Tag Archives: mindfulness

Mindfulness meditation reduces symptoms of depression

10 Nov

Here is a well designed study looking at the effects of mindfulness meditation on depression. The abstract reads:

Background

Training in mindfulness has been introduced to the treatment of depression as a means of relapse prevention. However, given its buffering effects on maladaptive responses to negative mood, mindfulness training would be expected to be particularly helpful in those who are currently suffering from symptoms. This study investigated whether a brief and targeted mindfulness-based intervention can reduce symptoms in acutely depressed patients.

Methods

Seventy-four patients with a chronic or recurrent lifetime history were randomly allocated to receive either a brief mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) encompassing three individual sessions and regular home practice or a control condition that combined psycho-educational components and regular rest periods using the same format as the MBI. Self-reported severity of symptoms, mindfulness in every day life, ruminative tendencies and cognitive reactivity were assessed before and after intervention.

Results

Treatment completers in the MBI condition showed pronounced and significantly stronger reductions in symptoms than those in the control condition. In the MBI group only, patients showed significant increases in mindfulness, and significant reductions in ruminative tendencies and cognitive reactivity.

Conclusions

Brief targeted mindfulness interventions can help to reduce symptoms and buffer maladaptive responses to negative mood in acutely depressed patients with chronic or recurrent lifetime history.

Mindfulness for judges?

10 Mar

An article published in The Monitor, a journal of the American Psychological Association, suggests that mindfulness meditation might lead to a better judicial system.

In this video Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn speaks about mindfulness:

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Technique for overcoming math anxiety

22 Jul

A majority of students report suffering from math anxiety. Now, a study published in the journal Learning and Individual Differences has found that a simple focused breathing technique may reduce math anxiety.

Thirty-six Tufts University students were tested on a time math test under a variety of interventions. One of the interventions was a form of mindful breathing suggested by the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn. The authors describe the technique this way:

“In this exercise, participants are guided through instructions and practice opportunities centered around an attentional focus on the sensations of the breath (inhalation and exhalation). For instance, participants are told to “tune into the feeling of the breath moving in and out of your body, focusing on the sensation of the breath moving past the nostrils; or alternatively, on the feeling of your belly expanding gently on each in-breath, and receding gently with each out-breath.” Participants are repeatedly encouraged to refocus to the breath if the mind wanders away from its sensations.”

They found this technique significantly decreased math anxiety and improved performance for those with high math anxiety. For these anxious students accuracy increased by 9%. In a school setting, this could mean almost the difference of an entire grade.

This is finding is in line with other research that suggests that mindfulness may improve memory.

The study also tested the effect of the amino acid  L-theanine, a substance found in tea. Some research has claimed that L-theanine might improve cognitive performance. In this study, however, L-theanine did not have a significant effect on math performance.

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