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Mindfulness and emotion regulation: Outcomes and possible mediating mechanisms

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Abstract

The authors discuss mindfulness training alongside its connections to emotion regulation, the efficacy data for various psychiatric disorders, and the behavioral and neural correlates of mindfulness practice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
... In addition to the zero-order relationships observed between the mindful state and effective stress coping, a number of studies have implicated multiple clusters of emotion regulation mechanisms as potential mediators of the mindfulnesssubjective stress relationship (Baer et al., 2006;Corcoran et al., 2010;Farb et al., 2012;Guendelman et al., 2017;Iani et al., 2018;Keng et al., 2011). Investigators have proposed that various facets of mindfulness promote adaptive emotion regulation (cognitive responses) by facilitating flexibility of emotion reactivity through multiple pathways (Corcoran et al., 2010;Farb et al., 2012;Garland et al., 2017;Iani et al., 2018). ...
... In addition to the zero-order relationships observed between the mindful state and effective stress coping, a number of studies have implicated multiple clusters of emotion regulation mechanisms as potential mediators of the mindfulnesssubjective stress relationship (Baer et al., 2006;Corcoran et al., 2010;Farb et al., 2012;Guendelman et al., 2017;Iani et al., 2018;Keng et al., 2011). Investigators have proposed that various facets of mindfulness promote adaptive emotion regulation (cognitive responses) by facilitating flexibility of emotion reactivity through multiple pathways (Corcoran et al., 2010;Farb et al., 2012;Garland et al., 2017;Iani et al., 2018). Specifically, non-judgmental acceptance is thought to foster a reduction of initial automatic appraisals which may reduce emotional suppression, avoidance, and cognitive distortion (Garland, 2015;Iani et al., 2018). ...
... Specifically, non-judgmental acceptance is thought to foster a reduction of initial automatic appraisals which may reduce emotional suppression, avoidance, and cognitive distortion (Garland, 2015;Iani et al., 2018). Furthermore, the unique relationship with thoughts and emotions unique to mindfulness is thought to establish psychological distance (Grecucci et al., 2015) and interfere with habitual cognitive response cycles (Corcoran et al., 2010;Farb et al., 2012;Garland et al., 2017), which would otherwise perpetuate rumination and overreactivity (Iani et al., 2018). Shapiro et al. (2006) posit that the clarity afforded by cognitive inhibition, enhanced self-regulation, and cognitivebehavioral flexibility may conspire to promote more adaptive coping skills. ...
Article
The psychological phenomenon of mindfulness - nonjudgmental attention to and awareness of one's present experience - has been linked to effective coping with a range of situational stressors. The potential mediating role of problem-focused strategies in predicting stress-related outcomes has not been sufficiently addressed.
... Mindfulness-based practices generally derive from ancient Buddhist meditations, such as Vipassana and Zen meditations, and include psychological interventions such as dialectical behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, brief mindfulness induction (e.g., a single or few short-term sessions that teach a mindful approach to the present moment), and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) [1,2]. Overall, it has been demonstrated that mindfulness-based practices can lead to increased levels of self-reported mindfulness, enhanced psychological functioning and well-being (e.g., [3]), improved emotion regulation (e.g., [4]) and reduced anxiety and depression in clinical populations (e.g., [5,6]). Moreover, the literature indicates that mindfulness interventions can ameliorate self-regulation [7], reduce rumination, and facilitate emotional control [8] in healthy adults. ...
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The mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programme is gaining increasing attention in sport and physical activity domains. This programme comprises three meditation practices: mindful yoga, body scan, and sitting meditation. In this study, we aimed to examine the effects of a dynamic (mindful yoga) strategy and a static (a combination of body scan/sitting meditation) strategy on participants’ psychobiosocial states (PBS), perceived stress (PS) and mindfulness levels in athletes and recreationally active (RA) people. Thirty-four participants (athletes = 18; RA participants = 16) were assigned to a dynamic intervention strategy, and another 34 (athletes = 19; RA participants = 15) were assigned to the static intervention strategy. Before the intervention, after the intervention and three weeks later, the Italian versions of the PBS scale, the PS scale and the Mindful Attention Awareness scale were administered. RM-(M)ANOVAs revealed that intervention strategies improved functional PBS, reduced PS and enhanced mindfulness levels in both athletes and RA participants after the intervention (p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.605). However, improved functional PBS after the intervention (p < 0.001; d = 0.62) and stable PS levels at follow-up (p = 1) were observed mainly in athletes. The findings reinforce the view of the importance of the body as a means to improve emotional and health processes, and support the use of mindfulness strategies in sport to enhance individuals’ well-being.
