Improve Psychological Well-Being with a Mindfulness Smartphone Ap

Improve Psychological Well-Being with a Mindfulness Smartphone Ap

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“When it comes to building a mindfulness meditation practice, “there’s no substitute for a live connection with a teacher — and encouragement from a group or class. But for people who have already taken a class or been introduced to the basics apps are a terrific support to the process.” – Steven Hickman

 

Mindfulness training has been shown through extensive research to be effective in improving physical and psychological health and particularly with the physical and psychological reactions to stress. The vast majority of the mindfulness training techniques, however, require a certified trained therapist. This results in costs that many clients can’t afford. In addition, the participants must be available to attend multiple sessions at particular scheduled times that may or may not be compatible with their busy schedules and at locations that may not be convenient. As an alternative, Apps for smartphones have been developed. These have tremendous advantages in decreasing costs, making training schedules much more flexible, and eliminating the need to go repeatedly to specific locations. But, the question arises as to the effectiveness of these Apps in inducing mindfulness and improving psychological health.

 

In today’s Research News article “Improvements in Stress, Affect, and Irritability Following Brief Use of a Mindfulness-based Smartphone App: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6153897/ ), Economides and colleagues recruited meditation naïve adults on-line and randomly assigned them to practice either meditation or psychoeducation with a cellphone ap. They practiced for 10 minutes per day for 10 days. The meditation ap presented meditation instructions and guided meditations while the psychoeducation ap was structured identically but contained a presentation about the concepts of mindfulness and how an individual applied them. They were measured before and after training for stress, positive and negative emotions, and irritability.

 

Approximately 20% of the initial participants in both groups dropped out before completing the study. Of the completers, compared to baseline and the psychoeducation group, the participants who received the meditation training had significantly lower levels of stress and irritability, and greater levels of positive emotions. Hence, a simple meditation training with a smartphone ap produced significant improvements in psychological well-being.

 

These results are interesting and potentially important as they demonstrate that a simple practice guided with brief smartphone instructions can significantly improve psychological health in individuals without mental or physical illness. A strength of the study was that there was an equivalent comparison condition, psychoeducation ap, to the meditation ap. This suggests that meditation practice was responsible for the results and not some confounding factor such as participant bias, attentional effects, practice effects, experimenter bias, or expectancy effects.  Hence, it appears that meditation practice via smartphone ap may be a simple, inexpensive, convenient way to spread the benefits of meditation practice to widespread populations.

 

So, improve psychological well-being with a mindfulness smartphone ap.

 

“Mindfulness based programs in person have been found to be effective for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. However, it’s unclear if you can reap the same benefits of mindfulness programs with mobile apps. There is only one scientific study on the effectiveness of a mindfulness app . . . showed improvement in mood and fewer symptoms of depression.” – Marilyn Wei

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available at the Contemplative Studies Blog http://contemplative-studies.org/wp/

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Study Summary

 

Economides, M., Martman, J., Bell, M. J., & Sanderson, B. (2018). Improvements in Stress, Affect, and Irritability Following Brief Use of a Mindfulness-based Smartphone App: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Mindfulness, 9(5), 1584–1593. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-0905-4

 

Abstract

Mindfulness training, which involves observing thoughts and feelings without judgment or reaction, has been shown to improve aspects of psychosocial well-being when delivered via in-person training programs such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Less is known about the efficacy of digital training mediums, such as smartphone apps, which are rapidly rising in popularity. In this study, novice meditators were randomly allocated to an introductory mindfulness meditation program or to a psychoeducational audiobook control featuring an introduction to the concepts of mindfulness and meditation. The interventions were delivered via the same mindfulness app, were matched across a range of criteria, and were presented to participants as well-being programs. Affect, irritability, and two distinct components of stress were measured immediately before and after each intervention in a cohort of healthy adults. While both interventions were effective at reducing stress associated with personal vulnerability, only the mindfulness intervention had a significant positive impact on irritability, affect, and stress resulting from external pressure (between group Cohen’s d = 0.44, 0.47, 0.45, respectively). These results suggest that brief mindfulness training has a beneficial impact on several aspects of psychosocial well-being, and that smartphone apps are an effective delivery medium for mindfulness training

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6153897/

 

Improve Cognition and Reduce Age-related Cognitive Decline with Meditation

Improve Cognition and Reduce Age-related Cognitive Decline with Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“While we might expect our bodies and brains to follow a shared trajectory of development and degeneration over time, by actively practicing strategies such as meditation, we might actually preserve and protect our physical body and brain structure to extend our golden years and shine even more brightly in old age.” – Sonima Wellness

 

The aging process involves a systematic progressive decline in every system in the body, the brain included. This includes our mental abilities (cognition) which decline with age including impairments in memory, attention, and problem solving ability. It is inevitable and cannot be avoided. An encouraging new development is that mindfulness practices such as meditation training can significantly reduce these declines in cognitive ability. In addition, it has been found that mindfulness practices reduce the deterioration of the brain that occurs with aging restraining the loss of neural tissue. Indeed, the brains of practitioners of meditation and yoga have been found to degenerate less with aging than non-practitioners.

