There Is No Performance, There Is Just This Moment: The Role of Mindfulness Instruction in Promoting Health and Well-Being Among Students at a Highly-Ranked University in the United States

Deanna Kerrigan, Victoria Chau, Melissa King, Emily Holman, Alain Joffe, Erica Sibinga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has been shown to improve health outcomes across populations. We explored the feasibility, acceptability, and initial effects of a pilot MBSR program at a highly-ranked university in the United States. We conducted 23 in-depth interviews with 13 students. Interviews explored stressors and coping mechanisms, experiences with MBSR, and its reported impact and potential future use. Interviews were analyzed using thematic content and narrative analyses. Results indicated that students are exposed to a very high level of constant stress related to the sheer amount of work and activities that they have and the pervasive surrounding university culture of perfectionism. MBSR offered an opportunity to step back and gain perspective on issues of balance and priorities and provided concrete techniques to counter the effects of stressors. We conclude that MBSR and mindfulness programs may contribute to more supportive university learning environments and greater health and well-being among students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)909-918
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Keywords

  • mindfulness
  • perfectionism
  • stress
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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