If you have ever conducted studies at a university or another tertiary educational level, you probably know how stressful it can be, and the impact it can have on your mood. In fact, a large number of students experience moderate to severe levels of stress, as well as mood and anxiety disorders. If these are left unattended, they can lead to clinical diagnosis or relapses. Because many students do not seek support for these symptoms of distress, alternative activities that feel non-stigmatizing are of importance. Yoga, mindfulness, and meditation could be part of these alternatives, as they are already highly popular activities. The authors of this article aimed to examine the effect of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness on stress, depression, and anxiety among tertiary education students.
Because yoga, mindfulness, and meditation are overlapping terms, the authors chose to define the three of them, using commonly applied definitions from earlier scholars:
Yoga: ”a variety of practices which includes postures, breathing exercises, meditation, mantras, lifestyle changes, spiritual beliefs, and/or rituals.” (Birdee et al., 2008)
Mindfulness: “a process of openly attending, with awareness, to one’s present moment experience.” (Creswell, 2017)
Meditation: “a family of self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control and thereby foster general mental well-being and development and/or specific capacities such as calm, clarity, and concentration.” (Shapiro et al., 1998; Walsh and Shapiro, 2006)