 

Most studies of age-related decline are cross-sectional, comparing groups of different ages. In today’s Research News article “Cognitive Aging and Long-Term Maintenance of Attentional Improvements Following Meditation Training.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41465-018-0068-1 ), Zanesco and colleagues perform a longitudinal analysis, following participants for up to 7 years to investigate the effects of a meditation retreat on cognitive ability.

 

They recruited experienced meditators and randomly assigned them to either a wait-list control condition or to receive a 3-month intensive meditation retreat. After completion of the first retreat, the wait-list control participants received the 3-month meditation retreat. All participants were measured before, during, and after the retreat and 6 months, and 1.5 and 7 years later with a response inhibition task. In this task, participants were asked to respond when a long line is present and not respond when an infrequent short line was presented. This task measures high level thinking including attention, response inhibition, discrimination, and vigilance.

 

They found that during and following the retreat there were large significant improvements in perceptual discrimination, response inhibition, vigilance, and response time variance as measured in the response inhibition task. Importantly, these improvements were maintained for as much as 7 years after the completion of the retreat. Overall, older participants had age-related declines in accuracy. But, older participants who reported large amounts of continued meditation practice, did not have declines.

 

This study documents that the effects of a 3-month intensive meditation retreat on cognitive ability are large and lasting. In addition, they demonstrate that age-related declines in cognitive performance can be prevented by continued meditation practice. In this study, these effects were observed longitudinally, in the same individuals over time, supplementing the previous findings with cross-sectional studies of groups of individuals of different ages. This suggests that the loss of high-level thought ability does not necessarily inevitably have to decline as we age. It can be improved and sustained with meditation practice.

 

So, improve cognition and reduce age-related cognitive decline with meditation.

 

“What we do know is that long-term engagement in mindfulness meditation may enhance cognitive performance in older adults, and that with persistent practice, these benefits may be sustained. That’s great news for the millions of aging adults working to combat the negative effects of aging on the brain.” – B. grace Bullock

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Zanesco, A.P., King, B.G., MacLean, K.A. et al. Cognitive Aging and Long-Term Maintenance of Attentional Improvements Following Meditation Training. J Cogn Enhanc (2018) 2: 259. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41465-018-0068-1

 

Abstract

Sustained attention is effortful, demanding, and subject to limitations associated with age-related cognitive decline. Researchers have sought to examine whether attentional capacities can be enhanced through directed mental training, with a number of studies now offering evidence that meditation practice may facilitate generalized improvements in this domain. However, the extent to which attentional gains are maintained following periods of dedicated meditation training and how such improvements are moderated by processes of aging have yet to be characterized. In a prior report (Sahdra et al., Emotion 11, 299–312, 2011), we examined attentional performance on a sustained response inhibition task before, during, and after 3-months of full-time meditation. We now extend this prior investigation across additional follow-up assessments occurring up to 7 years after the conclusion of training. Performance improvements observed during periods of intensive practice were partially maintained several years later. Importantly, aging-related decrements in measures of response inhibition accuracy and reaction time variability were moderated by levels of continued meditation practice across the follow-up period. The present study is the first to offer evidence that intensive and continued meditation practice is associated with enduring improvements in sustained attention and response inhibition, with the potential to alter longitudinal trajectories of cognitive change across the lifespan.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41465-018-0068-1

 

Improve Diabetes with Meditation

Improve Diabetes with Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“As a therapist who works primarily with people with diabetes, I have found that those who have a deeper understanding of themselves and have the ability to cope well with stressful life events simply live better with diabetes, both in terms of diabetes control and general quality of life.” – Joseph Nelson

 

Diabetes is a major health issue. It is estimated that 30 million people in the United States and nearly 600 million people worldwide have diabetes and the numbers are growing. Diabetes is heavily associated with other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and circulatory problems leading to amputations. As a result, diabetes doubles the risk of death of any cause compared to individuals of the same age without diabetes.

