Mindfulness meditation counteracts self-control depletion.

Department of Psychology, University of Basel, Missionsstr. 60/62, 4055 Basel, Switzerland.
Consciousness and Cognition (Impact Factor: 2.31). 02/2012; 21(2):1016-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2012.01.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mindfulness meditation describes a set of different mental techniques to train attention and awareness. Trait mindfulness and extended mindfulness interventions can benefit self-control. The present study investigated the short-term consequences of mindfulness meditation under conditions of limited self-control resources. Specifically, we hypothesized that a brief period of mindfulness meditation would counteract the deleterious effect that the exertion of self-control has on subsequent self-control performance. Participants who had been depleted of self-control resources by an emotion suppression task showed decrements in self-control performance as compared to participants who had not suppressed emotions. However, participants who had meditated after emotion suppression performed equally well on the subsequent self-control task as participants who had not exerted self-control previously. This finding suggests that a brief period of mindfulness meditation may serve as a quick and efficient strategy to foster self-control under conditions of low resources.

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May 28, 2014