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Mindfulness Can Help Stressed-Out Grad Students

student in mindfulness exercise in a darkened classroom

Mindfulness training and practices can help students reduce stress, improve focus, and derive more enjoyment from their work.

Credit: Joel Hallberg

Within the high-stress, high-pressure, often socially isolated world of advanced education, graduate students experience depression and anxiety at six times the rate of the general population.

Normalizing mindfulness practices within the graduate student experience may be an answer, according to a three-year study conducted by University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers. Their results showed that regular, sustained mindfulness activities can play an important role in improving engineering graduate student emotional well-being.

"How do we help our students develop resiliency and a really robust toolbox, both professional and personal, to flourish in an environment where there's inevitably going to be stress?,"  asks Susan Hagness, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and one of the study's co-authors. "We're getting the word out that investing in self-care is important, and it's normal."

From University of Wisconsin-Madison
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