Meditation: Helpful Or Not?

Mason DeBot

Some types of meditations may even bring people closer to nature.

Understanding Meditation

The typical SPASH student usually feels dazed when they wake up early for school. There could be ways to combat that. Of course, you probably have heard of meditation. It is a mental exercise that is designed to clear up your brain and get you ready for the day. Often, it can bring serious health benefits without taking too much time.  With meditation available to do anywhere, it is readily available to fit into your schedule. Not only that, but meditation is easy. In addition, many years of research has shown that one quick session of meditation will bring you a sense of calm that will last the whole day.

Starting The Habit

First off, repeated meditation has numerous long term effects on the brain aside from the short term benefits. Especially with individuals who have social anxiety, it is often challenging to meet new people. Alice Walton, journalist at Forbes, states numerous positive changes, including increased social activity, “Mindful meditation has also been shown to help people with social anxiety disorder . . . as well as relief from symptoms of social anxiety.” It is very possible that the habit of meditating could lead to productive thinking and improved memorization. Walton writes, “Eight weeks of MBSR [Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction] was found to increase cortical thickness in the hippocampus, which governs learning and memory . . .” Other long term changes included an increase in focus, creativity, patience, self-awareness, and decreased dissociation. In fact, with these wonderful benefits, it is possible to overcome depression.

Unlocking Your Full Potential

Secondly, meditation can be timed to produce maximum results. Knowing the potential benefits, it can be capitalized further by meditating in the morning. By having a session in the morning, it is easier to tame stressful feelings and thoughts that happen later in the day. A study from the EBSCO Database, conducted by professional counselor Savannah Martha, proves that timing is truly a factor for successful meditation. Martha writes, “The results of the study showed that past time perspective was associated with lower post-mindfulness anxiety . . . whereas both present and future time perspectives were not related to post-meditation anxiety and anxiety reduction.” With life being as busy as it is, meditating before starting your day is a smart choice. If an individual truly times their meditation sessions, then serious health benefits will catch up to them in no time.       

Underwhelming Time Commitments

Lastly, spending a lot of time is unnecessary. Even with as little as 10 or 15 minutes a day, you can expect to feel much better throughout the day. In an interview with Alex Sedlak, online mentor and experienced practitioner of meditation, he explains how easy the process is. Sedlak states, “Even if you sit and close your eyes for 15 minutes without a plan, it will still bring great results.” This furthermore stresses the simplistic nature of meditation. With very little interruption in your schedule, there is no doubt that meditation is a positive addition to an individual’s life. Dr. Paul Green from the Manhattan Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy suggests that even less time is also helpful. He writes, “If you have 10 minutes a day to devote to meditation, it’s reasonable to expect it to be helpful.” With such a small commitment, it is a no-brainer.

Why Not Give It A Try?

It is obvious that meditation is backed by many years of research. For SPASH students specifically, it may be something to try out. After all, it does affect the younger population more heavily due to their brains still developing. With continued practice, it could lead to mind changing results that include better focus, better learning habits, improved social activity, and many others. Additionally, with no cost and little upfront commitment, it is apparent that meditation is a fantastic stress relief method for many individuals.