It’s no secret that life as a college student can be stressful. Practicing mindfulness meditation has been a way for students at Long Beach State to manage their day-to-day lives.
Mindfulness meditation has been shown in studies to reduce stress, improve focus and lessen anxiety.
Yogapedia defines mindfulness meditation as a type of meditation which involves paying attention, deliberately and nonjudgmentally, to the present moment.
A recent meta-analysis study conducted by a team of researchers at the University of British Columbia found that the brains of consistent meditators have thicker tissue in the regions associated with body awareness, enhanced focus, stress management and attention control. This means that those who regularly meditate notice positive changes in their overall mindset compared to those who do not meditate.
Kim Wong, a junior psychology student who regularly practices mindfulness meditation, expressed the benefits it has brought to her life.
“My anxiety got so bad that I was forced to find a solution,” she said. “Ever since I started meditating, I’ve been happier and less anxious.” Wong now meditates “almost every day,” and she occasionally uses grassy areas of campus to find her Zen.
Meditation is also an important practice in religions such as Buddhism; it is central for mediators to connect to one’s inner self, reach enlightenment, focus on a higher power or reflect on a spiritual relationship.
Jessie Flores, an engineering student practices meditation as an expression of his Buddhist faith.
“Meditating regularly helps clear any negativity in my mind,” he said.
Students can engage in several opportunities for free meditation on campus. The Student Recreation and Wellness Center offers guided meditation every Monday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Beach Balance Wellness Room.
Jessica Lee, a sophomore business student, offered a word of advice for the stressed students at LBSU.
“Take a few minutes every day to try mindfulness meditation,” she said. “Focus on your breathing and relax, that’s all it takes.”