The study involved coaching 135 Yale undergraduate students on one of three 30-hour, eight-week semester-long well-being programs. The first program was the SKY Campus Happiness (SKY), which has been shown to improve psychological resilience and decrease stress in students. It is based on a breathing technique called SKY Breath Meditation, yoga postures and social connections etc. The second program called the Foundations of Emotional Intelligence (EI), was developed by the YCEI. It has been previously shown to improve emotional skills, cooperation and even academic grades. The third program was the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR), an eight week mindfulness based intervention.
In all, the SKY group benefited six outcomes in students: depression, stress, mental health, positive affect, mindfulness, and social connectedness; the EI group benefited one outcome: mindfulness; and the MBSR benefited none. The importance of recognising and treating mental health issues is ever increasing. Therapy and medication are significant in doing so, however these come with their fair share of problems. Such measures take place once the problem is established and symptoms start appearing. But, training students in wellness strategies can be helpful in preventing such issues before they even arise. Such programs help students learn key skills like mindfulness, gratitude, empathy and also reduce the effects of anxiety and depression.
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