Meditation can improve your educational skills – Neuroscientists, psychologists, yoga practitioners and businessmen constantly talk about meditation. It seizes the offices of large companies, schools, and universities. There are many directions and traditions of meditation. Let’s talk about why it should be practiced by students. And you will decide whether it is worth spending a few minutes a day to get a huge number of bonuses.
What meditation is?
It is important to note that the concept of meditation should be interpreted correctly. People sometimes erroneously assume that meditation is a process of silent contemplation of some abstract point in front of you, that it lasts for hours, etc.
This is partly true, and partly not. The fact is that there are many types of meditation in the world. Among them, there are not only those that are performed from a sitting position but also standing, even dynamic meditations, when the meditative process occurs at the moment of movement. Perhaps, people associate meditation with the Padmasana (Lotus Pose) because the Vipassana course, aimed at developing concentration skills with a gradual immersion in the process of meditation itself, presupposes hours of sitting in the Lotus Pose.
But Vipassana is just one of the types of meditation, although it is effective enough for beginners who should understand what the meditation is, how it affects the psychophysical state of a human and his life.
Calmness and concentration
Scientists have conducted research and found out that, in the meditation process, the amygdala (responsible for emotional reactions) is significantly reduced in size, which positively affects the state of the human psyche, i.e. it becomes more balanced, less reactive in its responses to stimuli emanating from of the external environment.
The connections between the amygdala and the prefrontal brain cortex are weakened, which also leads to calmness and stimulates higher brain activity, increase in the level of concentration and attention.
Balanced work of the brain hemispheres
Post-meditational effects include the balanced work of both hemispheres of the brain. Usually, the activity of one of the hemispheres is predominant. Thus, in more analytically oriented people, the left hemisphere dominates, which is responsible for logical thinking, verbal processes, etc.
Those people who are called artistic personalities are dominated by the right hemisphere. It is capable of intuitive perception of the external world. Therefore, it is connected, first of all, with creative processes, such as drawing, playing instruments, composing music – those activities where imagination is required for non-standard solutions and approaches.
Balancing the work of the left and right hemispheres will add order to your life.
Structure of the brain
Neurobiologists from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) believe that meditation can improve brain function. They examined 44 people, both usual and trained for a long time.
Half of them practiced meditation from 5 to 46 years, on average, 24 years. Among other techniques, Zazen, Samatha and Vipassana were used. The participants of the study allocated from 10 to 90 minutes for daily practices (most of them noted that deep concentration was always an integral part of their meditation). The remaining 22 people made up a control group.
To understand how meditation affects people, American experts have examined the structure of the brain of participants using the technology of three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging and two additional methods of analysis.
One of them divides the brain into several parts and allows to quickly draw conclusions about the size of specific areas. The second separates the tissues of different types and makes it possible to compare the amount of gray matter in each of the departments.
It turned out that certain structures in the head of experienced meditators were very different from “normal” people, and for the better (the confirmation of the Dalai Lama’s words was finally found).
In particular, the researchers revealed that people who practice meditation have a larger volume of the hippocampus, areas of the orbital-frontal cortex, thalamus, and temporal lower gyrus. Previously, other studies have shown that all these regions are responsible for the emotional state of a person, as well as his ability to control responses.
Now it is clear why experienced meditators have an exceptional ability to tune in to positive thinking, quickly restore their emotional balance, and be more attentive. Apparently, this is very much facilitated by the restructuring of the brain.
Thus, scientists have found out what are the anatomical “consequences” of the ability to turn inside yourself, and also told that it does not matter which type of meditation is chosen by a person.
Simple meditation for students
It is not necessary to go somewhere to meditate. Practicing mindfulness is possible wherever it is possible to breathe. You can use special exercises during a break at a university or while traveling on public transport. Let’s try right now?
- Sit on the floor or on a chair so that both feet touch the floor.
- To begin with, sit quietly for two or three minutes without pursuing any goal. If you are distracted and thoughts are a mess, do not worry. Breathe a little deeper than always.
- The next step – just observe the breath, the sensations in the body and the thoughts that come to you. Try to move away from the stream of thoughts, just observe them. Accept everything that happens without judging yourself, without giving marks. When you start doing this regularly, you will notice that thoughts – at least at the moment of meditation – will become smaller, and a clearer sense of the moment will appear. But it will not happen immediately, only with practice.
- Do not judge yourself – there is no bad or good meditation. Moreover, even a few minutes in a state of a relative calmness will be useful.
- During the day, stop and ask yourself a few questions:
- What do I feel?
- What do I think?
- Why do I feel this and think about it?
Over time, your life will reach a fundamentally new level of quality and will be filled with new colors. Many students share their results with admiration in the essays composed for the psychology lessons. If you want to write such a paper too, professional services like Pro-Papers will be very useful.