Washington : Heading off to college? A recent study has suggested that mindfulness may help freshmen stress less and smile more.
According to Penn State researchers, mindfulness training may be one way to help students successfully transition to college life.
The first semester of college is a time of great transition for many students. They often are living away from home for the first time, have a much more fluid schedule than in high school and are potentially surrounded by a new peer group. For all of these reasons and more, this can be an incredibly stressful time in a student’s life.
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To help ease this transition, researchers offered an eight-session mindfulness training program to first-year students at Penn State. In mindfulness meditation, practitioners learn how to develop an accepting, nonjudgmental and kind attitude toward present moment, thoughts and feelings.
At the end of the eight sessions, the intervention was associated with significant increase in the students’ life satisfaction and a significant decrease in depression and anxiety, when compared to students who did not participate in the training.
There was also an overall drop in substance abuse between the students who took part in the mindfulness program and the non-participants.