 

Type 2 diabetes is a common and increasingly prevalent illness that is largely preventable. One of the reasons for the increasing incidence of Type 2 Diabetes is its association with overweight and obesity which is becoming epidemic in the industrialized world. A leading cause of this is a sedentary life style. Unlike Type I Diabetes, Type II does not require insulin injections. Instead, the treatment and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes focuses on diet, exercise, and weight control. Recently, mindfulness practices have been shown to be helpful in managing diabetes. There is a need for further research into this promising approach to the treatment of patients with diabetes.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mind–Body Interactions and Mindfulness Meditation in Diabetes.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5954593/ ), Priya and Kalra review and summarize the published research literature on the effectiveness of meditation-based practices for patients with diabetes. They report that the research found that meditation produces changes to the brain areas that reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress and this improves emotion regulation and coping responses to the disease and overall feelings of well-being.

 

They report that in diabetes patients, meditation-based treatments have been found to improve the psychological state of the patients including improved mood and reduced psychological distress, anxiety, and depression and increased self-care behaviors. These treatments also appear to improve the diabetes patient’s physiological state including lower weight and waist circumference, improved glycemic control, and improved cardiovascular health, including blood pressure, heart rate variability, and vascular resistance.

 

Hence, the published research indicates that meditation-based practices are safe and effective treatments for diabetes patients. “To summarise, mindfulness interventions have demonstrated impact on a broad range of outcomes relating to all domains of holistic care in diabetes – biological, psychological and also social” (Priya and Kalra, 2018).

 

So, improve diabetes with meditation.

 

“Exercise trains the body and meditation train the mind. Many people with diabetes find meditation is a good way to reduce stress, lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure readings and minimize pain. Regular meditation should become an important part of your diabetes self-management program.” – Roberta Kleinman

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Priya, G., & Kalra, S. (2018). Mind–Body Interactions and Mindfulness Meditation in Diabetes. European Endocrinology, 14(1), 35–41. http://doi.org/10.17925/EE.2018.14.1.35

 

Abstract

Diabetes is associated with significant psychological distress. It is, therefore, important to ensure the physical and emotional as well as psychosocial wellbeing of individuals living with diabetes. Meditation-based strategies have been evaluated for their complementary role in several chronic disorders including depression, anxiety, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The practice of meditation is associated with reduction in stress and negative emotions and improvements in patient attitude, health-related behaviour and coping skills. There is increased parasympathetic activity with reduction in sympathetic vascular tone, stress hormones and inflammatory markers. Additionally, several studies evaluated the role of mindfulness-based stress reduction in diabetic individuals and demonstrated modest improvements in body weight, glycaemic control and blood pressure. Thus, mindfulness meditation-based intervention can lead to improvements across all domains of holistic care – biological, psychological and social. Though most of these studies have been of short duration and included small numbers of patients, meditation strategies can be useful adjunctive techniques to lifestyle modification and pharmacological management of diabetes and help improve patient wellbeing.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5954593/

Improve Sleep in Fibromyalgia Patients with Mindfulness

Improve Sleep in Fibromyalgia Patients with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Now, I do live in the moment, and it is quite beautiful, I feel at peace, I feel much more confident and I am able to look to the future with confidence. I am much more compassionate with myself and everyone else. I now accept that this illness is not my fault and it is now 100 per cent easier to deal with the primary pain that comes with fibromyalgia by eliminating the secondary suffering of worry and anxiety.” – Lesa Vallentine

 

Fibromyalgia is a mysterious disorder whose causes are unknown. It is very common affecting over 5 million people in the U.S., about 2% of the population with about 7 times more women affected than men. It is characterized by widespread pain, abnormal pain processing, sleep disturbance, and fatigue that lead to psychological distress. Fibromyalgia may also have morning stiffness, tingling or numbness in hands and feet, headaches, including migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep disturbances, thinking and memory problems, and painful menstrual periods. The symptoms are so severe and debilitating that about half the patients are unable to perform routine daily functions and about a third have to stop work. Although it is not itself fatal, suicide rates are higher in fibromyalgia sufferers.

