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Abstract

As Western culture has become more aware of Eastern spiritual traditions, scientists have been increasingly interested in verifying the anecdotal claims from expert meditators regarding mindfulness practice. For almost 50 years, the practice of meditation and mindfulness has been studied byWestern neuroscientists looking to better understand its phenomenology, neurobiology, and clinical effects. In this chapter, we provide an overview of current neurobiological research on mindfulness and meditation practices, including key findings, methodological issues, and clinical implications.
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... Following the arrival of mindfulness in the West and the growing interest in it 20-25 years ago, mindfulness-informed therapeutic methods were developed in Western psychology, including mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). The literature suggests that mindfulness practices are effective in helping clients, professionals and members of the community in reducing stress and increasing wellbeing and quality of life (Decker et al., 2019;Lazar, 2013). ...
... Mindfulness strengthens resilience, thus helping early-career social workers in the mental health field cope and regulate their emotions and in turn increasing retention (Crowder & Sears, 2017). A growing body of knowledge also suggests that, as found in our study, mindfulness practices are effective in helping professionals, clients and members of the community reduce stress and increase wellbeing (Decker et al., 2019;Lazar, 2013). ...
Article
The present study examined the effectiveness of participation in a mindfulness group for Israeli early career social workers during the COVID-19 period. Eleven participants conducting fieldwork in a mental health rehabilitation center were interviewed. The participants described a variety of benefits from their mindfulness training, in three main areas: (1) Personal: applying mindfulness in their daily life; (2) Family: improved work-life balance and family relationships; and (3) Professional: applying mindfulness in their work with mental health clients. Mental support and self-care tools provided to early-career social workers were perceived by the participants as helping them overcome uncertainty, fatigue, and overwork. KEYWORDS Mindfulness; early-career social workers; mental health; social work; psychosocial intervention; social support The
... With long-term mindfulness meditation the grey matter and activity in the amygdala reduce, which influence and increase physiological calmness and well-being. The investigators report that changes in amygdala (decrease in brain cell volume as well as increase of functional connections between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex strengthen) can buffer against post-traumatic stress response (30,31,32), anxiety and depression (33,34,35). Atkinson (36) analyzed seventeen studies in order to explain the impact of mindfulness on relationship satisfaction. ...
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Mindfulness-Based Therapies (MBT) are more and more frequently used in the treatment of mental disorders. In the paper the efficacy of meditation programs in the treatment of a variety of mental health problems in diverse adult and adolescent populations and psychological and neurobiological mechanisms underlying these effects were analysed. Intervention studies data supports the efficacy of mindfulness interventions in the treatment of depression, anxiety and addictive disorders. It is proved that mindfulness interventions affect emotion regulation, attention regulation, body awareness and perspective of the self. The effect of mindfulness based interventions in the treatment of mental disorders is supported by scientific rationale of its mechanism of action, and the treatment efficacy data is promising. However, further verification of mindfulness interventions efficacy through a greater number prospective, randomized, controlled clinical research trials is required.
... Compared with control interventions, these methods were more effective in reducing pain, negative mood, and disability (Bernardy et al., 2018). Mindfulness-based interventions were also found to produce changes in attention, awareness, and emotions that can be assessed and identified in selfreports, behavioral measures, and brain activity (Treadway & Lazar, 2009). Importantly, these interventions helped change the individual's relationship toward symptoms but did not aim to directly reduce them (Amutio, Franco, Prez-Fuentes, Gázquez, &Mercader, 2015a and2015b;Tul et al., 2011). ...
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Pain usually receives insufficient attention by individuals due to the misconception that pain is a natural consequence of aging. For persons aged 65 and older, a disease requiring further research is fibromyalgia, characterized by chronic pain without clear pathology. Mind–body therapies like mindfulness are beneficial for this population as they affect psychological and biological aspects of pain. These therapies emphasize a nonjudgmental acceptance of thoughts and attention to the experience without attempting to resist or change them. Despite the potential benefits of mindfulness interventions for persons with fibromyalgia aged 65 and older, only few studies have examined the effects of these therapies, yielding conflicting findings. Importantly, no study has yet to be conducted exclusively on this population. This comprehensive review examined existing literature focusing on the effects of mindfulness-based interventions on the physical and mental well-being of persons with fibromyalgia aged 65 and older. It highlights the need for further research on the relationship between mindfulness, fibromyalgia, and gerontology, calling for a standard protocol of intervention.
