Biological and Psychological Implications of Mindfulness Meditation for College Students

College students are exposed to a wide variety of stressors that may inhibit wellbeing. Mindfulness reduces the body’s default to intense sympathetic nervous system responses. I conducted the following research study as one component of my Honors Project to examine the biological and psychological implications of students enrolled in a three-credit-hour mindfulness course offered during the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters at Bowling Green State University. Specifically, measurements of blood pressure, breathing rate, and heart rate were recorded before and after the in-class meditation period several days throughout the semester. Moreover, students completed the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire to assess any changes in the facets of act with awareness, describe, non-judge, non-react, and observe while enrolled in the class. ANOVAs indicate that there was a significant decrease in breathing rate for both semesters and heart rate for the Spring 2019 semester (p < 0.05). In addition, the facets of non-react and observe significantly increased for both semesters (p < 0.05). Therefore, these results suggest that mindfulness meditation had positive implications for college students enrolled in the course. Suggestions are offered for future studies to further examine the long-term effects of mindfulness practices maintained by college students.

  • Poster
  • Students enrolled in a “Mindfulness Practice” course at Bowling Green State University were recruited to participate in a research study to investigate the effects of mindfulness meditation on blood pressure, breathing rate, and heart rate. Additionally, Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaires were completed to examine the psychological effects of this class.

  • Biology and Psychology

10 thoughts on “Biological and Psychological Implications of Mindfulness Meditation for College Students”

  1. Interesting topic! I might add some mindfulness activities to my teaching assistant class this fall. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi, Judy! Thanks for viewing the presentation. (korumindfulness.org) is a great mindfulness resource specifically for college students.

  2. Kelsey, Thanks so much for sharing your findings! Mindfulness is something I enjoy personally and find so helpful. I am interested in what the Act Aware and Non-Judge meant if you are able to let me know. Great job on your research and presentation.

    1. Hi Lori, thanks for viewing and for leaving a comment! To measure psychological changes for the students enrolled in the Mindfulness Practice course, I used the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire. This well-validated self-report measure breaks mindfulness down into five facets to be studied: act aware, describe, non-judge, non-react, and observe. There were 39-items on the questionnaire. Examples of items that would be scored as “act aware” include “When I do things, my mind wanders off and I’m easily distracted” and “I don’t pay attention to what I’m doing because I’m daydreaming, worrying, or otherwise distracted.” Examples of items that would be scored as non-judge include “I criticize myself for having irrational or inappropriate emotions.” and “I disapprove of myself when I have irrational ideas.”

  3. This is really interesting! I hope mindfulness meditation becomes more incorporated into all colleges soon. I know I need my heart rate to go down and to reduce stress, so I think you have inspired me to try mindfulness in my daily life. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Lacey! Calm, Insight Timer, and Stop, Breathe & Think are three great meditation apps that are free to download with great techniques to incorporate into everyday life.

  4. Tiffany Nascimento

    What a wonderful topic! I personally tried to practice mindfulness as often as I could back when my day-to-day life was a little more rigorous and a lot less…quarantined. Thank you so much for engaging this topic! It was a wonderful presentation!

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