 

There are no completely effective treatments for fibromyalgia. Symptoms are generally treated with pain relievers, antidepressant drugs and exercise. But, these only reduce the severity of the symptoms and do not treat the disease directly. Mindfulness practices have also been shown to be effective in reducing pain from fibromyalgia. But, it is unclear, however, if mindfulness training can reduce the sleep disturbances and insomnia that accompany fibromyalgia.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of Mindfulness Training on Sleep Problems in Patients With Fibromyalgia.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01365/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_755938_69_Psycho_20180904_arts_A ), Amutio and colleagues recruited patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia and randomly assigned them to a no-treatment control condition or to receive 7 weeks of Flow Meditation practice. They met in groups once a week for 2 hours and practiced daily at home. Flow Meditation consisted of mindfulness exercises from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training, mindfulness techniques used in acceptance and commitment therapy, and exposure to and debate on metaphors and exercises used in Zen and Vipassana meditation. The participants were measured before and after training and 3 months later for insomnia, sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, and sleep impairments.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the control group the mindfulness trained group had significant increases in sleep quality and significant decreases in insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and sleep impairments. These effects varied from moderate to large and did not diminish over the 3-month follow-up period. So, mindfulness training appears to be a safe, effective, and lasting treatment for the sleep problems occurring with fibromyalgia. These are very significant improvements as lack of sleep by fibromyalgia patients contributes mightily to the reduced quality of life and overall health of the sufferers. This combined with the previously observed reduction in perceived pain produced by mindfulness training suggests that this training is an excellent alternative or supplemental treatment for fibromyalgia.

 

Improve Sleep in Fibromyalgia Patients with Mindfulness.

 

“Mindfulness may be able to help patients learn to direct their attention away from pain, inhibit the central nervous system’s ability to perceive pain. reduce distressing thoughts and feelings that come with pain, which can keep them from making the pain worse, enhance body awareness, which may lead to improved self-care, promote deep muscle relaxation, lessening tension and irritability, and create a buffer against stress-related symptoms” – HealthLine

 

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Amutio A, Franco C, Sánchez-Sánchez LC, Pérez-Fuentes MdC, Gázquez-Linares JJ, Van Gordon W and Molero-Jurado MdM (2018) Effects of Mindfulness Training on Sleep Problems in Patients With Fibromyalgia. Front. Psychol. 9:1365. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01365

 

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a complex psychosomatic pain condition. In addition to generalized pain and various cognitive difficulties, new FMS diagnostic criteria acknowledge fatigue and sleep problems as core aspects of this condition. Indeed, poor sleep quality has been found to be a significant predictor of pain, fatigue, and maladaptive social functioning in this patient group. While there is promising evidence supporting the role of mindfulness as a treatment for FMS, to date, mindfulness intervention studies have principally focused on dimensions of pain as the primary outcome with sleep problems either not being assessed or included as a secondary consideration. Given the role of sleep problems in the pathogenesis of FMS, and given that mindfulness has been shown to improve sleep problems in other clinical conditions, the present study explored the effects of a mindfulness-based intervention known as Flow Meditation (Meditación-Fluir) on a range of sleep-related outcomes (subjective insomnia, sleep quality, sleepiness, and sleep impairment) in individuals with FMS. Adult women with FMS (n = 39) were randomly assigned to the 7 weeks mindfulness treatment or a waiting list control group. Results showed that compared to the control group, individuals in the mindfulness group demonstrated significant improvements across all outcome measures and that the intervention effects were maintained at a 3 month follow-up assessment. The Meditación-Fluir program shows promise for alleviating sleep problems relating to FMS and may thus have a role in the treatment of FMS as well as other pain disorders in which sleep impairment is a central feature of the condition.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01365/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_755938_69_Psycho_20180904_arts_A

Improve Effortless Awareness Meditation with EEG Neurofeedback

Improve Effortless Awareness Meditation with EEG Neurofeedback

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Neurofeedback meditation supercharges your brain’s ability to learn and in this case it’s learning to go into profound states of meditation where an aspect of that state is rock solid focus and a quiet mind.” – Jonathan Banks

 

Meditation training has been shown to improve health and well-being. It has also been found to be effective for a large array of medical and psychiatric conditions, either stand-alone or in combination with more traditional therapies. As a result, meditation training has been called the third wave of therapies. But, meditation can be challenging to learn and many people become discouraged and drop the practice. But, modern neuroscience has developed a tool called neurofeedback that can assist the meditator in improving the meditative experience.

 

In today’s Research News article “Source-space EEG neurofeedback links subjective experience with brain activity during effortless awareness meditation.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5001938/ ), Lutterveld and colleagues recruited novice and experienced (> 5 years) meditators. Novice meditators were taught to bring about a meditative state of effortless that consists of “concentration”, “observing sensory experience”, “not ‘efforting’“ and “contentment”. Experienced meditators were simply instructed to enter a state of effortless awareness. During the meditation the EEG was recorded and the activity of the brain waves in the gamma region (40-57 Hz) from the Posterior Cingulate Cortex (PCC) were recorded. The amount of activity was fed back to the participant in the form of a bar on a monitor screen the increased in size as the amount of activity increased.