... The "anterior singular cortex," "dorsomedial prefrontal cortex," and "higher gray matter concentration in the right anterior insula," as well as "left inferior temporal gyrus and right hippocampus" (Holzel et al., 2007(Holzel et al., , 2008, are the areas that are activated during mindfulness practice. These results are consistent with the observed changes in awareness, attention, and emotional regulation brought about by extensive mindfulness meditation practice which has been identified at a subjective, neurobiological, and behavioral level (Treadway & Lazar, 2009). Exposure to MBSR has also indicated increases in left frontal brain structure activation. ...
Chapter
This chapter is an attempt to analyse the key factors of adoption of alternative business models by the handicraft artisans during COVID-19 pandemic. This paper is a part of doctoral study and is based on the part of primary research conducted by the scholar. The study primarily analyses the strength of the relationship of the factors. A structured questionnaire was employed to collect data for conducting the study. Descriptive statistics, correlation and multiple linear regressions have been used as statistical tools for analysis. The findings of the study demonstrate the linkage and effect of critical aspects on the performance of alternative business models, resulting in conclusions that leave room for future research. The novelty of this study is that it has made an initial attempt to identify the key factors of adoption of the alternative business model for the artisans. The study is limited to a specific field of the craft sector. The policy-makers will have substantial theoretical consequences for the development of the artisans regarding their alternative business model. It is important to improve artisan’s entrepreneurial skills and capabilities to strengthen them in the global market today.KeywordsAlternative businessHandicraft sectorArtisanCOVID-19Social media
... Within mindfulness, there is a distinction between a mindful disposition and a mindful state. The mindful state is composed of the behaviors exercised when the individual is actively meditating, whereas the mindful disposition, or trait mindfulness, is the individual's stable capacity for mindfulness in daily life (Treadway & Lazar, 2009). Mindfulness is primarily trained through mindfulness practices, such as with meditation or yoga sessions (Kabat-Zinn, 2005), as is trait mindfulness, which increases with mindfulness practice (Shapiro et al., 2011) and age (Thirumaran et al., 2020). ...
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This case study details the experience and results of the first author’s work as a clinical sport psychologist contracted by the International Volleyball Federation to develop and deliver a mindfulness-based intervention to volleyball and beach volleyball referees leading up to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Interviews with the referee commission revealed referees’ high levels of pre- and in-game stress, which can inhibit their cognitive decision-making ability needed to perform at a high level. A five-stage (emotional intelligence, stress management skills, concentration, mental imagery, and motivation) mindfulness-based intervention was developed to address referees’ attentional skills, emotional readiness, and mindful awareness. The five stages were delivered over the 4 months preceding the Games, where the clinician was also available on-site for individual preparation. Referees completed pre- and postintervention quantitative (Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2, and Concentration Skills Self-Help Test) and qualitative surveys as well as a post-Olympics evaluation of the practical tools introduced during the mindfulness-based intervention. In-game performances were evaluated by referee delegates prior to and at the Olympics. Analysis of the data showed significant positive changes in the mindfulness factors observing and nonreaction, referees’ concentration skills, and the evaluations of in-game performances. Multiple tools were reported to be highly useful and frequently implemented, including during the Olympics.
... It should be noted, however, that equanimity does not equate to indifference. Rather, it reflects the ability to refrain from immediately reacting to current emotions and to allow attention to be diverted back to the present within a minimal amount of time (Treadway & Lazar, 2009). In other words, equanimity requires 'letting go' of emotions and being in the present. ...
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Mindfulness is gaining popularity in organizations, with management placing increased importance on the quality of life of employees while responding to the demands of today's environment. Current research explains the effects of mindfulness on management constructs by basing their studies on either Eastern or Western conceptualizations of mindfulness. This article combines the Buddhist teachings used in the Eastern perspective with the scientific-based Western thought in an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of mindfulness and the components that lead to its benefits. The mindfulness process is portrayed through a spectrum, which explains the states of mind and qualities developed before reaching the "ready to use" state in the workplace context. The development of the mindfulness spectrum contributes to the academic field and provides a more detailed understanding of mindfulness for management to further apply in the organizational context. In addition, the elaboration of the mindfulness process opens more areas for future studies in mindfulness and management literatures.
