Should students learn to meditate? Yes, yes, and yes!
With regular practice (at least once or twice a day), students will see improvements ranging from health and well-being to academic performance.
Here are ten reasons to back up this enthusiasm, based on recent research published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
1. Rise in IQ levels
Deep inside, everyone is an Einstein: students practicing meditation benefit from increases in brain function across the board.
Most dramatic increases occur in creative thinking, practical intelligence, and IQ (as measured by the ability to reason in novel situations, called “fluid intelligence”).
2. Academic stress goes down
Not only do their grades improve, but students who practice meditation report lower levels of stress.
They also have better concentration, more alertness, and greater resistance to the physical effects of stress during exams. Read more
3. Improved academic achievement
Meditating students show considerably improved academic performance — in one study, 41% of students allocated to the meditation group benefitted from improvement in both math and English scores. Read more
4. Better focus
Thanks to their minds calming down, students doing meditation report a whopping 50% reduction in stress, anxiety, and ADHD symptoms.
This triggers a positive chain reaction, where an improved ability to focus better on tasks at hand results in increased brain processing and improved language-based skills. Read more
5. Brain integrity & efficiency
Not only does meditating make the brain sharper, but it also helps to make it a more harmonious unit: university students who took up meditation were found to have changes in the fibers in the brain area related to regulating emotions and behavior.
Among other benefits, these changes again lead to better cognitive and intellectual performance. Read more
6. Reduction in depression and anxiety
Doing meditation leads to significant reductions in depressive symptoms (an average of 48% lower than the non-meditating control group).
And that’s apparently true for everyone, including even those who have indications of clinically significant depression. Read more
7. Reduction in destructive addiction (drugs, alcohol)
There’s no harm in enjoying life. However, reigning in potentially addictive behavior is a major key to success.
Studies looking at both students and adults find that daily Transcendental Meditation practice reduces both substance abuse problems and antisocial behavior. Most times, TM has been two or three times more effective than traditional drug prevention and education programs.
These results hold for all kinds of addictive substances — drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, prescription medications, and even food (which can be as addictive as cocaine). Read more
8. Lower absenteeism, better behavior
The first step to academic glory: don’t miss a class!
Students who do meditation benefit from lower levels of absenteeism, lower levels of behavior incidents at school, and lower levels of suspension. Read more
9. Lower risk of cardiovascular diseases
Stay healthy! Regular meditation practice helps students to reduce blood pressure, anxiety, and depression. It will all pay back in years to come.
As one study showed, students formerly at risk of hypertension witnessed a major change in blood pressure already after a few months of meditating. These changes were associated with a 52% lower risk of developing hypertension later in their life. Read more
10. Happier, more confident students
Last but definitely not least — research finds that students who meditate daily get higher scores on affectivity, self-esteem, and emotional competence. Here’s your formula for happiness! Read more