According to a study, mindfulness training can reduce stress of students during exams and support risk of mental health problems like anxiety, depression.
Mindfulness training, a means of attention for the purpose of mental well-being by practicing meditation, has increased in the recent years.
Geraldine Dufour, Head of Counselling Service at the University of Cambridge in the UK, said, “Given the increasing demands on student mental health services, we wanted to see whether mindfulness could help students develop preventative coping strategies."
Published in the journal The Lancet Public Health, the study was conducted with 616 students.
They were grouped into two and offered access to comprehensive centralised support at the University of Cambridge Counselling Service along with support from National Health Service.
Only half of the students were offered a mindfulness course. The sessions were conducted weekly, with face-to-face and group sessions. They were also told to do meditation, starting with eight minutes, and then increasing it to 15-25 minutes per day.
The other half were given this mindfulness session in the next year.
The study measured the stress level of both the groups in the conducted examinations in May and June 2016.
Those students who received the mindfulness training performed well in the exams without stress, unlike those who did not receive the training.
“This is, to the best of our knowledge, the most robust study to date to assess mindfulness training for students, and backs up previous studies that suggest it can improve mental health and wellbeing during stressful periods,” said Julia Galante of Cambridge, who led the study.