Posts Tagged ‘college stress’

College life can be destructive to student health. Panel of experts offer evidence-based solutions.

February 3, 2019

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Is College Bad For Your Brain?
How the epidemic of stress on college campuses
is destructive to student health–and what can be done about it
 

LIVE EVENT 
Friday February 8th • 7:30 pm CT 
Dalby Hall, MUM Campus, Fairfield, Iowa
 

GLOBAL WEBCAST 
Wednesday, February 13th • 4:00 pm ET

Webcast link: https://www.mum.edu/changemakers-event-2019

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Mental health challenges, substance abuse and poor lifestyle choices undermine student learning outcomes and successful college experiences. This webinar will explore disruptive solutions and highlight a unique university that is reversing this trend by placing stress-busting meditation at the core of its curriculum.

The statistics are sobering: 75% of college students report feeling stressed and 39% of college freshmen report symptoms of anxiety or depression.  Suicidal ideation in students has doubled over the last 10 years, 40% of college students binge drink, and there is a 30% rise in requests for mental health support.

Is there an antidote to this potentially lethal epidemic on college campuses? The David Lynch Foundation (DLF) and Maharishi University of Management (MUM) are cohosting a major conference, “Is College Bad For Your Brain?” to offer evidence-based, disruptive solutions to college students and educators alike on Friday, February 8 on the MUM campus in Fairfield, Iowa. The conference will be then webcast on Wednesday, February 13. A distinguished panel of thought-leaders—neuroscientists, educators, psychologists and students–will convene to explore the destructive impact of college stress on mental and physical health and what can be done about it.

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Gregory Gruener MD, Vice Dean for Education and neurology professor at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, has developed a cutting-edge wellness program in the highly stressful environment of medical school. “A lot of studies show that as many as 50 percent of medical students and residents exhibit symptoms from stress that can develop into burnout, so we’re trying to help students focus on wellness for themselves by teaching skills that they can take with them, skills they will need to be effective physicians.”

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To counteract this trend and help students better manage their stress, Dr. Gruener and Adjunct professor at Loyola Stritch, Carla Brown EdD, established the first elective course in Transcendental Meditation (TM) to be offered at a major medical school. Drs. Gruener and Brown will speak (via Skype) about the benefits medical students have been experiencing in their program since it’s inception in 2014.

Young girl touching her face with hands, like a treeClinical neuropsychologist William Stixrud, Ph.D. will also address the conference. Author of The Self-Driven Child, Stixrud has worked closely with students to help them manage their stress and become more proactive in creating success in college and in life.  Stixrud commented on the problem in his recent New York Times op-ed, When a College Student Comes Home to Stay.

“As we see it, there are two critical issues at hand.  First, college life is a highly deregulated environment with inconsistent sleep patterns and diets, little structure, and an abundance of binge-drinking, pot-smoking, and abuse of stimulants like Adderall.  Second, students haven’t been given control of their own lives until way too late.  It may be just too much to ask students to go from parental control to near-total freedom.”  In addition to healthy lifestyle changes, the most effective antidote that Dr. Stixrud has found to relieve the problem is the regular practice of the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation technique.

Young girl touching her face with hands, like a treeHeart transplant specialist and Chief Informatics Officer for the U.S. Navy, Hassan Tetteh, M.D., brings a unique medical perspective to the issue.  After two tours of duty in Iraq, and as Command Surgeon for the National Defense University, which trains the elite officers in the military, Tetteh saw firsthand the effects of stress in these high-stakes, life-and-death environments.  But after several personal life-altering experiences in the military, he found a calling to heal others, in particular, by helping them to cultivate a deeper mind-body connection.  His favorite John Steinbeck quote captured this feeling, “A sad soul can kill you quicker than a germ;” and added, “Identifying the goals, beliefs and human connections that enrich our souls can be just as essential to healthy living as any medical treatment.”

2019_01_changemakers-2_travisMUM neuroscientist Fred Travis, Ph.D., will report on new research showing that meditating students display a “brain signature” indicating greater resiliency, adaptability and coherence in the face of stress. MUM offers students a Brain Integration Progress Report using a Brain Integration Scale to begin to assess the effects of their college experience on brain functioning. Dr. Travis will conduct a live EEG demonstration at the conference highlighting the differences between a brain under stress and a brain during TM.

Young girl touching her face with hands, like a tree“As experts search for a solution to the effects of stress on learning, one common theme seems to emerge: mind-body practices such as Transcendental Meditation work,” says MUM Dean of Faculty and co-founder of the Institute for Research on Consciousness and Human Development, Vicki Alexander Herriott. “MUM is already a global leader in the field because its educational curriculum and campus culture has made Transcendental Meditation (TM) central to the life of the student—and teacher. This conference will showcase why.”

MUM Student Body President, T. Chevonne added, “The best thing in my life is my TM practice.  It has helped me see past doubts and fears into the infinite realm of possibilities.  I am more confident and outspoken than I’ve ever been, and anxiety is a distant memory to me.”

