Meditation has been said to help many ailments, chronic illness, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, stress, and can even lower blood pressure. There are plenty of ways to do it, whether it be in a class, watching videos on YouTube, apps, or books. Meditating can be a great thing theoretically, but does it really help?
Seven students, from 8th to 12th grade, were asked to use the ‘Basic 1’ pack from the app Headspace, which includes 10 sessions. Every five sessions they responded to a survey, marking their stress level — which was based on an online test — how they felt about meditation, if they were taking any advanced classes, and any other information they thought needed to heard. At the onset, many students said they were “a little skeptical but eager to give it a try,” or something to that effect.
Headspace, founded in 2010, is dedicated to meditation. According to their website, their goal is to “better understand both the mind and the world dotcom-science-icons-world around us. The additional health benefits that occur with regular meditation are helpful byproducts.” The app mainly runs off of subscriptions but allows users to try the app for up to 30 sessions free using the different ‘Basic Packs’.
At the Start
The quiz, from pyschcentral.com, has scores ranging from 28-116. Lower scores indicated less stress, and higher, indicating more. Before starting scores averaged 67.25, the highest score being 90, and the lowest being 40. 62.5% of the students surveyed were taking advanced classes, which can increase stress. Most people did not go without missing days, only two completing the 10 days missing zero sessions. The sessions lasted between 3 and 10 minutes, for ten sessions.
After 10 Sessions
After ten sessions, the average score dropped to 59, almost 10 points. The highest score was 90 and the lowest was 25, with most scores trending downwards. One person’s score went from a 90 to a 39, a 51 point difference. A few people’s scores, went up, however, based on responses to other questions, you could tell that their stressors had also increased. After the 10 days, 4 people said they would continue meditation, and the other 3 said they would consider it.
Many people considered the meditation worth it, and saw that if done regularly that it could really help with stress management. “I have a radically changed view on what meditation actually entails and the process. I have a new respect for those who meditate as part of their mindfulness and stress management,” said one student. Many commented that it was hard to take the time to do nothing and just focus on meditation, but it could be very helpful if they chose to follow the process and put in the work. So, maybe next time you’re stressed out for a test, a game, a match, a family gathering, or whatever else, take the time and do some meditation.