Objective: To study and assess the effectiveness of Heartfulness Meditation in reducing stress levels of nursing students in a learning environment. Methodology: A cross-sectional research designed using a standard Perceived Stress Questionnaire pertaining to the subjective perception of things in the learning and clinical environment leading to emotional stress such as workload, worries, tension, and harassment as well as joyful conditions. Overall 120 students from I, II and IV years of a private nursing college in Chennai, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India participate in 3 hours (1 hour each day on 3 consecutive days) Heartfulness meditation workshop. Results: The predominant themes represented are perceptions of the learning environment and clinical practice, coping, personal issues, balancing college work, and personal life. Mean Baseline stress scores of workload is higher for first and second-year students compared with final year students; Worries and Harassment score is higher in second-year students; Joy score is higher for first-year students; Tension score is higher in final year students. After Heartfulness meditation workshop, the mean decrease in workload, worries, tension and harassment score and mean increase in Joy score is observed in the participants. Conclusion: The investigation on the effectiveness of Heartfulness Meditation as a mental and emotional support tool to deal with and to mitigate stress reveals positive results. Based on these results, it is evident that Heartfulness meditation can be employed as a coping mechanism to deal with stress in a clinical and learning environment. Given the adverse effects of stress on the physiological and psychological well-being of caregivers; Heartfulness Meditation may be considered for inclusion in the standard curriculum of nursing colleges.
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