Meditation Benefits and Strategies

Meditating can be very helpful for everyone going through stressful times, anxiety, or even a pandemic. Meditation is a process and will not come easy right away. It is training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts as well as increasing your awareness of yourself and your surroundings. College students often have trouble being around silence or removing themselves from screens. So, learning to train your mind to be at peace while not overthinking or distracting yourself with screens can be very difficult but very beneficial to your health. In this blog we will talk about the health benefits of meditation as well as tips to learning how to meditate!

The Health Benefits of Meditation:

  1. Reduces stress
  2. Helps control anxiety
    a. A study found that 8 weeks of meditation helped reduce anxiety symptoms in people with anxiety disorders.
  3. Promotes emotional health
  4. Enhances your self-awareness
  5. Elongates attention span
  6. Can help fight addictions
  7. Improves quality of your sleep
  8. Lower blood pressure

Meditation Strategies for Beginner College Students

  1. Focus only on your breathing
    a. Count the number of breaths that you inhale and exhale.
  2. Let thoughts come in and then let them go
    a. If you notice yourself thinking about unrelated thoughts or stressful thoughts, don’t give up or get frustrated, just come back to focusing on your breathing.
  3. Don’t give up too fast
    a. Meditation can be very frustrating at first, especially when you feel you are not experiencing the benefits, or it is taking too long to learn. Meditate for shorter periods of time and build your way to longer meditation sessions. Keep trying and stay with it!
  4. Use a guided mediation
    a. Guided meditation is not for everyone, but they may really help you to stay focused on your breathing. There are plenty of free guided meditations on YouTube or apps that provide them.
  5. Finding a place to meditate
    a. Especially for beginners finding a quiet and peaceful place to meditate will be helpful for you to stick with it. The beautiful thing about meditation is it can be done almost anywhere.
  6. Start with yoga
    a. Many yoga sessions end in savasana where you lay flat on the floor only thinking about your breathing. This can be a great transition to a meditation session and completely relaxing your mind.

Hopefully this has inspired you to try and incorporate small moments of meditation throughout your day. Be patient with meditation. It may take a while for the benefits to show but starting with 5 minutes a day and continuously adding more time will help you getting started. The most important thing to remember is to only focus on your breathing and let yourself fully relax. Don’t give up!

Strive for progress not perfection!

Kayla Withrow

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