Students reported improvements in six areas of well-being: depression, stress, mental health, mindfulness, positive affect, and social connectedness
30 July 2020, Bengaluru:A breakthrough study by researchers from Yale University has found that college students who practiced the Sudarshan Kriya breathing technique, reported improvements in six key areas of well-being: depression, stress, mental health, mindfulness, positive affect, and social connectedness.
The findings, reported in Frontiers in Psychiatry and mentioned on the Yale University website, said ‘such resiliency training programs could be a valuable tool for addressing the mental health crisis on university campuses.’
The high profile study was led by researchers from Yale Child Study Center & Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Yale University, Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, Stanford University, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany, Yale School of Management, Yale University and Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge.
In the ongoing pandemic, youth have been a particularly vulnerable age group when it comes to mental health, matters made worse by uncertainties about the future, rise of protests and global tensions.
In a randomized controlled trial, the research teams at the Yale Child Study Center and Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence evaluated three classroom-based wellness training programs. All three incorporate breathing and emotional intelligence strategies. The programs were tested on 135 undergraduate subjects for 8 weeks and the results were measured against a controlled group of undergraduates who were not part of any of the three programs.
‘Compared to the control group…SKY Campus Happiness showed the greatest impact, benefiting six outcomes: depression, stress, mental health, mindfulness, positive affect and social connectedness,” researchers said.
The Art of Living’s SKY Campus Happiness program relies on a breathing technique called SKY (Sudarshan Kriya Yoga) Breath Meditation, yoga postures, social connection, and service activities.
“In addition to academic skills, we need to teach students how to live a balanced life,” said Emma Seppälä, lead author and faculty director of the Women’s Leadership Program at Yale School of Management. “Student mental health has been on the decline over the last 10 years.”
Sudarshan Kriya is a powerful rhythmic breathing technique taught as part of The Art of Living programs, that eliminates stress and emotional toxins at a cellular level. Research shows, the technique helps improve the sleep cycle, improves secretion of happy or feel-good hormones like oxytocin, reduces the secretion of stress hormones like cortisol, heightens awareness, and reduces clinical depression symptoms.
Anxiety, depression and stress have been some of the most common self-reported problems by university students.