Learning is an integral part of our lives and it never stops at any level. Because of this, we have to improve our learning abilities so that we can acquire knowledge easily and understand the concepts we take in much faster and better.
There are many ways that are known to help boost our learning abilities as humans like emptying our minds and being attentive to what we are learning as well as visualization, just to name a few.
Another great way to get better at learning is through consistent meditation.
And here we are going to have a deeper look at how meditation helps with learning and what research studies have found out in regard to this subject.
Getting to Know The Art of Learning Better
Learning involves gaining certain skills or knowledge, by way of being taught, studying, or through experience.
People take the time to learn a specific thing because they want to understand it well or because they want to be good at something in the case of a skill or the like.
Look at it this way, to be good at driving, for example, one has to attend driving classes so that they are guided on how to get a car running, balance it on the road and park it properly.
The same case applies to learning anything else out there.
If one wants to understand how to bake or draw or do anything, they will look for information that can help them on the same.
Now, learning capacities for people vary considerably with various individuals and this is dependent on a few factors such as personality, motivation, the readiness and willingness to learn, attention, health of the learner, and the level of aspiration to achieve, among many other factors.
As a result of this, there are people that experience learning difficulties, and thus their ability to gain knowledge and skills at the same rate as others is reduced.
Because of this, people keep seeking ways through which they can improve their learning capabilities, and the most common methods explored include; finding opportunities that allow them to exercise what they have learned, eating foods that boost mental strength, engaging in collaborative learning, avoiding multitasking, taking notes, and meditating.
There are countless other ways that help improve learning but our main focus will be on meditation.
Meditation as a practice is mostly known for personal improvement in areas such as finding peace and inner calmness, being more aware, loving, and kind, but there is more to it than just that.
It can also help us improve the way we interact with learning and therefore have an easier time absorbing new concepts and making them work in our lives.
Many people are exploring it individually, but teachers as well are starting to make use of it in classrooms. The idea behind the whole approach is to aid their students to make the most of their learning and especially in utilizing the knowledge that they gain.
Let’s take a deeper look at exactly how meditation positively impacts learning.
Learning Benefits of Meditation
1. Helps You Reducing Mind Wandering And Thought Racing
As human beings, we tend to think about a lot of things from our work or school, to our families, to our financial lives, and how we relate with others.
These thoughts tend to keep our minds busy which might make a hindrance to learning smoothly.
Meditation is a great way to clear our minds.
When you meditate, you are able to get rid of excess mental clutter which is based on worrying about the future and dealing with constant fears as well as stress, and through this, you are able to focus on a specific task, thus improving how you perform it (1).
Once your mind is clear, you are able to grasp new information and digest it easily and with that, you are able to apply what you have learned with a fair amount of ease.
2. Helps With Improving Memory
Memory is a crucial element of our brains when it comes to learning because it allows us to remember what we have learned.
You are able to retrieve the information you gained and get to apply it in various situations.
Meditation has been found to improve memory in various ways.
For instance, it enhances different areas of the brain such as increasing the cortical thickness in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that is associated with memory and learning abilities (2).
In addition to this, meditation results in the formation of more nerve cells, causing them to increase and boost their interconnectivity, protecting them from age-related wear and tear, which results in a healthy brain that is easily receptive to information (3).
3. Helps With Reducing Anxiety
Anxiety interferes with working memory which is associated with learning and memory.
When you are anxious, it is hard for you to think straight and understand properly what you are being taught.
An anxious learner reasons and works less efficiently and hence their learning capability is reduced.
To deal with this naturally, you can engage in a brief session of meditation to help you relax and be calm.
And then make an effort of meditating frequently so that you are able to keep anxiety at bay.
Meditation helps you overcome worrying thoughts and accordingly, gives you mental clarity.
With mental clarity, learning for you becomes a seamless process.
4. Helps With Improving Your Level of Attention And Concentration
There are many forms of meditation that are known to help the practitioner become more focused and attentive. The two most popular ones include mindfulness meditation and focused attention meditation.
Concentration meditation also helps you raise your level of concentration and get to be more productive in your undertakings, including learning.
Learning requires the student to concentrate and remain attentive and focused to what they are learning about so that they can understand perfectly how what they are learning about works, and be able to work with it comfortably.
When you make meditation a habit, you find it easy to remain attentive and focused on your objective than when you meditate only when you are about to learn or not meditate at all.
Doing it for a day or two will give you benefits that are short-lived but by committing yourself to the practice, you build these abilities within you.
Research Studies on How Meditation Affects Learning
Research studies on students that have used various meditation practices to venture into how helpful meditation is for learning have shown that meditation has a positive effect in the area.
A study investigating the effects of mindfulness meditation course on learning and cognitive performance among university students in Taiwan found that the mindfulness meditation course was beneficial in enhancing learning effectiveness, memory as well as attention among the students (4).
Another study looking at the mindfulness training and classroom behavior among ethnic minority and lower-income elementary school children showed that teachers discovered that students had better classroom behavior after participating in a short mindfulness-based program (5).
A 2016 study that also investigated the impact of mindfulness meditation intervention on academic performance discovered that students appreciated the mindfulness meditation process and agreed that it helped improve their learning efficiency in classroom environment (6).
Another study that involved psychology students receiving meditation training and then having a lecture that was followed by a quiz showed that meditation can improve the information retention ability of students (7).
Essentially, meditation has shown the potential to make an effective tool for learning.
Students who tend to form meditation habits have a higher chance of getting better academic results and improved behavior than those who don’t.
We believe that meditation should also be included in the curriculum so that more students are able to enjoy the benefits of the practice.
It is a natural practice that can even be done for a few minutes a day and have significant improvements on the one who is practicing it.
We hope that future research on this topic will help us understand better which styles of meditation would make a good fit for educational centers with students from different cultures and beliefs and how to include them in a way that will benefit the students.
Are you a student who practices meditation and feel it has helped you with your studies? Please share your experiences and thoughts on the subject in the comments below.
We look forward to hearing from you. 🙂