... such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR; Kabat-Zinn, 1982), and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT; Teasdale et al., 2000) (Treadway & Lazar, 2009). These mindfulness interventions (MBIs) have shown positive results in improving physiological and psychological aspects when used in the treatment, prevention, and management of various chronic and acute conditions ranging from cancer (Banerjee et al., 2007;Xie et al., 2020) and fibromyalgia (Grossman et al., 2007) to schizophrenia (Chien & Thompson, 2014) and anxiety and depression (Goldin & Gross, 2010;Hofmann et al., 2010). ...
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Objectives Studies that use meditation-interventions (MIs) and mind–body practices (MBPs) typically highlight health-enhancing benefits whereas health-inhibiting adverse effects (AEs) have been largely underreported. The primary aim of this review was to identify articles outlining health-inhibiting AEs and synthesize the findings narratively. Randomized control trials were excluded because this design often underreports AEs or does not include measures for monitoring them. Methods We conducted our search using four different databases (PubMed, PsychInfo, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, and Web of Science) from inception to March 2021. We used cited reference searching and conducted a gray literature search. Results A total of 1,826 articles were identified through search strategies. Sixty-one studies met all inclusion criteria, and were separated by intervention/practice, with MIs being used most frequently (n = 41). The total sample size was 8,620. AEs were separated into two categories: somatic and mental distress. Nearly all studies (n = 57) mentioned some form of mental distress such as anxiety, while fewer studies (n = 21) reported somatic distress such as sleep disturbance. Individuals primarily engaged with MIs and MBPs face-to-face (n = 59). Conclusions This review suggests that AEs appear more frequently in research using MIs, and that mental distress is more common than somatic. These effects were primarily identified in studies delivering MIs and MBPs face-to-face, suggesting that future studies should aim to evaluate emerging technologies (i.e., apps). Easy access to apps disseminating MIs and/or MBPs could be problematic for users, considering the lack of supervision associated with technology. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO ID#CRD42020167263
... It has been suggested that MBSR has potential to benefit clinicians in general by reducing distress and improving the well-being of HCPs [36][37][38]. Additionally, mindfulness practice has been associated with neurophysiological and neurobiological changes in key brain regions, linking this exercise to biological variations [39]. The number of intervention studies investigating the impact of mindfulness practices on individuals' mental health in HCPs during the COVID-19 pandemic is limited. ...
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COVID-19 has overwhelmed healthcare systems and increased workload and distress in healthcare professionals (HCPs). The objective of this study was to evaluate baseline distress before and after the pandemic, and the effect of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training on well-being (PGWBI), stress (PSS) and burnout (MBI) in Italian HCPs. Moreover, the "fear of COVID-19" (FCV-19S) questionnaire was administered to HCPs participating in the post-emergency MBSR program. Baseline distress results were moderate in all groups. No differences between baseline distress were observed between the groups of HCPs beginning the MBSR courses in the pre or post pandemic period. Total PGWBI lowered with aging. Additionally, FCV-19S positively correlated with age. MBSR was able to lower distress levels, except for depersonalization, which increased, while emotional exhaustion decreased in the group enrolled in the last post-pandemic MBSR course. Levels of fear of COVID-19 in HCPs significantly decreased after MBSR training. The lack of change in baseline distress over time indicates that it is more influenced by work-related distress than by the pandemic in our HCPs. In view of its beneficial effects on psycho-emotional status, MBSR training may represent an effective strategy to reduce distress in emergency periods as well as an essential part of HCPs' general training.
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This article reviews two conferences on ‘mindfulness’, a quality of awareness that arises when the attention is purposefully and non-judgementally focused upon present moment events (Kabat-Zinn, 2003). This unique quality of consciousness is developed by cultivating an attitude of curiosity, acceptance and openness and then focusing this on events in the immediate present (Bishop et al., 2004; Brown, Ryan & Creswell, 2007). The synthesis of compassion and awareness has a broad range of therapeutic implications including to reduce levels of stress or ruminative thoughts that may lead to depression and to increase levels of attention and general well-being (Siegel et al., 2009). Firstly, there was the University of East London (UEL) conference, entitled ‘Mindfulness and Well-Being: From Neuroscience to Spirituality’ held in Stratford at UEL on 21–22 November 2009. Secondly, the Tonbridge, ‘Mindfulness in Schools’, conference was held in Tonbridge, at Tonbridge School, on 11 March 2010. Both were the first of their kind in the country to focus on mindfulness. The UEL conference took a more theoretical approach and considered applications for adults, in a range of settings, while the Tonbridge conference focused on the practical application of mindfulness in a school-based setting with adolescent boys. The article discusses these events and offers a range of possible implications for educational psychologists.