 

They found that both groups reported that when they were experiencing effortless awareness the PCC Gamma activity was low. In addition, both groups were able to decrease the PCC Gamma activity when they tried. These results suggest that neurofeedback can be used to alter brain activity in targeted areas and frequency ranges. The Posterior Cingulate Cortex (PCC) is known to be a key structure in what is termed the default mode network. This network becomes active during times when the mind is wandering or in self-referential thought. So, the lowering of PCC Gamma activity with neurofeedback would suggest that the meditators are able to volitionally control mind wandering when appropriate feedback is available.

 

Since PCC Gamma activity is associated with effortless awareness these results suggest that neurofeedback can be used to train individuals to increase the amount of effortless awareness present in their meditation and decrease the amount of mind wandering. This in turn could markedly increase the quality of the meditation practice. Future research should explore the application of this neurofeedback for the improvement of meditation practice and its associated benefits.

 

So, improve effortless awareness meditation with EEG neurofeedback.

 

“If you meditate for an ulterior motive, that is to say, to improve your mind, to improve your character, to be more efficient in life, you’ve got your eye on the future and you are not meditating. Because the future, is a concept. It doesn’t exist.” – Alan Watts

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Van Lutterveld, R., Houlihan, S. D., Pal, P., Sacchet, M. D., McFarlane-Blake, C., Patel, P. R., … Brewer, J. A. (2017). Source-space EEG neurofeedback links subjective experience with brain activity during effortless awareness meditation. NeuroImage, 151, 117–127. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.02.047

 

Abstract

Background

Meditation is increasingly showing beneficial effects for psychiatric disorders. However, learning to meditate is not straightforward as there are no easily discernible outward signs of performance and thus no direct feedback is possible. As meditation has been found to correlate with posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) activity, we tested whether source-space EEG neurofeedback from the PCC followed the subjective experience of effortless awareness (a major component of meditation), and whether participants could volitionally control the signal.

Methods

Sixteen novice meditators and sixteen experienced meditators participated in the study. Novice meditators were briefly trained to perform a basic meditation practice to induce the subjective experience of effortless awareness in a progressively more challenging neurofeedback test-battery. Experienced meditators performed a self-selected meditation practice to induce this state in the same test-battery. Neurofeedback was provided based on gamma-band (40–57 Hz) PCC activity extracted using a beamformer algorithm. Associations between PCC activity and the subjective experience of effortless awareness were assessed by verbal probes.

Results

Both groups reported that decreased PCC activity corresponded with effortless awareness (P<0.0025 for each group), with high median confidence ratings (novices: 8 on a 0–10 Likert scale; experienced: 9). Both groups showed high moment-to-moment median correspondence ratings between PCC activity and subjective experience of effortless awareness (novices: 8, experienced: 9). Both groups were able to volitionally control the PCC signal in the direction associated with effortless awareness by practicing effortless awareness meditation (novices: median % of time =77.97, P=0.001; experienced: 89.83, P<0.0005).

Conclusions

These findings support the feasibility of using EEG neurofeedback to link an objective measure of brain activity with the subjective experience of effortless awareness, and suggest potential utility of this paradigm as a tool for meditation training.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5001938/

 

Improve Happiness and Meditative Experiences with Yoga

Improve Happiness and Meditative Experiences with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.” – Walt Whitman

 

“Meditation leads to concentration, concentration leads to understanding, and understanding leads to happiness” – This wonderful quote from the modern day sage Thich Nhat Hahn is a beautiful pithy description of the benefits of mindfulness practice. Mindfulness allows us to view our experience and not put labels on it, not make assumptions about it, not relate it to past experiences, and not project it into the future. Rather mindfulness lets us experience everything around and within us exactly as it is arising and falling away from moment to moment.

 

A variety of forms of mindfulness training have been shown to increase psychological well-being and happiness. So, it would be expected that yoga practice would similarly increase these positive states. It is not known, however, if yoga training can produce a cross-training effects, improving the effectiveness of other mindfulness practices.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of Maharishi Yoga Asanas on Mood States, Happiness, and Experiences during Meditation. International Journal of Yoga.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5769201/ ), Gobec and colleagues recruited college students who practiced Transcendental Meditation. They were provided a 2-week course in yoga that met for 2 hours on 8 days over 2 weeks and included instruction in theory and practice of postures. The participants were measured before and after the training for mood states and resilience. They found that after training there was a significant decrease in total disturbance of their mood states.

