Hey HMS Professor, Sat Bir Singh Khalsa:
Your research shows that meditation can alleviate stress, anxiety, mood disturbance, and musculoskeletal problems. You also say that it can enhance cognitive and physical performance in musicians. What would you recommend to Harvard students as they enter midterm season?
Meditation, slow breathing, and yoga can be extremely helpful in helping students prepare for tests. The typical study habits of college students are counterproductive. They tend to stay up late the night before an exam and cram. They therefore take exams sleep-deprived and stressed, which hampers performance. You are better off spending half as much time studying and then using that extra time for stress reduction activities like yoga and sleep.