Chapter
The COVID pandemic has generated unprecedented discomfort and uncertainty among people all over the world (WHO, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020). It has affected work, family, and social life, devasted the physical and psychological well-being to an alarming degree. In this situation, our potent weapon is undoubtedly our mental capacity and strength. Strengthening the mind will endow us with the ability and conviction to deal with the current situation (Wu et al., CMAJ 192:E459–E460, 2020). At present, there are various techniques and tools available for this purpose like pranayama, physical exercise, music and, yoga and meditation (Torre et al., Journal of Clinical Medicine 9:1–13, 2020) depending upon one’s individual preferences. Today, meditation is considered as a useful tool to quieten the chattering mind, which is preferred by many individuals (Nalawade and Pradhan, 2016), and therefore, it is gathering momentum as a useful intervention in health care. Of the different types of meditation practices in use today, mindfulness meditation practice has originated from the Buddhist tradition and has been taught by the Buddha 2500 years ago to make the mind calm, focused, and strong. Being mindful means, being fully present in the present moment. Research has shown that being mindful reduces the tendency to be reactive and to become more equanimous and enables one to come out of suffering. Especially in the healthcare domain mindfulness interventions have proven to be effective in enhancing psychological and physical health. This literature review is focused on benefits of mindfulness practice as an intervention, which is cost-effective and non-intrusive in nature. For this purpose, a systematic review was conducted to understand and highlight advantages and applications of mindfulness. The literature review has reiterated the ability of mindfulness practice to help one handle trying situations with equanimity by modulating one’s behavior effectively (Antonova et al., 2020). This study highlights a few clinical case studies and discusses the scope for future studies and limitations faced by researchers in this area. Also, some of the cases where it has been implemented effectively in COVID-19 situations are enumerated with the hope that it will highlight the usefulness of this intervention in the trying and stressful situation at present as well as in future. The limitation of this study is the lack of the availability of long-term research data at present describing the benefits of mindfulness practice in the current pandemic situation.
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This paper juxtaposes Asian spiritual narratives on meditation alongside medical and scientific narratives that emphasize meditation's efficacy in mitigating distress and increasing well-being. After proposing a working definition of meditation that enables it usefully to be distinguished from categories of similar practices such as prayer, I examine meditation's role in Mind/Body medicine in the West. Here, I survey a number of scientific studies of meditation, including the work of Dr. Herbert Benson and his colleagues who examine a meditational variant they call the ‘Relaxation Response', to examine the breadth of efficacy claims made on behalf of the complex and multidimensional grouping of diverse practices we have come to as ‘meditation'. Among other positive outcomes, meditation has been credited with reducing blood pressure, anxiety, addiction, and stress, while Relaxation Response has been shown to decrease sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity, metabolism, pain, anxiety, depression, hostility, and stress. I conclude the paper by suggesting that findings from cognitive neuroscience on the subject of visual imagery can be used to elucidate genres of meditative practice that focus on internal visualization sequences, and I use practices from the Rnying ma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism to illustrate why certain integral aspects of meditation forever will remain beyond scientific grasp.
Chapter
In recent years, a growing literature has addressed itself to the psychophysiological bases of altered states of consciousness (ASCs). An unprecedented interest in meditation, biofeedback, and other techniques for altering consciousness reflects in part the widespread notion that science has begun to understand the physiological bases of these states. Thus, based on research involving practitioners of Yoga, Zen, or Transcendental Meditation (TM), meditation has been considered a unique psychophysiological state, associated with a distinct configuration of autonomic and electrocortical changes. For example, it has been proposed on the basis of these data that the practice of Transcendental Meditation leads to the experience of a fourth major state of consciousness, distinct from waking, dreaming, and nondreaming sleep (Wallace, 1970).
