Even before COVID-19, college students had been reporting increasing levels of anxiety year-after-year—and the pandemic has not helped. A 2020 survey by the American College Health Association found that between March and May, an even higher proportion of students reported that their mental health has negatively impacted their academic performance.
Now, more than ever, college students are looking to their schools to help them better manage stress and get through this tough time. Institutions can boost student success by understanding the benefits of mindfulness, providing convenient access to high-quality mindfulness and meditation resources, and encouraging students to make use of them.
Benefits of mindfulness for college students
Research has found that people with high levels of mindfulness report lower levels of anxiety. In fact, recent reviews show that mindfulness-based interventions can help to decrease stress and anxiety in college students. Some of these benefits include improved focus and academic abilities.
Mindfulness means “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens,” according to the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Mindfulness is paying attention to what’s around us and inside us, without judging whether it’s good, bad, right, or wrong.
The practice of mindfulness can benefit your students by helping to reduce stress and anxiety which can bolster their success academically and personally.
How to encourage mindfulness practices for your students
When thinking about mindfulness, the most common practice that comes to mind is meditation. Guided mindfulness meditations can take many forms. They can be as short as one minute or much longer and in-depth. They can be held in-person or online (via live or prerecorded audio or video).
Beyond meditation, mindfulness can be practiced during everyday activities such as walking, eating, journaling, etc. Different types of mindfulness practices can easily be incorporated into a busy student’s day.
By making mindfulness resources available to your students, and reminding them where and how to access them, you can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety they are experiencing. Even better, by providing a variety of student-centered mindfulness options, you can allow your students to choose what type of practice and duration would benefit them at that moment.
How CampusWell can improve your students’ well-being
We want to make it as quick and easy as possible for you to provide practical and relatable mindfulness resources to your students. We currently feature monthly guided meditations created by experts specifically for students. Some recent meditations include guided imagery, gentle touch, and a hand washing meditation practice.
CampusWell can help you support your students beyond stress management and mindfulness. We provide fitness videos, recipes, and a wide variety of wellness content that students can use to improve their everyday lives. In our view, student health and wellness is multi-dimensional, touching every aspect of a student’s life—from their emotional and physical well-being to their spiritual, environmental, and even financial wellness. With a school-wide subscription, each week we help you provide your students with engaging content to help you support your students’ success in all areas of their lives.
In addition to the science-backed wellness content we provide, you can use our customizable online platform to effectively communicate with your students about academic resources, services, and events at your school—whether they’re accessing it on campus or from home.
CampusWell is a versatile platform that helps make a multi-departmental wellness initiative simple, sustainable, and engaging. Using technology, high quality, research-based content, and proven marketing strategies, together with your existing assets, we deliver a campus-wide wellness platform that will positively impact your students and institution.
American College Health Association. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on college student well-being. Retrieved from https://www.acha.org/documents/ncha/Healthy_Minds_NCHA_COVID_Survey_Report_FINAL.pdf
Bamber, M. D., & Morpeth, E. (2019). Effects of mindfulness meditation on college student anxiety: a meta-analysis. Mindfulness 10, 203–214. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-0965-5
Bamber, M. D., & Schneider, J. K. (2020). College students’ perceptions of mindfulness-based interventions: A narrative review of the qualitative research. Current Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-019-00592-4
CampusWell. (2018, October 11). How to make everyday life more mindful for yourself and your students. Retrieved from https://default.campuswell.com/student-advocate-make-everyday-life-more-mindful/
Greater Good Science Center. (n.d.) What is mindfulness? Retrieved from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition