How Mindfulness Can Help with College Stress
Mindfulness has been around for centuries and is predominantly associated with Buddhism. However, in recent times it has become increasingly more popular in the Western world, and many new studies have come to light showing the positive impacts of practicing mindfulness for your body and brain. Mindfulness is well-known for its ability to help relieve stress, so for college students who are dealing with the stress of mid-terms or finals, writing assignments, gaining work experience and preparing for graduation, it can have several benefits. If studying for your masters in social work online is stressing you out, here are just some of the ways in which mindfulness can help.
#1. Better Breathing
When we get stressed, our breathing tends to quicken because of the adrenaline caused by the ‘fight or flight’ response to stressful situations. However, when you are studying for a college degree, it’s rarely ever appropriate to either fight or flee; therefore, college students often let the stress keep mounting up on top of them until they finally crack under the pressure. Mindfulness gives you a method of getting back in control and dealing with stress as it happens, so it doesn’t end up controlling your life. When you practice mindfulness meditation, one of the main things that you will do is focus on your breathing, which will help you with deep breathing exercises the next time you’re feeling stressed or anxious. In turn, breathing slowly and deeply helps to calm your racing thoughts and provides the brain with the oxygen that it needs to stay calm and collected.
#2. Better Focus
Studying for a college degree is no easy task; alongside learning new information, you’ll need to know how to concisely put it together into essays and reports, take in information to relay in an exam, and be confident enough to give presentations. Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness can boost students’ testing abilities in exams since it helps to improve focus and concentration. Since mindfulness meditation gives you more control over negative thoughts and stressful feelings, this will spill over to when you are learning, allowing you to better deal with distractions in your own head. Whether you’re studying for a masters of social work online or taking a bachelor’s degree on-campus, the ability to focus better is something that even the best students can do well to have.
#3. Improved Self-Confidence
When studying for your college degree, it’s important that you are confident in yourself and your ability to learn. Without self-confidence, doubts will quickly begin to creep in, causing you to feel even more stressed and worried about your performance. Sadly, thinking these types of thoughts can increase the risk of your performance dropping, causing your worries to come true. Practicing mindfulness meditation is all about caring for yourself; it can help you to believe in yourself more and make it easier to visualize the best version of you.
These are just some of the ways in which mindfulness can help students. Has being mindful helped you in other ways at college? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.