 

In a second experiment the yoga training occurred for 4 weeks and a matched group of control participants was included. The participants were measured before and after the training for mood states and meditative experiences including: hindrances, relaxation, personal self, transpersonal qualities, and transpersonal self. They found that in comparison to the control participants after yoga training there were significant increases in happiness and meditative experiences, including personal self, transpersonal qualities, and transpersonal self.

 

The results suggest that yoga practice improves mood particularly increasing happiness as has been found to be true for contemplative practices in general. In addition, the results suggest that yoga practice alters the experiences that occur during meditation, including increased ability to transcend experiences of body and mind during meditation. This should greatly enhance the depth and effectiveness of the meditation. This is a completely new finding that yoga practice can enhance the individual’s experience during a separate mindfulness practice, meditation. This “cross-training” effect may greatly increase the effects of yoga practice on the psychological and spiritual health of the individual.

 

So, improve happiness and meditative experiences with yoga.

 

According to yoga philosophy, santosha, which means contentment, is a form of self-discipline. In other words, happiness is a skill and practice. Happier people do not have easier lives, with less hard work, grief, divorce, or financial strain than the rest of us. They’re simply more grateful for what they have and choose to be conscious of their contentment more often.” – Rebecca Pacheco

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are a also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Gobec, S., & Travis, F. (2018). Effects of Maharishi Yoga Asanas on Mood States, Happiness, and Experiences during Meditation. International Journal of Yoga, 11(1), 66–71. http://doi.org/10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_66_16

 

Abstract

Context/Background:

Many studies showed positive effects of Yoga Asanas. There is no study on Maharishi Yoga Asanas yet. This research replicated and expanded observed improvements on the profile of mood states (POMS) as a result of 2-week Maharishi Yoga Asanas course. Thirteen college students taking part in a 4-week course on Maharishi Yoga Asanas were matched with 13 students taking other courses at the university.

Aims and Objective:

The main objective of the study was to assess the effects of Maharishi Yoga Asanas on mood states, degree of happiness, and experiences in Transcendental Meditation (TM) practice.

Methods:

All students were given two psychological tests and additional question before and after their 4-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5769201/happiness.

Results:

Repeated measure MANOVA showed the 4-week Maharishi Yoga Asanas course resulted in significant increase in happiness during the day and significant improvements in (1) sense of personal self, (2) transpersonal qualities, and (3) transpersonal self during their TM practice.

Conclusion:

This research shows that Maharishi Yoga Asanas affect more than body and mind. Rather they influence much deeper levels of one’s subjectivity including one’s transpersonal self.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5769201/

Improve Attention with Even Very Brief Meditation

Improve Attention with Even Very Brief Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“We practice meditation in the end not to become great meditators but to have a different life. As we deepen the skills of concentration, mindfulness, and compassion, we find we have less stress, more fulfillment, more insight, and vastly more happiness. We transform our lives.” – Sharon Salzberg

 

One of the primary effects of mindfulness training is an improvement in the ability to pay attention to the task at hand and ignore interfering stimuli. This is an important consequence of mindfulness training and produces improvements in thinking, reasoning, and creativity. The importance of heightened attentional ability to the individual’s ability to navigate the demands of complex modern life cannot be overstated. It helps at work, in relationships, or simply driving a car.

 

There is evidence that mindfulness training improves attention by altering the brain. It appears That mindfulness training increases the size, connectivity, and activity of areas of the brain that are involved in paying attention. A common method to study the activity of the nervous system is to measure the electrical signal at the scalp above brain regions. Changes in this activity are measurable with mindfulness training. One method to observe attentional processing in the brain is to measure the changes in the electrical activity that occur in response to specific stimuli. These are called event-related potentials or ERPs. The signal following a stimulus changes over time. The fluctuations of the signal after specific periods of time are thought to measure different aspects of the nervous system’s processing of the stimulus.

 

The P3b response in the evoked potential (ERP) is a positive going electrical response occurring between a 2.5 to 5 tenths of a second following the target stimulus presentation. The P3b (distractor positivity) component is thought to reflect an attentional suppression process involved in preventing shifts in attention. The N2 response is a negative electrical change that occurs around 2 tenths of a second following the target stimulus presentation. The N2 response has been implicated in conflict detection and executive attention. These components of the evoked potential can be used to assess the nature of attentional processing before and after meditation, reflecting how meditation might improve attention.

 

In today’s Research News article “Brief Mindfulness Meditation Improves Attention in Novices: Evidence From ERPs and Moderation by Neuroticism.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6088366/ ), Norris and colleagues recruited undergraduate students for two experiments to examine the ability of a very brief meditation experience to affect attentional abilities.

