Meditation helps study habits

Nolan Hovell

Take this moment to find your breath. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale release any tension you might be holding in your shoulders. Relax your jaw and drop your tongue from the roof of your mouth. Roll your head around and your shoulders back. Keep breathing in and out slowly. In between inhales and exhales, try to notice something about your state of being. Feel the breath filling your chest. Notice the feeling of the clothes on your skin and the weight they have.

Now close your eyes. If thoughts come to mind, recognize they are just thatthoughts. Allow them to come and go with ease. You are here now.

This is an example of a guided meditation that practices mindfulness and breathing as a grounding force to aid in achieving a comfortable and focused state. Streaming services like YouTube and Spotify offer variations of these simple guides, often accompanied by soothing music or natural sounds.

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In recent decades, elements of Eastern theology have begun to take root and flourish in America.

Jim Carrey said it best: “It’s been around for a while, but, I mean, I think on a widespread level it’s been picked up by everybody now. It’s been understood as something more than some kind of religious, nutty thing. It’s a system of teaching yourself to get into a state of relaxation, and it affects your entire lifethe quality of your life.”

There are many benefits of meditation, because it regulates body functions, relaxes the nervous system, improves depression, reduces anxiety and prohibits self-awareness. With all these effects pointing to a happier and healthier way of life, it’s no question why people have been using meditation for thousands of years to achieve altered states of consciousness.

As college students, our minds are exposed to new and stressful situations on a weekly basis, and our bodies can only hope to keep up. Meditation improves individuals’ abilities to maintain focus on specific tasks like reading comprehension and train-of-thought-writing. Mindfulness meditation is a good way to absolve distractions and to calm and center brain functions during study sessions.

More schools are beginning to implement meditative practicessome schools have even replaced detention with meditation time. In most cases, the results on student life and attitude are positive and only increase with more practice.

WKU’s Office of Professional Development offers meditation and yoga classes for students interested in learning more.

Whether you hope to silence internal chatter, find a state of bliss or are just curious about what meditation can really do, try it now.

For the next few minutes, do not move. Once you find yourself in a comfortable position, close your eyes. Breathe.