Engaging in “mindful thinking” and “mindful eating” could be the key to lowering stress and help students get rid of pre-exam jitters, suggests a study.
Mindfulness is a means of training attention for the purpose of mental well-being based on the practice of meditation.
The findings showed that mindfulness training may help lower stress as well as reduce the risk of developing common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression in students, which would help them perform well in their academics.
In the study, published in the journal The Lancet Public Health, college students who practised mindfulness showed lower distress scores, suggesting that mindfulness helps build resilience against stress.
Mindfulness training also improved well-being during the exam period when compared with the usual support.
On the other hand, students who received the standard support became increasingly stressed as the academic year progressed.
“The evidence is mounting that mindfulness training can help people cope with accumulative stress. While these benefits may be similar to some other preventative methods, mindfulness could be a useful addition to the interventions already delivered by university counselling services,” said Peter Jones, Professor at the University of Cambridge
“Our findings show that provision of mindfulness training could be an effective component of a wider student mental health strategy,” Jones added.
For the study, the team included 616 students who were randomised across two groups: one which took the counselling service and others who underwent mindfulness training.
Mindfulness training, which appears to be popular, feasible, acceptable and without stigma, can also be more effective than other preventive interventions, the researchers said.