For more information and a list of speakers and panelists visit: https://www.mum.edu/changemakers-event-2019.

Organizer Michael Sternfeld wrote an excellent article on this second Changemakers event published in the February issue of The Iowa Source Magazine: Is College Bad For Your Brain? MUM also posted this short video promo.

Watch Changemakers: Is College Bad For Your Brain? • Part 1Part 2. You can also see the 10 individual talks now posted at the event page.

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Related: The first Transcendental Meditation elective course offered at a major US medical school | Catholic Health World reports on medical students learning Transcendental Meditation to counter stress, promote physician wellness

 

Meditation: Effective New Aid for Students with ADHD

September 14, 2009

David Lynch Foundation
Office of ADHD and Other Learning Differences

714 19th St. S. • Arlington, VA • 703-823-6933 • ADHD-TM.org • sgrosswald@tm.org
Contact: Ken Chawkin, 641-470-1314, kchawkin@mum.edu

Meditation: Effective New Aid for Students with ADHD

National conference to showcase research and classroom experience during National ADHD Public Awareness Month

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 • 12:00 NOON (ET)
Webcast online at ADHD-TM.org http://adhd-tm.org

A panel of physicians and scientists will report on the benefits of a simple meditation practice for aiding students diagnosed with ADHD during a national medical webinar, which will be hosted by the David Lynch Foundation on Wednesday, September 30, 12 noon (ET).

The webinar, which comes on the final day of National ADHD Public Awareness Month, will report on published research on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique for improving academic achievement and executive brain function while reducing learning disorders, anxiety, depression, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease.

Conference panelists

Sarina Grosswald, Ed.D. George Washington University-trained cognitive learning specialist; lead researcher on a pioneering study on the Transcendental Meditation technique and ADHD; and Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation’s Office of ADHD and Other Learning Differences.

Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D. Senior Researcher in Psychiatry and Psychobiology for 20 years at the National Institute of Mental Health; currently Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University; and Medical Director of Capital Clinical Research Associates in Bethesda, MD.

William Stixrud, Ph.D. Clinical Neuropsychologist and Director of William Stixrud and Associates, specializing in the evaluation and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with learning, attention, and/or social/emotional difficulties; Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center.

Over 50% reduction in stress and anxiety, and improvements in ADHD symptoms

One recent study, published in the December 2008 issue of the peer-reviewed Current Issues in Education followed a group of 10 middle school students with ADHD who were practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique twice a day in school. After three months, researchers found over 50% reduction in stress and anxiety, and improvements in ADHD symptoms.

“The effect was much greater than we expected,” said Sarina J. Grosswald, Ed.D., a George Washington University-trained cognitive learning specialist and lead researcher on the study. “The children also showed improvements in attention, working memory, organization, and behavior regulation.”

Grosswald said that after the in-school meditation routine began, “teachers reported they were able to teach more, and students were able to learn more because they were less stressed and anxious.”

Prior research shows ADHD children have slower brain development and a reduced ability to cope with stress.

Stress interferes with learning

“Stress interferes with the ability to learn—it shuts down the brain,” said William Stixrud, Ph.D., a Silver Spring, Maryland, clinical neuropsychologist and co-author of the study.

“Medication for ADHD can reduce the symptoms for some children, but it is marginally or not effective for others. Even for those children who show improved symptoms with the medication, the improvement is often insufficient,” Stixrud said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, almost 50% of the 4.5 million children (ages 4-17) in the United States diagnosed with ADHD are on ADHD medication—and the majority of those on medication stay on it in adulthood. Stixrud said there is growing concern about the health risks and side effects associated with the common ADHD medications, including mood swings, insomnia, slowed growth, and heart problems. In 2006 the FDA required manufacturers to place warning labels on ADHD medications, listing the potential serious health risks.

These high risks and growing concerns are fueling parents’ search for alternatives that may be safer for their kids.

“There is already substantial research showing the effectiveness of the TM technique for reducing stress and anxiety and improving cognitive functioning among the general population,” Dr. Grosswald said. “What’s significant about our findings is that among children who have difficulty with focus and attention, we see the same results. TM doesn’t require concentration, controlling the mind or disciplined focus. The fact that these children are able to do TM and do it easily shows us that this technique may be particularly well suited for children with ADHD.”

The David Lynch Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), which has provided more than $7 million in scholarships to teach Transcendental Meditation to over 100,000 at-risk students throughout the United States, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.

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Additional resources

1. Transcendental Meditation reduces ADHD symptoms among students: New study Dissatisfaction with medication spurs interest in meditation

2. Transcendental Meditation buffers students against college stress: Study Research at American University shows meditating students react better to stress, are less fatigued, have more ‘integrated’ brains

3. New study shows Transcendental Meditation improves brain functioning in ADHD students A non-drug approach to enhance students’ ability to learn

4. Girls with ADHD more prone to depression, anxiety than boys; meditation helps

5. TM improves brain function in ADHD students


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