This post details 8 benefits of meditation for students, all backed by scientific research.
Meditation is an ancient practice that helps calm your mind and reduce stress. Not only is meditation a great hobby to start in your 20s or 30s, studies have shown it can actually improve your academic performance.
Read all 8 benefits, or click in the table of contents below to jump to any section that most interests you.
- Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation for Students
- Higher Academic Achievement Through Meditation
- Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Meditation for Students
- Meditation Helps Students Manage Stress Levels
- Improved Memory and Concentration Benefits of Meditation For Students
Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation for Students
You’ve probably heard about mediation, but what is it exactly?
People unfamiliar with the practice may think that meditation is just sitting on the floor with your legs crossed and eyes closed while chanting “Om.” However, there’s a bit more to it than that.
Psychology Today Canada defines meditation as “a mental exercise that trains attention and awareness.”
When I first started my own meditation journey, I was skeptical of the benefits. As a university student myself, I wanted the scientific proof.
I’ve rounded up 8 science-backed benefits of meditation to help you do the best on your educational journey. You got this!
Higher Academic Achievement Through Meditation
1. Increased Academic Achievement
Let’s start with one of the most exciting benefits of meditation for students – higher academic Achievement.
A California study on 189 at-risk urban middle school students shows meditation may improve academic achievement. Students who used the Transcendental Meditation technique for a period of one year showed a 36.8% increase in their English score compared to 17.2% of the non-meditating students.
Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Meditation for Students
2. Reduction In The Use Of Destructive Drugs
If you’ve ever felt the need to take either prescription or “street” drugs to help manage feelings of anxiety or worry, meditation can help.
A Unites States research study, with the majority of participants being college students, has shown that regular meditation results in less use of drugs and tranquilizers.
Tranquilizers are Benzodiazepines, including Alprazolam (Xanax), Diazepam (Valium) and Lorazepam (Ativan).
Being a student isn’t independent of your life as a whole, so if you feel the need to take something to help cope with issues in another area, it can impact your studies.
If you’ve ever taken some of these drugs, know you’re not alone. This is an issue that is rarely discussed among classmates, and sometimes not even among closest family and friends. Trying meditation may be just what you need to help stop potentially addictive behaviour.
3. Enhanced Creativity
Creativity is important for problem-solving, innovation and productivity, all important skills needed as a student. It takes some serious creative effort to make our research papers original!
How can we boost our creative power? Meditation can help.
The results from a study among 40 Chinese undergraduates suggested that emotion-related creativity-promoting mechanism may be attributed to short-term meditation.
Meditation Helps Students Manage Stress Levels
4. Reduce Educational Burnout
Many students experience feelings of burnout, especially if you have a full course load while work part-time.
A 2018 review on the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation for nurses and nursing students identified not only a positive impact on burnout, but also on stress, anxiety, depression, sense of well-being and empathy.
5. Lower Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is a steroid hormone released by the adrenal glands that plays a central role in the body’s response to stress. A 2013 study of 30 second-year medical students in Thailand shows that mindfulness meditation lowers the cortisol levels in the blood, suggesting that it can lower stress.
The study was conducted over a four-day mindfulness meditation program, indicating that even the early stages of practicing mediation can help reduce stress.
Try including meditation in the days leading up to an exam!
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6. Increased Resilience
Resilience can be defined as the capacity to recover quickly from stressful or traumatic events, a common quality of successful students.
Major events in students’ lives, such a being rejected from your preferred program can be extremely stressful.
Although major events can be traumatic, studies suggest that mindfulness meditation is most helpful for students who are having trouble adapting to more of the day-to-day life events, such as failing in academic endeavours or being rejected by a love interest.
Improved Memory and Concentration Benefits of Meditation For Students
7. Better Attention
A 2018 US study finds evidence that even brief mindfulness meditation improves attention in novices.
Undergraduate students who listened to a 10-minute guided meditation tape showed better attention than those in the control group.
This evidence is encouraging for students wanting to try meditation without feeling like they need to devote an hour of their day to the practice.
8. Improved Mental Focus
Mindfulness meditation reduces mind-wandering, limiting its negative effects on different cognitive tasks. For example, when you learn how to do a new math problem for the first time (statistics anyone?)
The recent 2021 review also confirms that expert meditators report less task-unrelated thoughts than non-meditators.
Another great reason to give meditation a try.
After reading these benefits of meditation for students, will you give them a try? Share below in the comments!