When I was growing up, meditation was reserved for spiritual people who weren't considered “mainstream.”
After her divorce, my mother started practicing meditation, but she did it in private without talking about it. I didn’t learn that she meditated until I was 30 years old.
Meditation is no longer a secretive, unusual habit. Today, mediation is the go-to tool for stress reduction for many people. It's used by people of all ages and all backgrounds.
College students today suffer from high stress levels, but meditation can help.
Here are three reasons why meditation is great for helping college students manage their stress:
Many people report that meditation has helped relieve their stress and calm their nerves. The key is to be consistent with your meditation practice. Encourage your student to choose a time of day that works for them and commit to it. At first, it may be hard for them to keep their thoughts from wandering. That’s okay! They should just take note of where their mind goes and refocus.
Meditation has many forms.
Because meditation has many forms, each person can choose the format that works best for them. Encourage your student to try out different meditation types or try them out yourself. Here are a few of the most popular forms of meditation:
• Mindfulness meditation: Mindfulness Meditation is a meditation method that focuses on breathing and non-judgmentally observing the thoughts that occur while meditating.
• Moving meditation: Moving meditation involves doing simple movements, such as walking, yoga, or Tai Chi, while paying attention to breathing, thoughts, and body parts that often get overlooked.
• Guided meditation: Meditators who use guided meditation listen to the calm voice of someone who is helping them visualize a scene that is aimed at creating a relaxation response. Sometimes the guide may incorporate relaxation of each body part, starting from the head and working down to the toes while breathing.
Meditation is simple to do anywhere.
Finally, meditation is a simple way to reduce stress anywhere. You carry around the main meditation tool: your breath. When you sit quietly and focus on your breath, you're practicing a simple and effective form of meditation. Your college student could choose to do a 5 or 10 minute meditation while taking a break from studying, waiting for class to start, or relaxing before bed.
Now is the perfect time for students to try meditation, if they haven't yet. Or to use meditation more often if they have experimented on occasion. It may be helpful to use a meditation app to guide you or your student. Two of my favorites are
Calm and Breathe. Give them a try or find one that you love.