 

In the first study they had the students listen to a 10-minute recording either of mindfulness meditation instructions or a reading of a National Geographic article about giant sequoias. The participants then performed a flanker task, a measure of executive cognitive function. In this task the participant has to respond to the direction of an arrow, when it is surrounded by distracting arrows that point either in the same (congruent) or opposite (incongruent) directions. Afterwards they completed the Big 5 Personality Inventory. They found that the participants who listened to the meditation recording were significantly more accurate on the flanker task on incongruent trials. This suggests that a brief meditation improves cognitive attentional ability to screen out irrelevant material.

 

In the second study students listened to recordings like in study 1 and performed an attention network task. It includes the flanker task but also includes measures of different types of attention, including alerting, orienting, and executive control. While performing the task the electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded and the event related potential recorded in response to the presentation of the task. They found that the participants who listened to the meditation recording were significantly faster in responding on the attentional network task. They found that the low neuroticism participants who listened to the meditation recording had significantly larger N2 ERP responses and significantly smaller P3b ERP responses during incongruent (conflict) task than controls. These changes in the ERP suggests that after meditation, the brain functions better in allocating attentional resources to the task at hand.

 

These results are interesting and suggest that even a single brief meditation experience can alter both behavioral and EEG measures of attention. They suggest that even a 10-minute meditation enhances attentional mechanisms. This extends the literature on the effectiveness of mindfulness training on attention, demonstrating that even 10 minutes of meditation exposure can improve the individual’s ability to attend to and process information in the present environment.

 

So, improve attention with even very brief meditation.

 

“intensive and continued meditation practice is associated with enduring improvements in sustained attention and response inhibition, with the potential to alter longitudinal trajectories of cognitive change across a person’s life,” – Anthony Zanesco

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Norris, C. J., Creem, D., Hendler, R., & Kober, H. (2018). Brief Mindfulness Meditation Improves Attention in Novices: Evidence From ERPs and Moderation by Neuroticism. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12, 315. http://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2018.00315

 

Abstract

Past research has found that mindfulness meditation training improves executive attention. Event-related potentials (ERPs) have indicated that this effect could be driven by more efficient allocation of resources on demanding attentional tasks, such as the Flanker Task and the Attention Network Test (ANT). However, it is not clear whether these changes depend on long-term practice. In two studies, we sought to investigate the effects of a brief, 10-min meditation session on attention in novice meditators, compared to a control activity. We also tested moderation by individual differences in neuroticism and the possible underlying neural mechanisms driving these effects, using ERPs. In Study 1, participants randomly assigned to listen to a 10-min meditation tape had better accuracy on incongruent trials on a Flanker task, with no detriment in reaction times (RTs), indicating better allocation of resources. In Study 2, those assigned to listen to a meditation tape performed an ANT more quickly than control participants, with no detriment in performance. Neuroticism moderated both of these effects, and ERPs showed that those individuals lower in neuroticism who meditated for 10 min exhibited a larger N2 to incongruent trials compared to those who listened to a control tape; whereas those individuals higher in neuroticism did not. Together, our results support the hypothesis that even brief meditation improves allocation of attentional resources in some novices.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6088366/

 

Improve Cognition in Breast Cancer Patients with Meditation

Improve Cognition in Breast Cancer Patients with Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Between diagnosis, treatment, recovery and ongoing treatment, living with cancer is a stressful roller-coaster set on repeat. Meditation is a very useful and powerful tool that can help you get in touch with your thoughts and emotions, cultivate compassion and find strength to keep going -maybe even to thrive.” -Jasmin Fiore Dodge

 

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer has a huge impact on most people. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing and potentially life-ending experience. But cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. But, surviving cancer carries with it a number of problems. Cognitive impairments are a frequent side effect of cancer treatment. This has been dubbed “chemo brain.” Patients often refer to it as a mental cloudiness.

 

The patients report problems including forgetting things, trouble concentrating, trouble remembering details like names and dates, trouble multi-tasking, like answering the phone while cooking, taking longer to finish things, disorganized and slower thinking, and trouble remembering common words. These cognitive impairments generally produce problems with work and even social relationships such that patients tend to isolate themselves. They can also produce treatment problems as the patients often forget to take their medications.

 

These problems result from the fact that chemotherapy, radiation therapy and many cancer drugs directly affect the nervous system. At present, there are no known treatments for these cognitive impairment side effects of chemotherapy. Contemplative practices have been shown to affect memory and have positive effects on cancer treatment and recovery.  There is some evidence that contemplative practices may be useful for the alleviation of “chemo brain” symptoms. So, it makes sense to further study the ability of mindfulness training to improve the cancer patient’s cognitive abilities.

