Updated: Feb 21
There are significant benefits of meditation for college students and their families. By meditating together, you can not only encourage your student in a practice that may help them improve their academic performance, but you will be supporting good mental health for your entire family.
Countering Stress in College
Parenting a college student can be a challenge. It's hard to know how to help them with their exams and coursework without also piling on the pressure. Stress is a way of life for college students. Only a tiny percentage (less than 2%!) of college students report no stress. And now that many, if not most of us, have our college students living at home again because of the pandemic, we can see how that stress can filter through the family, affecting everyone in the house. College students must manage stress successfully, and there are many ways to do this. Exercise, proper nutrition, and time to relax daily are good strategies. Meditation is one of the most potent ways for students to relieve stress. As a meditation teacher, I've helped many students and families cope with stress and have witnessed firsthand how big a difference meditation can make.
Here are five benefits of meditation for college students and their families
1: Meditation helps students and their families with stress.
Perhaps the most well-known benefit of meditation is that it helps with stress relief. Deep breathing meditation techniques like Anapanasati (mindfulness of breath) have been scientifically proven to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which prompts relaxation. In addition to helping with stress, meditation relieves other common mental health conditions among college students, such as exam anxiety. All family members can relax by creating a family meditation session, resulting in a stress-free household.
2: Meditation improves academic performance.
Both college students and their families are concerned about the results. Meditation has been scientifically proven to improve academic performance and help raise grades. Meditation improves academic performance by boosting focus and concentration, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving short-term memory. The result is better graded with less stress. Unfortunately, many college students believe they don't have time to meditate, which is one reason why it's helpful if parents advocate the practice, and perhaps even create a family meditation time when all family members meditate together.
3: Meditation improves family communication.
Poor communication is one of the primary causes of conflict within families. So much tension, resentment, and misunderstanding could be avoided or resolved if family members spoke openly about how they were feeling and listened to one another with open ears. Most of us know from personal experience that this isn't as easy as it sounds. We all have our stressors and pressures.
Thankfully, one of the positive effects of meditation is that it improves communication skills. It has even been demonstrated that meditation helps prepare us to hear things we don't want to hear. So, if one family member mentions something inconvenient or something we disagree with, we can listen to them and acknowledge them. By improving communication, meditation helps family members to be attentive and open to one another, ultimately creating a more supportive family unit.
4: Meditation boosts compassion among family members.
One of my favorite benefits of meditation is that it heightens compassion. There are specific meditations that families can use to improve empathy, namely Loving Kindness ("Metta") and Karuna ("Compassion"). By practicing these two methods, family members can become more understanding and more compassionate of one another, leading to a more supportive household.
5: Meditation cultivates peace within the family
Research has shown that when we meditate as a group, we create a sense of peace among all members. In other words, if you meditate as a family, you will all help one another to feel peaceful. You will reduce arguments and create a more tranquil household (which is also conducive to successful study). When parents are relaxed, their kids are more likely to be peaceful.
There are many benefits of meditation for both college students and their families. Families can help improve grade performance, reduce anxiety, and ultimately create a happier home by meditating as a group. All it takes is 20 minutes a day of family meditation time. Why not turn off the TV for 20 minutes and sit as a family, breathing peacefully? Everyone will benefit.
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