By R. Ryan S Patel DO, FAPA OSU-CCS Psychiatrist
Life transitions can be times of increased stress and anxiety; which can also impact your attention and focus. One of those transitions includes moving to campus, preparing for the beginning of the fall semester, adjusting to new routines, campus life, etc.
While there are many strategies to help with the transition process, meditation may be the 1 thing to consider because it can be quick, easy, and has low potential for side effects; and has the potential to benefit everyone. It is practiced by some of the most successful people in the world.
A review of 13 studies showed improvement in ADHD symptoms with mindfulness meditation (1).
41 trials show mindfulness meditation helped improve stress related outcomes such as anxiety, depression, stress, positive mood, etc. (2)
A review of 14 clinical trials shows meditation being more effective than relaxation techniques for anxiety (3).
What are come caveats?
- While there are many types of mediation techniques, mindfulness-based meditation is the most studied.
- Different people may benefit from different types of meditation, and this area is being further researched.
- Practicing regularly may lead to improved benefits.
How to learn meditation?
- Various apps, books, videos, classes, and guides may be a useful introduction to meditation.
What else might help improve attention, anxiety, and stress related to the beginning of the semester?
- Get organized.
- Consider improving study skills through the OSU Dennis Learning center.
- Don’t multi-task because excessive digital media usage can worsen inattention symptoms.
- Trim your schedule, if possible.
- Take frequent breaks, even if they are brief.
- Get enough sleep.
- Use a journal.
What are some helpful resources?
- Online Mindfulness practices through OSU Wexner medical center
- OSU SMART Lab for stress management skills.
- OSU Student Life Counseling and Consultation Service
- OSU Student Wellness Center for wellness coaching and related services.
- National Institutes of Health’s page on Meditation
Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.
- Poissant, H., Mendrek, A., Talbot, N., Khoury, B., & Nolan, J. (2019). Behavioral and Cognitive Impacts of Mindfulness-Based Interventions on Adults with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Systematic Review. Behavioural neurology, 2019, 5682050. doi:10.1155/2019/5682050
- Goyal M, Singh S, Sibinga EMS, et al. Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-Being [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2014 Jan. (Comparative Effectiveness Reviews, No. 124.)Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK180102/
- Montero-Marin, J., Garcia-Campayo, J., Pérez-Yus, M., Zabaleta-del-Olmo, E., & Cuijpers, P. (n.d.). Meditation techniques v. relaxation therapies when treating anxiety: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Medicine,1-16. doi:10.1017/S0033291719001600