Updated: Jan 24
So you've decided to do a Ph.D. You're going to be studying for the next few years and as I know from personal experience, it can be stressful and lonely. Getting your head down into the research is easy but when things get tough, or you feel like giving up, it's important to have people around you who will help support you through the process.
Why do Ph.D. Students Need support?
Let’s face it, everyone needs some form of support. Today, more than ever before, Ph.D. students are confronted with social and mental challenges which can be the source of stress. Not only do they have to deal with a challenging academic workload, but also with their own feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty.
Many people use support groups with professionals to help them get through difficult times and make it easier for them to cope. While there are many forms of support available, research has shown that having strong mindset support is directly linked to how well you will do in school and how well you succeed in life.
What is Mindful Support & How It Helps You As a Ph.D. Student?
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and mindfully aware of your thoughts and actions. It can be very useful to calm you down, manage emotions, solve problems and help you make better decisions.
However, it can also be helpful during your Ph.D. journey to keep you focused on what's really important: your research and achieving your goals.
Here are 5 reasons why mindful support is so essential for Ph.D. students:
1. Be Happier And Healthier
It's hard to be mindful when your mind is racing with thoughts, concerns, and anxieties. The most successful Ph.D. students know that they have to keep themselves in peak mental shape. This means finding ways to cope with stress, stay motivated and healthy. It might be tempting to leave your personal development until after you’ve finished the degree, but it’s far better to take an active approach now, so you don’t get burned out or start hating your research.
Researchers found that premedical and medical students reported less anxiety and depressive symptoms after participating in an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction training compared with a waiting list control group (Shapiro et al., 1998).
Researchers have been studying the benefits of mindfulness on a variety of levels, including stress reduction and positive psychological traits. As more people incorporate mindfulness into their daily lives, researchers are finding that its benefits extend far beyond these two areas.
2. Focus On The Present Moment
Going to a mindfulness session has a lot of benefits. One of them is that it helps you focus on the present moment, which can aid you with your Ph.D. In fact, many mindfulness sessions are designed to help people find peace and balance in their lives, which is something that Ph.D. students need to be able to do.
3. Be More Productive
Ph.D. students are known to be hard-working and dedicated to their research. They have to put in long hours of hard work and sacrifice much of their social life. But, at times, Ph.D. students also need some time off to unwind and relax.
It is important for them to take a break from the rigors of research, by indulging in mindful sessions. When you're mindful, you observe with an attitude of curiosity, openness, and acceptance. When your mind wanders from the present moment, gently guide it back without any judgment or criticism. This helps you to refresh yourself for the next round of hard work and to be more productive.
Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation practice appears to increase information processing speed (Moore & Malinowski, 2009), as well as decrease task effort and have thoughts that are unrelated to the task at hand (Lutz et al., 2009).
4. Be More Compassionate
If you want to be more compassionate towards yourself and others during your Ph.D., you need to learn how to become mindful. It allows you to be in control of your Ph.D. experience, focusing your attention where you want it to go and letting go of distractions.
5. Find Calm Amidst A Busy Schedule
When you’re in the middle of a stressful situation at work or at home, being able to step away for just ten minutes and be mindful can be incredibly beneficial. Mindful support can help you see things from a new perspective or gain insight into how to handle a particular situation. It’s enough time to get yourself back in order, relax and get ready to face the world again with a clearer mindset.
A Good News for Ph.D. Students Who Are Struggling
Scholars Professional Editing Group LLC has developed a structured premium dissertation coaching program that is personalized and tailored specifically with the doctoral candidate/student in mind. Our 1-on-1 coaching is conducted by real experts that understand and crystallize the research review process and are fully equipped to support you through navigating you step-by-step through your established dissertation goals to completion.
Candidates can expect the following outcomes and results enrolled in our coaching program:
WE SAVE YOU TIME Through Speed: Complete up to 8 full sections of your dissertation in 8-weeks through accountability, line-by-line live editorial reviews, structured, supportive, and CLEAR feedback that propels you in excitement to write in a clear and focused manner.
WE Save YOU Money Spent In Tuition & the Accumulation of Student loan Debt: By speeding up the completion of your dissertation in a shorter period we save you $7.5k spent per/semester in tuition fees.
We Save YOUR Health & Overall Well-being: Stress, anxiety, depression, isolation, dissertation completion pressures, committee ambiguous feedback and expectations, life-work balance, suicidal thoughts are common psychological effects experienced by 47% of doctoral candidates. The mindful sessions are conducted by our clinical therapist and designed to neutralize anxiety and reverse psychological effects and subconscious blocks that prevent forward and focused progress in your life. Our Clinician will equip you with transferable skills that will prepare you beyond the dissertation and can be used to combat any form of anxiety and stress that emerges in your life. We will remove subconscious blocks, so you can put your best self forward when facing stress and anxiety in completing your dissertation.
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Shapiro, S. L., Schwartz, G. E., & Bonner, G. (1998). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on medical and premedical students. Journal of behavioral medicine, 21(6), 581–599. https://doi.org/10.1023/a:1018700829825
Adam Moore, Peter Malinowski, Meditation, mindfulness and cognitive flexibility:Consciousness and Cognition 18 (2009) 176–186 DOI:10.1016/j.concog.2008.12.008
Antoine Lutz, Heleen A. Slagter, Nancy B. Rawlings, Andrew D. Francis, Lawrence L. Greischar, Richard J. Davidson, Mental Training Enhances Attentional Stability: Neural and Behavioural Evidence, Journal of Neuroscience 21 October 2009, 29 (42) 13418-13427; DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1614-09.2009
Davis, D. M., & Hayes, J. A. (2012, July). What are the benefits of mindfulness? Monitor on Psychology, 43(7). http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner