IntroductionMeditation is a mind andbody practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness andphysical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, andenhancing overall health and well-being. Mind and body practices focus on theinteractions between the brain, mind, body, and behavior.There are manytypes of meditation, but most have four elements in common: a quiet locationwith as few distractions as possible; a specific, comfortable posture (sitting,lying down, walking, or in other positions); a focus of attention (a speciallychosen word or set of words, an object, or the sensations of the breath); andan open attitude (letting distractions come and go naturally withoutjudging them).In the current experiment, we try to see if meditation hasany immediate effects on medical students who have high academic pressurereduce stress, anxiety, and help them academically.ObjectiveTo see the immediate effects of 15days of mindfulness and meditation on medical students during thepre-examination period. To determine if this modality reduces stress, anxiety,increase concentration and focus, and changes in overall happiness and wellbeing.
DesignSubjects were madeto attend a meditation session for 2:30 hours every day under a two-weekmeditation program held on the campus of the medical college a few days beforethe examinations. An STAI (state-trait anxiety inventory) and a separateself-analytical questionnaire made exclusively for medical students were madeto be filled out by the subjects. ParticipantsOne hundred andfifty-two subjects which are medical students from the 1st and 2nd year (age isbetween 17 years to 20 years) with mild to moderate levels of stress wererecruited from AMC MET Medical college (LG Hospital) from Ahmadabad, Gujarat,India. Main outcomemeasuresChanges in theState-Trait Personality Inventory sub-scale anxiety, General HealthQuestionnaire, and a self-analytical questionnaire exclusively made taking inview the stress related to medical student life which includes a high level ofacademic pressure in addition to other things.ResultsFollowing the2-week meditation program stress, anxiety and quality of life scores improvedover time. Meditation was found to be effective in reducing stress, anxiety andalso seem to help them in their examination preparationConclusionMeditation appearsto provide an improvement in stress, anxiety and health status. The meditationprogram held a few days before exam seems to have helped students in a positivemanner for their preparation too. Students also feel more self-assured andconfident about their academics, and most of them believe such programs wouldbenefit them and should be held on regular basis.
Still,further studies should be carried out on the short-term effects of meditationby carrying out tests like salivary -alpha-amylase which is a non-invasivesurrogate biomarker of sympathetic activity and can give more efficient resultsin the reduction of stress, as the amount of salivary- alpha-amylase decreasesin saliva with a decrease in stress. Thus, salivary amylase activity can beutilized as an excellent index for psychological stress. Samples of subjectscan be measured before and after meditation for that test.