Students today struggle under an immense amount of stress. According to APA statistics, over 61% of college students who go into counseling suffer from anxiety, and nearly 50% have depression.
Meditation has proven to be an effective stress-relief practice that can do wonders for improving mental health. Learning different types of this practice can help literally save students’ lives, as the suicide rates among them have been climbing up over the last decades (National Institute of Mental Health).
The Power of Meditation in Fighting Stress
There is a huge body of research, which proves that meditation has a variety of health benefits. Those range from reducing stress to reducing symptoms of depression to managing chronic pain.
There are studies, which prove that regular meditation affects the brain on a physical level. Therefore, it can directly influence your neural networks and even block some of the signals. This is why it’s an effective practice for pain management.
For a student struggling with stress, meditation can be a perfect solution. It’s easy to incorporate this practice even into a very busy schedule. You will also be able to master basic relaxation techniques using specialized apps and gadgets. Most importantly, learning stress-relieving practices might be your only hope to deal with stress, because nothing will remove that stress unless some bigwigs actually use the ideas on how to improve the US education system and manage to make it less stressful. Before that, students have no choice but to use their own powers to safeguard their mental health.
Meditation is a safe practice that anyone can try, which is why it’s such a good option. There are some very rare cases when this activity can worsen the symptoms instead of improving them. But those are associated with rare psychotic disorders. Overall, meditation is the practice every student should try incorporating into their life.
1. Basic Meditation Techniques for Students (and Tech to Help Them Along)
Arguably, mindfulness meditation is the most beneficial kind for stress relief. The practice of mindfulness is based on calming your mind and focusing on the moment. This simple technique is a great aid for regaining concentration and even improving self-esteem.
During mindfulness meditation, you need to stop thinking. Focus on mindful breathing instead, and once your mind starts to wander, bring the focus back on how the difference between cold and hot air sensations during your inhale and exhale.
At this moment, nothing but you exists. Nothing but you is important in this world. This is your moment, and you deserve to let your mind a chance to relax completely.
Mindfulness meditation will allow you to observe your thoughts and understand yourself better. Most importantly, it will allow you to literally help your mind reboot, and you’ll be able to get back to your studies and life charged with positive energy.
Concentration meditation is one of the methods to master awareness and clear the mind through it. Therefore, this technique requires an aid. This might be anything, a single point in space, sound (quiet and repetitive preferably, for example, a sound of gong), the light of a candle, or even a mantra.
This type of meditation requires you to focus on your chosen object completely. And every time your mind strays, you simply bring your attention back to it. Working with some kind of stimuli can help beginners with their focus. Therefore, this practice might be easier to start with than mindfulness.
2. Meditation Tech: Gadgets and Apps to Learn and Practice Meditation
It can be very difficult to get into the right state of mind for mindfulness meditation, especially in the beginning. However, you can solve this problem using a few specialized apps. This will also give you the extra benefit of turning your smartphone into a source of mental health comfort instead of a device that usually aggravates anxiety.
These apps provide guided meditations to follow. However, if you don’t want to stop at apps, you should also look into various gadgets for meditation. For example, Muse, which tracks your brain activity and helps keep you focused and relaxed during meditation. Sona is another good example of a gadget that can help you meditate. It also helps build up resilience to stress.
If specialized meditation aids don’t do it for you, try different types of stress-relief apps. RainyMood will provide you with a calming soundtrack to help focus and relax your mind. Happify will provide ideas for games and activities that will increase your happiness level. Pacifica will help manage and reduce anxiety and panic attacks.
3. Meditation as a Stress-Relief Practice for Students: Final Thoughts
Meditation techniques, apps, and gadgets are extremely versatile, so you should keep searching until you find the one that works best for you personally. However, you need to understand that to succeed with relieving stress through this practice, you have to do it consistently.
Start with 5 minutes a day and gradually work up to 30. Focusing a stressed mind is a challenge, so don’t be upset if you can manage only 1-2 minutes at first.