Three Proactive Fields that Have a Positive Impact on College Student Mental Health

Positive Psychology

College students who report higher levels of optimism and emotional well-being–two aspects of Positive Psychology–enjoy college more and report higher levels of satisfaction with their college experience.

In one study of nearly 4,000 first-year college students, it was found that their level of the positive emotion of optimism and hope was a more accurate predictor of their first-year grades than was their SAT score or high school grade-point average.


College students with higher levels of Mindfulness experience lower levels of stress in response to academic stressors and use less defensive, more effective coping strategies.

Mindfulness training has also been shown to positively affect a student’s transition to college.


Self-Compassionate students are more likely to respond constructively to academic setbacks, maintain their motivation and sense of competency, and perceive their mistakes as opportunities for potential growth.

Even brief self-compassion interventions conducted with college students are effective for decreasing feelings of depression and increasing feelings of optimism, happiness, and self-efficacy.

Research conducted with undergraduates indicate that students who exhibit higher levels of self-compassion are less likely to report feelings of homesickness during their first term in college and experience fewer social adjustment issues throughout their time in college.

Please click here for the citations referenced above. For more in-depth research on the benefits of Positive Psychology, Mindfulness, and Self-Compassion on college student mental health, please click here.

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