Relax your mind by meditating


Kirk Lawler

Therapeutic massage instructor Amy Nicholson, center, leads a Mindful Meditation group during a 30-minute session at the Health Education Building.

Jessica J. Ayala, Staff Writer

Meditation is a practice that teaches you to turn your attention away from distracting thoughts allowing for concentration on the moment. It is often done by resting in a relaxing pose and focusing on your breathing or other bodily sensations.

There are many benefits from meditating for students. According to the Transcendental Meditation website, meditation can help students:

  • Increase their IQ levels, especially in creative thinking.
  • Reduce academic stress.
  • Improve academic peformance. One study reported that 41 percent of the students in a meditation group saw improvement in their math and English scores.
  • Focus on tasks at hand.
  • Feel less anxiety. A student showed that people who participate in meditation had a significant reduction in anxiety compared to a control group.

In his article “Meditation Will Make You Smarter and Happier,” Robert Puff examined a study by Harvard Medical School designed to test the good benefits of meditation.

The study was tried on people who were diagnosed with high blood pressure, heart disease, migraine headaches and diabetes. After they meditated, the subjects blood pressure levels had decreased and most of them had very good signals of relaxation. Puff added that meditation is a useful tool that can be used to stop compulsive thinking and depression.

Another important benefit is that meditation can help reduce addiction to drugs and alcohol. Studies show that the daily practice of meditation leads to a surprising reduction in substance abuse rates. In some cases meditation had more positive effect than traditional medication for withdrawl and relapse prevention.

If you are interested in trying meditation search for “meditation” using the school’s website. Madison College has weekly meditation groups Mondays, 11:30 a.m. to noon, in Room 131 at the Health Education Building; Tuesdays, 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Downtown Campus Room D302; and Wednesdays noon to 12:30 p.m. at the Health Education Building, Room 131.