Can Meditation Help You Study?
How Meditation Can Help With Concentration
Before we can begin to even answer whether or not meditation can help with learning, it's important to be mindful of the research that's out there. A fairly recent study has concluded that regular meditation can significantly improve the ability of a person to pay attention. The study had participants study for around five hours a day for three months. After this, they were tested and found to have improved focus and concentration than the control groups.
Now, let's be honest, meditation of this intensity is a bit excessive... especially for busy students (and anyone who has a job for that matter). Luckily, the cognitive benefits of meditation can still be realized with a more realistic approach. Meditating just fifteen minutes a day can improve your ability to focus in class and therefore retain more material! Additionally, it is important to note that stress can impair your brain's ability to memorize information (Source). Since meditation is an excellent method of eliminating stress, the act of meditating helps you study!
Now that that's out of the way, let's look into how you can actually use meditation as a student.
How To Begin
When you're first beginning to learn how to meditate, you will want to find a quiet location that is distraction-free. While more experienced individuals can (and do) easily meditate in public -- on busy trains and such -- you'll want to find a spot where you won't be bothered.
Next you'll need somewhere to sit. You can either sit on the floor, on a zafu or zabuton (meditation pillows), or even in a chair. That's all you'll need to start!
So now that you've got a location, it's time to get to business. Before you begin studying, you should get into the right mindset with a quick bout of meditation. Just sit and close your eyes. Count your breathing up to seven and back down, in and out. Do this for around fifteen minutes and relax... don't even think about studying. When you finish, you should get to work immediately using your newly acquired focus.
Over time you should come to associate the act of meditating with the act of studying and it should immediately put you in a mindset of learning.