Mindfulness meditation helps focus your thoughts and feelings in the present moment without judgement. Some ways to practice mindfulness include: visualization, breathing techniques, and guided imagery. Practicing mindfulness has been known to help reduce stress, relax the body, and improve focus. Focus is critical to performing well in college, and mindfulness practice can help grow your ability to focus.
It also improves concentration by growing neural networks in the brain which allows us to handle tasks more efficiently and better cope with daily stress and emotions. This works by increasing gray matter in the brain; gray matter holds most brain cells compared to other brain structures. Mindfulness aids in reducing psychological stress from anxiety and may assist with increasing the learning and memory processes. Mindfulness will regulate your emotions and take on different perspectives, thus helping you to better handle your daily challenges. It even helps you better retain the information that you read. Here are some great mindfulness practices that will guide you to maintain better focus in college.
1. Mindful Reading
Often, college students try to cram as much information as quickly as possible. With mindful reading, the reader slows down their reading, letting go of distractions and making sure to be fully present in the text. This increases comprehension and gives a more solid understanding of the text.
2. Mindful Writing
This is the practice of writing down exactly what is happening in the present moment. It can be done in a journal at any time of the day. Simply, writing down your thoughts, what you hear and see around you, and how you feel in the moment. Basically, this is the practice of recording yourself being mindful. This practice alone is said to increase kindness, compassion, and patience in a person.
3. Mindful Listening
Lectures can sometimes be a drag. This is where mindful listening comes into play. Mindful listening requires the person to be fully present in what they are hearing without judgement or control. When you practice mindful listening, make sure you let go of any assumptions you have heard about. This is extremely helpful in a college lecture setting, but it can be applied to any moment of any day.
4. Mindful Wake-Up
A great mindfulness practice that extends far beyond your college career is mindful wake-up. Begin your day by setting your intentions for the day, instead of immediately checking social media or email. Simply sit up as soon as you wake up, take three long breaths, and ask yourself what your needs are to accomplish the day. Then, throughout your day, check in with yourself and hold yourself accountable to what you intended.
5. Mindful Pause
A mindful pause is one of the simplest ways to practice mindfulness. Just take a moment to pause and be exactly in the moment. Recognize what you see, smell, hear, and feel, and allow yourself to absorb all of it without judgement. This enables you to reconnect with yourself throughout the day. It also is a great time to follow through with the last practice, and make sure that you are honoring your intention for the day.
Mindfulness practice is proven to help us to better handle anything that gets thrown our way. This is especially advantageous when trying to keep up with the vigorous schedule of your college life. By adding these simple practices to your daily routine, you will find within a short time that you are better able to not only concentrate but excel at college and life.