College students have a lot on their plates. Students’ have to maintain their jobs outside of school, fulfill the obligations of their personal relationships, and stay on top of the workload of each course! With these demands often conflicting with one another, the need for finding the balance between them is pressing. But how can it be done?
So often people fervently search for peace of mind as if it is the medal you win after making it through the maze of life. But what if the answer to finding balance is already within you and all it takes is for you to retreat within yourself to find it?
Now, the golden question, why should I even try it? I’m so glad you asked! Tons of research has been done on the efficacy of meditation and the benefits are numerous, in particular for the unique population of college students. Studies show that:
- 30 minutes of meditation 7 days a week increases creativity and elevates mood (you can do this on your lunch break!)
- Meditation reduced distractive and ruminating thoughts in distressed college students
- Incorporating meditation into everyday life has shown to increase positive emotions in students
- Meditation improved academic performance and school behavior, reduced anxiety, heightened self-compassion, and decreased notions of perfectionism and self-criticism in college students (Simply by sitting quietly for 15-20 minutes a day!)
Meditation doesn’t have to be this elaborate process that can only be done when you’re looking out of your third eye while standing on your head on top of a mountain. There are many activities that elicit a meditative, mindful, and relaxed state that you can do every day. Below are some suggestions; just find a quiet spot and try them.
- Transcendental Meditation: Sit comfortably, breathe deeply, repeat a mantra internally to focus your energy, observe your thoughts and emotions rather than react to them
- Guided Imagery Meditation: Picture a soothing scene, engage all your senses to make the image as real as possible (do you smell flowers? is there are breeze on your face?), let your mind get lost in the scene
- Movement Meditation, i.e. walking, yoga, tai chi (and it’s great exercise)
- Reading/quiet time: creates a great break from the mundane.
***Omvana is a great iPhone/iPad mediation app and it’s FREE!***
Starting your mornings off with a meditation exercise will ready you for the demands that lay ahead throughout your day by giving you a clear head and a more positive disposition. Taking a moment to recharge at work when you feel overwhelmed, doing a focused meditation on a specific topic, i.e. eliminating self-doubt, etc. can make all the difference in increasing productivity in all areas of your life. Remember that peace already resides in you and it is refocusing on that internal happiness that will better equip you to deal with whatever obstacle that comes your way. Namaste!
–Jennifer Reed, Student Success Coach, NOVA Online
Contact me for the list of research articles used to write this post or for more meditation suggestions.
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