A recent Wharton study showed that practicing mindfulness for just a few minutes a day can significantly improve students' academic and professional performances.
Wharton Management professor Lindsey Cameron’s research concluded that just seven minutes of mindfulness every day can make students and employees more productive in their work. She found that employees are more likely to donate their time and money to their co-workers when they practice mindfulness.
“From our study, we basically showed that you can be a better person to the people around you, whether it is toward the people that you are doing a project with or your romantic other,” Cameron said.
Cameron said daily meditation is like “immunization shots.” With a very small dose of mindfulness practice, an individual can reap all of the benefits — just like a flu vaccine.
“Practicing mindfulness not only can help you relieve your stress, but also sharpen your focus. It is really helpful when you are studying for a test or getting ready for an interview,” Cameron said.
Cameron said the act of meditating for seven minutes is “more on the surface level,” where therapies and some of the other student mental health groups can help students in dealing with “deeper level issues.”
In addition to practices like meditation, experts said students can converse with their peers to talk through problems.
Penn Graduate School of Education professor Marsha Richardson said students often find it easier to connect to students of their age.
“Everyone is walking around like they have all their stuff together and they are confident, where in reality there are a large number of students that are very vulnerable and anxious,” Richardson said. “However, when they start to talk about this, they realize that they are not alone and not the only one suffering from these experiences.”
The prevalence of imposter syndrome is a common issue that many individuals grapple with, and can be improved by discussing the issue, Richardson said. Students are not the only group that experience this syndrome, Richardson said, which is where individuals feel unqualified for a task at hand, even if they are qualified to complete it.
“It's not only students. I have spoken to some faculty, and even myself included, who experience this phenomenon of imposter syndrome,” Richardson said.
Richardson added it is important to understand that anyone can be vulnerable at points in their life, and it is okay to be vulnerable.
“Support does not mean you can't do it. Support doesn't mean you are anything less than,” Richardson said.