and then, especially if you start to feel bored by your current routine.
Wrapping Things Up: Meditation for Students
Meditation is a great tool for helping students manage their stress and anxiety throughout school and start to develop practices that will help them for the rest of their lives. Since there are so many types of meditation and so much information out there on meditation, this article only delved into the surface of meditation. If you feel like meditation might be helpful for you in your life, then don’t hesitate to dig deep into the type of meditation that interests you and find an excellent way to incorporate meditation into your daily routine.