Study Finds New Techniques to Help Improve Students’ Mental Health

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A study has discovered new ways to help students improve their mental health. According to the study done by the Yale Child Study Center (YCSC) and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (YCEI), college students’ mental health improved when they performed breathing techniques and exercises to cope with anxiety and stress. The study evaluated three training programs that introduced breathing and emotional intelligence strategies. Over a period of eight weeks, 135 students participated in these programs. The first among the three programs evaluated was the SKY Campus Happiness program. In this program, students were taught a breathing technique called SKY Breath Meditation, yoga positions, and activities that promote connecting to and serving others. The second program, which was developed by the YCEI itself, focused on improving the participants' ability to enjoy the moment. The third was the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, which taught mindfulness techniques. After conducting the training programs, the researchers compared the mental health of the participants with that of a group that did not go through any program. They found that the first program improved social connectedness and increased positive emotional responses among the participants. The second program improved mindfulness, while the third reportedly led to no apparent improvements. According to the researchers, the study showed that the effective programs could be essential in alleviating students’ mental health crises. Author Christina Bradley stated that the things the students learned from the two programs with positive results can continuously improve their mental health. Aside from improving students' resiliency, the programs can also prevent overburdening university counselors because they may be administered remotely.

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