By: Sam Bissell
There are many unrealized benefits of meditation on learning, many which go undiscussed in worlds of academia. Years ago, meditation was viewed as something weird reserved for hippies. However, scientists and researchers are producing evidence that show the benefits of meditation. Some colleges looked at compelling research results on meditation effects and implemented meditation programs as part of the curriculum. McGill University in Montreal included the mandatory Mindful Meditation Program for medical students.
Many people start to see results within a week, but learning results will be different for each person. On average, researchers say it takes 8 weeks to see the full benefits. Most professionals recommend 20-30 minutes each day, but you can start of at 5 minutes and slowly increase the time. If you can only do 10 minutes, than do 10 minutes, you will still get some of the learning benefits. Do what you can! Here are some benefits of meditation and how it will help you learn faster for for improved grades.
It improves attention, concentration & academic achievement by decreasing anxiety
Meditation can increase our capacity to learn faster because it decreases unhealthy anxiety levels into a manageable level (a small manageable amount of anxiety can be beneficial). When your anxiety levels are consistently decreased, calmness and clarity begin to resurface and your capacity to learn multifaceted concepts is substantially increased. With too much anxiety, you will overanalyze your ability to perform well on a test, which will leave you with more anxiety. The end result-unable to achieve good grades. Once unsettled anxiety is unleashed, the negative anxious self-talk will begin and may lead to despiration-this is why some students cheat. In a study done of college students, students that meditated prior to a lecture preformed better on the test than students that did not meditate. The difference in test grades was so dramatic that researches were able to predict which student was going to pass or fail based on if a student meditated. Here is the link to the study done by George Mason University & University of Illinois.
“Meditation brings wisdom; lack of mediation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.”
Meditation produces mindfulness
When we become mindful, we admit to the unadmittable. All of the trials and trivialities become a backdrop to the important things in our life. Mindfulness is being present in the moment and not on autopilot. It’s mindfulness that stops toxic undone anger reactions towards others. If mindfulness is present during times of adversity, our anger emotions become non-reactive and controllable. We also are able to be non-judging in a situation and see situations from another persons perspective. Mindfulness, learned through meditation, helps us move beyond stressful life events with a vision of clarity. Over time, mindfulness, as a result of meditation, will leave us humbled and grateful to be able to see ourselves with transparency.
“Thus meditating you will no longer strive to build yourself up in your prejudices, but, forgetting self, you will remember only that you are seeking the Truth.”
It leads us to Creativity
Meditation forces us to relax and gives permission for us to tap into our creativity, even if unpolished. Awe-inspiring ideas, topics, subjects, and thoughts will come from a nowhere place and take residence in the mind. That topic for school, which you had a hard time choosing, will graciously appear. Creativity also trains your brain to do menial tasks required to get big jobs done by changing our perspective. The student that has to sit in isolation and study hours each day is granted fluidity to preform these daunting tasks easily- only through meditation. As creativity starts to align us with our goals, we begin to love the process of hard work.
It will make you successful through perseverance
A common thread of sustained success in some people is their practice of meditation. The majority of happy successful people have a meditation ritual. Here is a list of successful people that meditate. Truth is, talent and intelligence does not play a major role in success- its grit and perseverance. A ritual of daily meditation is often a overlooked and overseen source of success. It’s the every day dose of perseverance that creates successful people- the difference between getting an A or B, B or C, C or D. Research done on perseverance reveled that perseverance produced success and not a person’s IQ or talent. Talent and a great IQ cannot compete with perseverance. Here is the perseverance research study. It’s the mental toughness and grit of perseverance that transforms our lives and leads us to the path of success.
Meditation is the life of the soul: Action, the soul of meditation and honor the reward of action.
About Author: Sam Bissell is a college full time student currently studying pre-medicine. In her free time she enjoys spending it with friends and family.