How meditation can help students

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Health Assured team

31 May 2022

In the UK, 1-in-5 students have a diagnosed mental health problem. According to a recent survey, students are significantly more anxious than the general population. These findings underline the importance of supporting the mental health of students. 

Over the last decade, students’ wellbeing has become a widespread concern. During this time, UCAS has seen a 450% increase in applicants with mental health conditions. They also estimate that each year over 70,000 students enter higher education with a mental health condition. These conditions often become exacerbated by the pressures of university and living away from home. 

Even in the twenty-first century, there remains a stigma surrounding mental illness. Because of this, many students are apprehensive to discuss their mental health – sometimes going to great lengths to hide their problems. This concealment is primarily due to fear of discrimination. While many universities offer mental health support, students across the UK continue to suffer in silence. 

For many students, university can be a fun and exciting experience, but it can also be stressful and demanding. As a student, you should develop practices to help alleviate any negative feelings when they creep up. Meditation can be an effective tool to improve your wellbeing and academic performance. But what is meditation, and how can it be used to support your mental health?

 

What is meditation?

Meditation is a set of techniques that promote a heightened sense of awareness. It is closely linked to mindfulness: a mental state achieved by focusing on the present moment. These techniques have been practiced across the world for thousands of years. In more recent decades, studies have shown meditation can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, making it a useful practice for improving mental wellbeing.

There are numerous types of meditation, and what works differs from person to person. If you’d like to learn some basic meditation techniques, take a look at our previous article, the art of meditation. Otherwise, continue reading to learn more about the benefits of meditation.

 

How can meditation help you?

Meditation has both physical and mental advantages and can significantly improve your health and wellbeing. If the pressures and expectations of university are building up and you feel anxious or stressed, meditation is one approach to alleviate these feelings. From enhancing focus to improving social skills, here are some of the benefits associated with meditation:

 

Decreases stress levels 

University can be a stressful experience. As you move into this new social environment, stressors can arise. These include academic demands, financial worries, and pressure from peers. If left unattended, these stresses can make you feel overwhelmed. You must develop techniques to help reduce these feelings of stress. Otherwise, they can develop into debilitating anxiety or depression.

Research shows that meditation is an effective treatment for many psychological conditions and is especially effective for reducing stress. If the pressures of university are beginning to take their toll, you should act sooner rather than later. Meditation is a great way to take time out of your busy schedule and check in with yourself, helping calm your mind and giving your body time to recover.

 

Improves academic performance

Poor mental health can lead many students to doubt their academic ability. University can be a big step up from previous studies. Research shows that 77% of university students have a fear of failure. This fear can spur on negative emotions, which have a damaging effect on mental wellbeing.

While academic performance isn’t the only stress students face, it’s one of the most common. According to a recent study, meditation can help improve focus and memory. These improvements can help enhance academic performance. As such, meditation is an effective technique to adopt during exam season when the pressure of academic performance is high. Taking time to relax and focus your mind can help deter these negative feelings and improves your academic performance. Helping you become a happy, healthy, and successful student.

 

Promotes social skills

According to a recent survey, 40% of 16-24 year olds report feeling lonely often or very often. When starting university, many students will move away from their family and friends, reducing their support network. The new pressure of making friends and ‘fitting in’ can be daunting, leading many students to spend more time alone. Research shows that meditation is effective for improving social skills. One study found that meditation can reduce rumination and boost self-esteem in people who suffer from social anxiety. As a result, mediation can help you feel more comfortable and confident in your new social environment.

 

Health and wellbeing support from Health Assured

Dealing with the pressures and expectations of university can be difficult. Health Assured is here to help and offer whatever support you need. If you want to know more about meditation or have any wellbeing concerns, please get in touch today.

 

 

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