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Mindfulness and Meditation Honors Project

This thread goes into more depth about mindfulness

by vibha2109

Mindfulness is a process of bringing one’s attention to happenings and experiences of the present moment. The fundamental idea of mindfulness is to be aware of the present moment- paying no attention to the mistakes, regrets and thoughts about the past; and the worries, fear and thoughts about the future, but living in the present.

The Role of Mindfulness in Psychology

The applications of mindfulness is popular and used widely among people suffering from mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. The therapeutic and calming effects of mindfulness on the mind helps with unwanted thoughts, automatic thoughts, rumination, harmful thoughts, worries, etc. Jon Kabat-Zinn, an American professor, developed his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, an eight-week program aimed at reducing levels of stress. MBSR served as an inspiration for another mindfulness-based therapy program, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), aimed at treating Major Depressive Disorder. MBSR and MBCT are now widely used by psychologists to treat patients, alongside traditional psychology.

Positive Psychology and Mindfulness

Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living. It is a scientific approach to studying human thoughts, feelings, and behaviour with a focus on strengths instead of weakness, building the good in life instead of repairing the bad, and taking the lives of average people up to “great” instead of focusing solely on moving those who are struggling up to “normal” (Peterson, 2008).

Recently, a group of researchers attempted to directly incorporate mindfulness with positive psychology in an intervention they called the Positive Mindfulness Program (Ivtzan et al., 2016). The goal of this study was to combine mindfulness training and positive psychology treatments to increase the well-being of participants. The researchers were successful, and since this study was entirely conducted online, it showed that positive psychology is an excellent way to bring the ancient Eastern practice of mindfulness into the modern Western world.

How do I develop Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is somewhat of a skill. It gets easier and more apparent in our lives with practice. 20 minutes of practicing mindfulness twice per day is said to be ideal. It might involve setting aside time for mindfulness meditation sessions, doing yoga, or it could involve practicing mindfulness during daily activities such as washing the dishes, as Thich Nhat Hanh (a Vietnamese Buddhist monk) practices.

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