... Mindfulness involves focusing attention to the present moment with acceptance and nonjudgment (see Vago & David, 2012 for a review of neurobiological mechanisms of mindfulness). Improvements in working memory capacity may represent a mechanism through which mindfulness contributes to improved emotion regulation (Corcoran et al., 2010;Vago & David, 2012). For example, research shows that mindfulness training may offer protection from declines in working memory capacity (measured by operation span task) which, in turn, prevents exacerbation in negative affect following exposure to a highly stressful environment (predeployment interval among active military personnel; Jha et al., 2010). ...
Article
Working memory capacity is an important psychological construct, and many real-world phenomena are strongly associated with individual differences in working memory functioning. Although working memory and attention are intertwined, several studies have recently shown that individual differences in the general ability to control attention is more strongly predictive of human behavior than working memory capacity. In this review, we argue that researchers would therefore generally be better suited to studying the role of attention control rather than memory-based abilities in explaining real-world behavior and performance in humans. The review begins with a discussion of relevant literature on the nature and measurement of both working memory capacity and attention control, including recent developments in the study of individual differences of attention control. We then selectively review existing literature on the role of both working memory and attention in various applied settings and explain, in each case, why a switch in emphasis to attention control is warranted. Topics covered include psychological testing, cognitive training, education, sports, police decision-making, human factors, and disorders within clinical psychology. The review concludes with general recommendations and best practices for researchers interested in conducting studies of individual differences in attention control.
... Mindfulness practice teaches how to attain this state of equanimity (Grabovac et al., 2011;Wallace & Shapiro, 2006) by decreasing automatic fusion with experiences and increasing decentering abilities (Grabovac et al., 2011). This change leads to a decoupling and de-automatization of the sensorial evaluation of emotional stimuli and the affective reaction to it (Corcoran et al., 2010;Hadash et al., 2016;Vago & Silbersweig, 2012). ...
Thesis
La littérature sur la pleine conscience, ou mindfulness, est maintenant foisonnante et indique un certain nombre d’effets bénéfiques de cette pratique sur la santé mentale et le bien-être. La régulation des émotions a été identifiée comme une capacité centrale qui se développe grâce à la pratique de la pleine conscience, celle-ci permettant d’expliquer l’augmentation des émotions positives et une diminution des émotions négatives. De plus, on observe une diminution de l’intensité des réactions et de l’interférence créées par les stimuli positifs et négatifs, une évaluation plus neutre de ceux-ci et une augmentation de la stabilité émotionnelle. Il a été démontré, entre autres via des mesures neurologiques, que la mindfulness entrainait un type de régulation des émotions qui lui était spécifique, où la relation entre l’individu et ses émotions est modifiée profondément et précocement. L’équanimité a alors été proposée comme une explication possible à la spécificité de la régulation des émotions par la pleine conscience. La littérature sur ce thème est pourtant restée très peu abondante, et les études expérimentales existantes n’ont pas testé empiriquement cette hypothèse. L’équanimité, en tant qu’état mental stable, calme et non perturbé par la valence des stimuli, semble pourtant une composante essentielle du vécu émotionnel lié à la mindfulness. L’objectif de cette thèse est d’aborder l’équanimité comme une qualité de régulation des émotions, d’en examiner la présence dans la littérature existante et d’offrir les premières bases à son étude en psychologie expérimentale. Une première partie est consacrée à constituer une définition opérationnalisable de l’équanimité et à valider un questionnaire destiné à mesurer son niveau chez les individus méditants et non méditants. Nous examinons ensuite la relation entre la pratique de la méditation et le niveau d’équanimité. Puis, nous avons utilisé une tâche d’approche et d’évitement afin d’étudier la relation entre l’équanimité et les tendances motivationnelles envers des stimuli positifs et négatifs. Enfin, dans l’optique d’explorer les liens entre l’équanimité et la régulation des comportements de santé, nous nous intéressons à son impact sur l’évaluation de plusieurs types d’aliments. Les résultats de nos études montrent que l’équanimité augmente avec la pratique de la méditation de pleine conscience et qu’elle est reliée à une diminution des biais d’approche et d’évitement face à des mots positifs et négatifs. L’équanimité, en outre, s’accompagne d’une plus grande neutralité dans l’évaluation hédonique des mots et d’évaluations plus saines des aliments. Cette thèse dresse un portrait de l’équanimité qui, nous l’espérons, ouvrira la voie à de nombreuses études théoriques et appliquées sur cette thématique.
