Students who meditate are better off when it comes to dealing with stress in college, according to new research at American U.
The study pointed out that such students also remain less fatigued and have more "integrated" brains. According to the researchers, Transcendental Meditation (TM) may be an effective non-medicinal tool for students to buffer themselves against the intense stresses of college life.
"The pressures of college can be overwhelming: 44% of college students binge drink, 37% report use of illegal drugs, 19% report clinical depression, and 13% report high levels of anxiety," said the lead author and director of the MUM brain research center.
Titled "Effects of Transcendental Meditation practice on brain functioning and stress reactivity in college students," the research is the first random assignment study of the effects of meditation practice on brain and physiological functioning in college students. For the study, the researchers roped in 50 students from American University and other Washington, D.C. area universities.
- 44 percent of college students binge drink
- 37 percent report use of illegal drugs
- 19% report clinical depression
- 13 percent report high levels of anxiety,"
said Fred Travis, lead author and director of the MUM brain research center.
On the other hand, TM practice appeared to buffer the effects of high stress. Travis said: "From pre-test to post-test, Brain Integration Scale scores increased significantly, indicating greater breadth of planning, thinking, and perception of the environment.
The sympathetic reactivity and sleepiness decreased among the TM group, which corresponds to greater emotional balance and wakefulness. "These statistically significant results among college students suggest that the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique could be of substantial value for anyone facing an intense and challenging learning/working environment."
The study was published in a recent issue of the peer-reviewed International Journal of Psychophysiology. Source