World Meditation Day: The Benefits Of Meditating On Mental Health
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May 21st is World Meditation Day, an annual worldwide celebration which focuses on the ancient art of meditation and the benefits on our health and wellbeing.
If you’ve been wanting to get into meditating whilst studying at university or you’re curious as to what the benefits of this practice are, we’ll be revealing all within this post.
Carry on reading to find out!
How Is World Meditation Day Celebrated?
In this busy day and age we rarely get a chance to just pause and find a moment to relax, which is what World Meditation Day is all about.
Held every year on May 21st since 1995, this annual event is a time to find a moment of peace, reflect and reconnect with yourself.
To celebrate World Meditation Day 2023, you don’t need to be an experienced meditator.
Anyone can get involved and make the most of the physical, mental and spiritual well-being benefits.
Whether it’s hosting a meditation class in your student accommodation, attending an event in your university city or town or even watching meditation classes online, there are plenty of ways you can get involved.
The Mental Health Benefits Of Meditating
Meditation is all about taking time out of your busy life to sit, breathe, pay attention to the present moment and find a sense of calm.
It’s a practice which has been around for centuries and is all about intentionally spending time with your mind!
Meditation is a powerful practice that can have many positive effects on our physical and mental health.
We’ve listed a few of the impacts included within our next section.
1. Helps Reduce Stress & Anxiety
Meditation has been practised across the globe for thousands of years and has many benefits for the mind, body, and spirit, including helping to reduce stress and anxiety.
By meditating you can help to calm your mind and reduce your body’s stress responses such as elevated heart rate and blood pressure.
Research has shown that meditation can even reduce symptoms of depression and can improve our overall mood!
2. Better Focus & Concentration
Studies have found that regularly meditating can improve your ability to focus and concentrate on tasks.
Which can improve your overall productivity not only academically but within your personal life too.
This is due to the fact we’re teaching our mind to be fully aware of one thing at a time, which sharpens our focus.
This can be particularly beneficial for people who have ADHD or other attention-related disorders.
If you want to reap the benefits of better focus and concentration, set aside a time each day to meditate.
Even 10 minutes is enough to notice some positive changes!
2. Improves Sleep
When it comes to meditation benefits, one of the biggest positives this mindful practice can have is helping people to sleep better.
Meditation can help to relax your body and mind, so incorporating it into your daily routine can no doubt improve your quality of sleep too.
So, if you struggle to fall asleep as a student why not try it?
Meditation has even been shown to reduce insomnia, which can go a long way in improving our overall health and well-being!
3. Increases Self Awareness
There are so many mental health benefits of regular meditation practice with another being increased self awareness.
By focusing on the present moment during meditation you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings.
This can help you to better understand your own mental health and be more mindful in your daily life.
As this practice involves focusing your attention on a specific object, thought, or activity, it can also help you to identify negative behaviours.
4. Helps You Be Mindful
Meditation is an ancient art that has a wide-range of benefits including helping you to be more mindful within your daily life.
Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment, without judgement or distraction, which can be practised through meditation.
By focusing your attention on your breath, a particular object, thought, or activity you can teach your mind to be more present and aware.
Through regular practice, you will become more mindful which can improve your mental wellbeing and quality of life!
5. Reduces Distractions
In this fast paced world there are many distractions we encounter on a daily basis, especially whilst studying at university.
So, sometimes it’s good to just take time out to pause and achieve mental calmness.
This brings us to our next mental health benefit of meditation which is that this practice reduces distractions.
By taking a few minutes each day to sit silently, get rid of distractions and live in the current moment, this can really affect your mental health and well-being.
Instead of focusing on everything going on in your life, you can ignore any negative thoughts and keep inner peace!
How To Meditate
Now you know the mental health benefits of meditating, you can discover how to meditate in preparation for World Meditation Day on May 21st!
There is no size fits all approach to meditation, as there are many different forms out there which you can research about online.
However, we’ll give you a few tips to help you get started if you’re new to the world of meditation.
To get started you should first find a quiet and comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed.
Unless of course you’re attending a meditation class, but if you’re a newbie it may be best to practise alone first!
Next you should get in a comfortable position whether on the floor or in a chair, with your back straight and your hands resting on your lap.
Now you should close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
It’s important to focus on your breath, try to pay attention to the sensation of the air moving in and out of your body.
Don’t worry if your mind begins to wander, just gently bring your attention back to your breath.
Try not to judge yourself or get distracted as this is normal!
During your first few times, set a timer on your phone or watch for around 5-10 minutes to start with.
Then you can gradually increase the time as you get more used to meditation.
Whether you’re a pro meditator or starting new, there are many resources available, including meditation apps, meditation tutorials and podcasts, as well as local meditation classes.
Take a deep breath, focus and discover a way of meditating that works for you!
Remember you may not notice the benefits of meditation immediately so it is important to be patient and consistent.