Article
Assessed the effects of instructions to lower heart rate (HR) on HR change and general arousal reduction. Various conditions of biofeedback, cognitive load, incentive, knowledge of results, and the experimenter-subject relationship were tested. Results from Exp I with 30 normal undergraduate males suggest that neither HR nor muscle tension feedback is an especially powerful method for achieving sustained reductions in HR. In Exp II with 20 normal young males, the results indicate a clear superiority of the meditation strategy in effecting reductions in HR and lowering activation. However, in Exp III with 60 normal undergraduate males, meditation Ss lowered HR much less than previously observed, and this time the reduction did not exceed that achieved by feedback Ss. Results from Exp IV with 32 normal male undergraduates support the hypothesis that the quality of the S-experimenter relationship was a significant variable in accounting for outcome differences. (55 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
Book
This edited volume provides chapters on the leading evidence-based mindfulness interventions as of 2006: mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy. Applications for clinical, medical, and nonclinical but stressed populations, as well as children, adolescents, and older adults, are described. Each chapter includes a detailed case study illustrating how the intervention is implemented, conceptual background, empirical support, and a discussion of practical issues that clinicians wishing to use these treatments must consider. A second edition (2014) focusing on MBSR, MBCT, and related treatment programs is also available.
Article
Meditation—that great and mysterious subject which in the past has always conjured up the image of the solitary Asian ascetic sitting in deep trance—is fast appearing in unexpected places throughout modern American culture. Secretaries are doing it as part of their daily noon yoga classes. Preadolescent teenagers dropped off at the YMCA by their mothers on a Saturday morning are learning it as part of their karate training. Truck drivers and housewives in the Stress Reduction Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center are practicing a combination of Hindu yoga and Buddhist insight meditation to control hypertension. Star athletes prepare themselves for a demanding basketball game with centering techniques they learned in Zen. [1] Dhyana is the generic Sanskrit term for meditation, which in the Yoga Sutras refers to both the act of inward contemplation in the broadest sense and more technically to the intermediate state between mere attention to an object (dharana) and complete absorption in it (samadhi). [2] The earliest known reference to such practice on the Indian subcontinent occurs on one of the seals, a figure seated in the lotus posture, found in the ruins of the pre-Aryan civilizations at Harappa and Mohenjodaro which existed prior to 1500 BCE. Most of the orthodox Hindu schools of philosophy derive their meditation techniques from yoga, but superimpose their own theoretical understanding of consciousness onto the results of the practice. [3] Meditation is also referred to as a spiritual practice in China. Chinese forms of meditation have their origins in the early roots of popular Taoism which existed long before the codification of Taoism as a formal philosophy during the seventh century, B.C.. However, there is no concrete evidence to prove that meditation first arose in Hindu culture and then spread elsewhere. Thus, for the time being the original meditative traditions in China and India should be considered as separate and indigenous. To further complicate the issue, analogies between meditative states and trance consciousness suggest that even earlier precursors to the Asian meditative arts can be found in shamanic cultures such as those in Siberia and Africa. [4] As for modern developments, in trying to formulate a definition of meditation, a useful rule of thumb is to consider all meditative techniques to be culturally embedded. This means that any specific technique cannot be understood unless it is considered in the context of some particular spiritual tradition, situated in a specific historical time period, or codified in a specific text according to the philosophy of some particular individual. [5] Thus, to refer to Hindu meditation or Buddhist meditation is not enough, since the cultural traditions from which a particular kind of meditation comes are quite different and even within a single tradition differ in complex ways. The specific name of a school of thought or a teacher or the title of a specific text is often quite important for identifying a particular type of meditation. Vipassana, or insight meditation, for instance, as practiced in the United States is derived from the Theravada tradition of Buddhism, and is usually associated with the teachings of the Burmese monk Mahasi Sayadaw; Transcendental Meditation is associated exclusively with the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, whose tradition is Vedantic Hinduism; and so on.
Article
The performance of concentrative and mindfulness meditators on a test of sustained attention (Wilkins' counting test) was compared with controls. Both groups of meditators demonstrated superior performance on the test of sustained attention in comparison with controls, and long-term meditators were superior to short-term meditators. Mindfulness meditators showed superior performance in comparison with concentrative meditators when the stimulus was unexpected but there was no difference between the two types of meditators when the stimulus was expected. The results are discussed in relation to the attentional mechanisms involved in the two types of meditation and implications drawn for mental health.