3What is mindfulness?A receptive attention to, and awareness of, present events and experience. (Brown & Ryan, 2003)Bishop et al (2004) 2 components:Self-regulation of attention so that it is maintained on immediate experience;Orientation towards one’s experience characterised by curiosity, openness and acceptance.Capacity to be aware of internal and external events as phenomena rather than conceptual objectsSimilar to Phenomenological Reduction (Husserl)
4Characteristics of Mindfulness clear awareness of inner and outer worldnon-conceptual, non-discriminatory awareness (no prioritising)direct perception (thoughts become objects to be noticed just like sights and sounds)dis-identification (observer and participant)present-oriented consciousness
5The mystery of awareness Awareness is different from any other conscious or unconscious mental process.A meta-consciousness, being conscious of consciousness itself (Eysenck, 2009)Non-conceptualOutside timeMindfulness – a disentanglement of awareness and mental processes.
6What is good about mindfulness (Brown & Ryan, 2003) Dispositional Mindfulness correlated with:POSITIVELY:Clarity of experience (.45 to .50)Self-actualisation (.43)Self-esteem (.39 to .50)Vitality (.35 to .46)Positive affect (.30 to .39)Life Satisfaction (.26 to .37)Mood repair (.25 to .37)Optimism (.27 to .34)Attention to feelings (.13 to .19)NEGATIVELY:Neuroticism (-.56)Depression (-.41 to -.42)Anxiety (-.40)Negative affect (-.39 to -.43)Rumination (-.29 to -.39)Remain significant when other factors controlled.
7What mindfulness may not be good for Concentration (implies restriction of attention to a single object and withdrawal of other inputs)Being selective with informationGoal pursuitMaking judgements and assessments
8ReferencesBaer, R. (2003). Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: A conceptual and Empirical Review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10,Baer, R., Smith, G. & Allen, K. (2004). Assessment of Mindfulness by self-report: The Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills. Assessment, 11,**Baer, R., Smith, G., Hopkins, J., Krietemeyer, J. & Toney, L. (2006). Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness. Assessment, 13 (1),Bishop, S. (2002). What do we really know about Mindfulness-based stress reduction? Psychosomatic Medicine, 64,Bishop, S., Lau, M., Shapiro, S., Carlson, L. et al (2004). Mindfulness: A proposed operational definition. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 11,Brown, K. & Ryan, R. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in Psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84,***Brown, K., Ryan, R. & Creswell, J. (2007). Mindfulness: Theoretical foundations and evidnce for its salutary effects. Psychological Inquiry, 18 (4), 211 – 237 (see also some of the commentaries and the authors’ response).Buchheld, N., Grossman, P. & Walach, H. (2001). Measuring mindfulness in Insight Meditation (Vipassana) and meditation-based psychotherapy. Journal for Meditation and Meditation Research, 1, 11 – 34 (see newer paper by Walach et al (2006) – Measuring Mindfulness – the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory in Personality and Individual Differences, 40, 1543 – 1555).
9Davidson, R. , Kabat-Zinn, J. , Schumacher, J. et al (2003) Davidson, R., Kabat-Zinn, J., Schumacher, J. et al (2003). Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65,Grossman, P., Niemann, L., Schmidt, S. & Walach, H. (2004). Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: A meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 57,Kabat-Zinn, J., Wheeler, E., Light, T., Skillings, A. et al (1998). Influence of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention on rates of skin clearing in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis undergoing phototherapy (UVB) and Photochemotherapy (PUVA). Psychosomatic Medicine, 60,Kristeller, J. L. & Hallett, C. B. An exploratory study of a meditation-based intervention for binge eating disorder. Journal of Health Psychology, 4,Shapiro, S., Astin, J., Bishop, S. & Cordova, M. (2005). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for health care professionals: Results from a randomised trial. International Journal of Stress Management, 12,Shapiro, S., Carlson, L., Astin, J. & Freedman, B. (2006). Mechanisms of mindfulness. Journal of Clinical Psychology,Shapiro, S., Schwatrz, G. & Bonner, G. (1998). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on medical and pre-medical students. Journal of Behavioural Medicine, 21,Speca, M., Carlson, L., Goodey, E. & Angen, M. (2000). A randomized, wait-list controlled trial: The effect of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction program on mood and symptoms of stress in cancer outpatients. Psychosomatic Medicine, 62,Tacon, A., Caldera, Y. & Ronaghan, C. (2004). Mindfulness-based stress reduction in women with breast cancer. Families, Systems & Health, 22,Tacon, A., McComb, J., Caldera, Y & Randolph, P. (2003). Mindfulness meditation, anxiety reduction and heart disease. Family and Community Health, 26,
11Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi One of the founders of Positive Psychology – the science of optimal human functioning
12Experience of flow“My mind isn’t wandering. I am totally involved in what I am doing and I am not thinking of anything else. My body feels good... the world seems to be cut off from me... I am less aware of myself and my problems”.“My concentration is like breathing... I never think of it.. I am quite oblivious to my surroundings after I really get doing in this activity. I think that the phone could ring, and the doorbell could ring or the house burn down or something like that. When I start, I really do shut out the world. Once I stop I can let it back again”.“I am so involved in what I am doing... I don’t see myself as separate from what I am doing”.
13Characteristics of flow Complete concentrationAn effortless control over your actionsAction and one who act mergeNo sense of self (or self-consciousness)No sense of timeBeing absorbed (rather than absorbing)You’re no longer a participant observer, only a participant.Sense of control over what one is doing, with no worries about failure.Transformation of time. Usually, time passes much faster than expected. However, the reverse can also be true.Activities are intrinsically rewarding. This means they have an end in themselves (you do something because you want to), with any other end goal often being just an excuse.
14Conditions of the flow experience There are clear goals every step of the wayThere is immediate feedback on the progress. For example, in a competition you know exactly how well you are doing, i.e. whether you are winning or losing.There is a balance between challenges and skills
16Challenges to this view Can we get into flow when we are washing dishes (a low challenge)?Can we get into flow when we daydream, watch a movie, or read (low skills)?Another researcher of flow Antonella Delle Fave thinks yes!
17What's good about flow? It feels good It enhances achievement It improves your capacities and skillsIt enhances one’s self-esteem and contributes to well-being
18Is flow always good? How about gambling and other activity addictions? Flow is amoralIt can make you forget the larger perspective (e.g. a meeting)It can make you feel overconfident
19What do mindfulness and flow have in common? They both relate to activityThey both relate to our awarenessThey belong to the same speciesThey both have potential to contribute to well-beingThey both have limitations on their own
20Why dichotomy? They seem to be on the opposite side of the spectrum: FLOW:Focused awarenessNot being aware of self and timeHigh skill and challengeParticipatory observerMINDFULNESS:Broad awarenessAwareness of self and timeLow skill and challengeObserved participant