There are some negative preconceived notions about meditation. Some think it is sitting down in a lotus position, while others are just confused on what they are supposed to think about when meditating. Meditation is simply focusing on breathing. It is a technique to alleviate stress and makes people more focused and relaxed. It sounds incredibly simple, and it is, yet, it can be very rewarding. Everyone should be encouraged to try meditating because it can be highly beneficial for one’s mental, physical and emotional health.
The major benefits of meditating, especially for college students, are the improvement of one’s overall health, memory enhancement and reduction of stress and anxiety.
First, meditation can protect the heart from many diseases, boost the immune system and balance one’s blood pressure. It can also increase the activity in the brain. “The practice can change the way that neurons talk to each other, creating new circuits,” according to Troy Dunham’s infographic “The Body on Meditation,” published May 2, 2013 by The Huffington Post.
Second, meditation can boost one’s memory because it is a mental exercise that will, consequently, make the brain grow. “Practicing simple meditation techniques such as concentrating on your breathing helps build denser grey matter in parts of the brain associated with learning and memory,” according to Stephen Adam’s article “Proof that meditation CAN grow your brain: In just eight weeks it can improve learning and memory,” published Nov. 8, 2014 by The Daily Mail.
Finally, meditation can also significantly reduce stress and anxiety. People who struggle with anxiety have difficulties getting rid of negative or stressful thoughts, or simply balancing their nervous system. The simple act of taking time to breathe will relax the mind and make it easier for one to disregard a nagging thought, which actually has a lot of power over one’s mind. Meditation can make one dominate and control those thoughts, according to Corlis Julie’s article “Mindful meditation may easy anxiety, mental stress,” published Jan. 8, 2014 by Harvard Health Publishing.
Meditation is time consuming, and it will probably be difficult at first to stay sitting for five to 10 minute in the same position focused on breathing in and out. There are, however, many apps that can help people meditate more easily, such as Headspace, Aware or Simple Habit. These apps offer guidance and help people stay on track. Meditating is truly rewarding and it should be a part of everyone’s daily life. It helps people maintain a focused, balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Follow Carolina Pinto on Twitter: @caroli_mmp