Cambridge University study finds mindfulness improves mental health during exams

Image credit: Pexels

Recent research by the University of Cambridge has revealed that mindfulness training can help prevent mental illness and improve mental health in university students. Through a study involving just over 600 Cambridge students, it was found that eight-week mindfulness courses in UK universities could help strengthen resilience.

The study, which was published in The Lancet Public Health, suggested that although mental illness in the first-year undergraduate population was still lower compared to the general population, levels spiked to surpass that of the general population in the second year.

Mental health is a topic repeatedly highlighted in Cambridge itself, with statistics obtained by The Cambridge Student in 2015 revealing that only 55% of the University’s student population find their academic workload manageable. Only 38% believed that their course “does not apply unnecessary pressure”.

Mindfulness has become increasingly popular with universities in recent years, and refers to training attention on experiences in the present moment through methods like meditation. The study found that symptoms of anxiety and depression amongst students lessened when they had undergone such training, even during the widely-acknowledged stressfulness of summer exams.

Dr Julieta Galante, a member of Cambridge’s psychiatry department, labelled this “the most robust study to date to assess mindfulness training for students”, and said that it “backs up previous studies that suggests it can improve mental health and wellbeing during stressful periods”.

However, attempts by the study to establish whether mindfulness affects exam results itself proved to be inconclusive, The Guardian reported.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Stories

In this section

Across the site

Best of the Rest