The 3 Pillars of Our Programs

Positive Psychology
There may not be a time in life that is riper with both challenges and opportunities than college. While students can look forward to new friendships and experiences to be engaged, learn, and grow, data shows that levels of stress and depression on campuses are at an all-time high. In brief, what was once thought of as the “four best years of your life” is increasingly being thought of as the “four worst”. Enter Positive Psychology, the science of how people, cultures, and institutions thrive. While traditional psychology is often thought of as addressing what is “wrong” with us, Positive Psychology is focused on us at our best. Research shows that students who are primed with positive emotions tend to have better memory retention, are more creative, and score higher on standardized tests. Positive relationships are strongly correlated with lower levels of stress and higher levels of resilience on campuses. Incorporating an individual’s strengths of character in school or work makes that person almost 10 times more likely to be engaged in the classroom or the workplace. From meaning to willpower, accomplishment to passion, or a myriad of others, the diverse array of topics under the umbrella of Positive Psychology increase our levels of well-being in life and success in the classroom.
Mindfulness offers significant and broad reaching benefits for college students. Not only does it offer significant health benefits including strengthened immune function, reduced stress, and improved sleep, it also significantly enhances cognitive capacities such as increased attention, focus, memory, creativity, and innovation. In fact, recent research demonstrates that Mindfulness increases test scores and academic grades. Beyond these benefits, Mindfulness offers important dimensions to help cultivate the whole person. It helps students deepen awareness and self-reflection and helps them connect to and clarify core values. It also increases empathy and compassion and multicultural sensitivity. In short, Mindfulness helps students see clearly, in all aspects of life, so they can respond to personal challenges effectively and wisely.
Being a college student is hard. It’s a time of transition, from living at home to being on one’s own. Additionally, college students are challenged with having to perform academically – and often the bar is set very high. As a result, stress can be overwhelming, which often leads to high self-criticism and then unfortunately, all too often paralyzing depression, anxiety, or even suicidality. Learning the tools of Self-Compassion can help. Research has shown that those with higher Self-Compassion have significantly lower depression, anxiety, and stress. It also shows that students with higher Self-Compassion are more motivated to achieve and are more resilient. Self-Compassion tools are easy to learn, and with practice, can build students’ abilities to respond in healthy ways to the challenges of the college years.
For a more in-depth description of these three pillars and the extensive research behind them and their benefits please click here.
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