Mindfulness Sessions

“I found the course very beneficial. It provided me with the opportunity to take a step back and see the bigger picture, which really helps to put things into perspective in dental school…I’m very glad that I participated in the mindfulness course and have already recommended it to my classmates…,” shared UKCD student Austin Delpont.

Studies show that mindfulness, the skill of learning to pay attention without judgment to one’s present–moment experience, offers a way to improve a person’s well-being. Mindfulness-based techniques and tools have been proven to provide significant improvement with anxiety, stress, and mood issues. Students in the UK College of Dentistry (UKCD) are increasingly engaging in mindfulness training to feel better balanced and address these and other potential problem areas. Read full UK Dental Students Becoming More Mindful article here

How exactly does meditation affect your body? Watch this short video to learn.


Mindfulness Research

Due to the intensity of the curriculum and pressures of negotiating challenging science knowledge, mastering psychomotor skills, and honing patient communication skills, dental students, as well as physical therapy (PT) and physician assistants (PA) students, tend to suffer from a great deal of stress. In fact, a study by Murphy, Gray, Sterling, Reeves, and DuCette (2009) found medical and dental students are stressed, and are especially stressed by their academic performance (i.e. grades, exams, etc.) Without proper coping techniques, this stress cannot only lead to a plethora of health risks, but also can cause students to perform poorly academically. 

Mediation, such as downtime used for deep breathing exercises, has been one proven way to reduce stress. Jabr (2013) notes "downtime replenishes the brain's stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity, and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life." Meditation has also been one proven way for people to relieve stress in their everyday lives, including workplace and school. Perlow and Porter found in forcing a work project team to each take off one day a week led team members to feel less stress and to be more productive, all while still satisfying the needs of their clients. While Paul, Elam, and Verhurst (2007) conducted a study of post-baccalaureate students and discovered implementing breathing exercises into class sessions led to students reporting a decrease in test anxiety, nervousness, self-doubt, and concentration loss. Students also reported using the deep breathing exercises as a stress copying technique outside of their classes (Paul et al., 2007). 

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