Book
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Describes technological methods and tools for objective and quantitative assessment of quality of life (QoL) Appraises technology-enabled methods for incorporating QoL measurements in medicine Highlights the success factors for adoption and scaling of technology-enabled methods
Chapter
Similar to the concept of general well-being for individuals and societies, researchers have proposed various approaches to the concepts of personal beliefs and quality of life (QoL). In this chapter, QoL is discussed from an individual, subjective, cognitive and behavioral perspective with a focus on personal beliefs. More specifically, we present stress management as an endeavor in which yoga and personal beliefs can be applied to improve QoL. Stress management is recognized as a major health factor influencing an individual’s QoL. Empowered behavior to manage stress is discussed using a four-step model (involving thoughts, beliefs, emotions and behavior), that describes how human behavior is shaped by habits formed through individual experiences that unconsciously influence one’s thoughts, belief systems and emotions. Interventions such as yoga and meditation lead practitioners to question and alter thoughts in ways that can lead to improvements in QoL. Studies have indicated that when yoga and meditation are practiced regularly, the body implements stress-reducing processes automatically and unconsciously when a stressful situation arises. Therefore, this chapter contributes to the literature by demonstrating how yoga and meditation intervene in the mechanisms by which thoughts, beliefs and feelings shape behavior, as have been detailed in recent studies. In addition to the implementation of yoga and meditation, the possible use of technology and other tools for the quantitative assessment of states as a means of facilitating self-empowered behavior is discussed.
Article
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This study sheds light on the extent to which the five facets of mindfulness (observing, describing, acting with awareness, nonjudging, and nonreactivity), decentering, and reappraisal predict psychological distress via emotion regulation difficulties. The study sample is comprised of 620 undergraduate students (429 females and 191 males). The participants’ ages range between 18 and 30 years (Mage = 21.88, SD = 1.68). Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was employed to test the proposed model, which explained 57% of the total variance in psychological distress. According to the results, we conclude that decentering is indirectly associated with psychological distress, while neither a direct nor an indirect relationship was found between reappraisal and psychological distress. The various dimensions of mindfulness, describing, nonjudging, and nonreactivity, were indirectly related to psychological distress via emotion regulation difficulties. Both direct and indirect associations between acting with awareness and psychological distress were observed. These results reveal that decentering, describing, acting with awareness, nonreactivity, and nonjudging are significantly related to psychological distress through emotion regulation difficulties. Individuals who had higher decentering, acting with awareness, non-reactivity, and non-judging scores were less likely to report psychological distress, which was also associated with fewer emotion regulation difficulties. We discuss our results within the framework of the psychological distress literature and provide potential implications of these conclusions for future research and practice.
Chapter
There is an unprecedented pressure that both individuals and businesses endure, especially when considering changes and challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and the COVID-19 crisis. Mindfulness seems to become an integrated part of people's lives, in the attempt to be more concentrated on their daily tasks, more focused on living in the present moment, more determined to eliminate anxiety and stress. In like manner, mindfulness in business seems to become a key solution to stronger entrepreneurship and highly successful workplace relationships. Thus, the new economy, the knowledge-based economy, centers its attention on the powerful links and opportunities that may be encountered between well-being, mental health, and mindfulness, seeking a way to create valuable mindfulness business principles, capable of producing outstanding results, empowering people, facilitating cooperation, allowing good governance, inducing corporate social responsibility, fostering community connections, enabling competitiveness, and supporting sustainability, development, and environmental balance.
Article
Full-text available
COVID-19 pandemic has radically impacted and altered the lives of billions of people around the world. Due to strict government policies, most individuals now find themselves confined at home with limited movement permissible. Although these measures are enforced to help abate the rate of infection, such restrictions have huge implications for the psychophysiological health, lifestyle, and overall well-being of individuals. The COVID-19 confined circumstances, coupled with the gradually declining levels of physical activity and rising levels of sedentarism that is prevalent in the modern society, can have deleterious effect on the psychological, physical, and social health of individuals. This paper argues for essential alternative measures to be introduced that would not only assuage the detrimental effects of COVID-19 confinement, physical inactivity, and sedentarism in the short-term, but also promote psychophysiological health and well-being in the long-term. In particular, this paper recommends the practice of mindfulness as a viable option under the current circumstances. This paper further outlines the health benefits of mindfulness practice and illustrates two effective and efficient practices — mindful breathing and mantram chanting — that could be suitably utilized under the current altered and confined COVID-19 arrangement by individuals across the life span. Potential benefits, recommendations, and risks have also been addressed.
Preprint
Working memory capacity is an important psychological construct and many real-world phenomena are strongly associated with individual differences in working memory functioning. Although working memory and attention are intertwined, several studies have recently shown that individual differences in the general ability to control attention is more strongly predictive of human behavior than working memory capacity. In this review, we argue that researchers would therefore generally be better suited to studying the role of attention control rather than memory-based abilities in explaining real-world behavior and performance in humans. The review begins with a discussion of relevant literature on the nature and measurement of both working memory capacity and attention control, including recent developments in the study of individual differences of attention control. We then selectively review existing literature on the role of both working memory and attention in various applied settings and explain, in each case, why a switch in emphasis to attention control is warranted. Topics covered include psychological testing, cognitive training, education, sports, police decision making, human factors, and disorders within clinical psychology. The review concludes with general recommendations and best practices for researchers interested in conducting studies of individual differences in attention control.
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