 

In today’s Research News article “Tibetan sound meditation for cognitive dysfunction: results of a randomized controlled pilot trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6083855/ ), Milbury and colleagues recruited women who had breast cancer and had completed chemotherapy at least 6 months ago. They were randomly assigned to receive either Tibetan Sound Meditation or were assigned to a wait-list control condition. Tibetan Sound Meditation was practiced in twice weekly, 1-hour sessions, for 6 weeks. It included focused meditation, mindfulness development, breathing exercises, and cognitive tasks. The participants were measured before training and one month after the completion of the program for cognitive performance, perceived cognitive function, depression, sleep disturbance, fatigue, health related quality of life, and spiritual well-being.

 

They found that after training the women receiving meditation training had significant albeit small improvements in cognitive function including verbal memory, short-term memory, processing speed and significant decreases in perceived cognitive function. Hence the women following meditation treatment had improve objective and subjective cognitive abilities. In addition, the treated women had significantly higher levels of overall mental health and spiritual well-being and lower levels of depression.

 

This was a relatively small pilot study, so it was surprising and encouraging to discover significant improvements. Tibetan Sound Meditation is a complex practice consisting of a number of different practices. It would be interesting to begin to determine which components or combination of components were responsible for the benefits. It would also be interesting to compare the effectiveness of Tibetan Sound Meditation to other forms of meditation practice such as open monitoring meditation or loving kindness meditation.

 

It should be noted that the control condition received no activities other than treatment as usual. So, the results may have been affected by participant and experimenter bias and expectancy effects. It would be better in future studies to use an active control condition such as light exercise of health education. Nevertheless, the results suggest that training in Tibetan Sound Meditation improves the thinking ability and spiritual and mental health of women who completed chemotherapy for breast cancer.

 

So, improve cognition in breast cancer patients with meditation.

 

“Enduring treatment is not only unpleasant, but time-consuming and expensive. Meditation is one method that can be extremely beneficial throughout the healing process. Like many illnesses, breast cancer can be worsened by stress. Meditation can help you reduce stress levels throughout the day.” – Laura Sage

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Milbury, K., Chaoul, A., Biegler, K., Wangyal, T., Spelman, A., Meyers, C. A., … Cohen, L. (2013). Tibetan sound meditation for cognitive dysfunction: results of a randomized controlled pilot trial. Psycho-Oncology, 22(10), 2354–2363. http://doi.org/10.1002/pon.3296

 

Abstract

Objective

Although chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment is common among breast cancer patients, evidence for effective interventions addressing cognitive deficits is limited. This randomized controlled trial examined the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a Tibetan Sound Meditation (TSM) program to improve cognitive function and quality of life in breast cancer patients.

Methods

Forty-seven breast cancer patients (mean age 56.3 years), who were staged I–III at diagnosis, 6–60 months post-chemotherapy, and reported cognitive impairment at study entry were recruited. Participants were randomized to either two weekly TSM sessions for 6 weeks or a wait list control group. Neuropsychological assessments were completed at baseline and 1 month post-treatment. Self-report measures of cognitive function (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT)-Cog), quality of life (SF-36), depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale), sleep disturbance (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), fatigue (Brief Fatigue Inventory), and spirituality (FACT-Sp) were completed at baseline, the end of treatment, and 1 month later.

Results

Relative to the control group, women in the TSM group performed better on the verbal memory test (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test trial 1) (p = 0.06) and the short-term memory and processing speed task (Digit Symbol) (p = 0.09) and reported improved cognitive function (p = 0.06), cognitive abilities (p = 0.08), mental health (p = 0.04), and spirituality (p = 0.05) at the end of treatment but not 1 month later.

Conclusions

This randomized controlled trial revealed that TSM program appears to be a feasible and acceptable intervention and may be associated with short-term improvements in objective and subjective cognitive function as well as mental health and spirituality in breast cancer patients.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6083855/

 

Improve Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with Meditation or Yoga

Improve Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with Meditation or Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“meditation helps bring about the kind of deep self-awareness, or mindfulness, that can create a therapeutic basis for reducing the symptoms of PTSD. We can meet difficult emotions, difficult memories, and difficult experiences through meditation,” Stephanie Lopez

 

Experiencing trauma is quite common. It has been estimated that 60% of men and 50% of women will experience a significant traumatic event during their lifetime. Only a fraction will develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); about 7%-8%. PTSD involves a number of troubling symptoms including reliving the event with the same fear and horror in nightmares or with a flashback. They often experience negative changes in beliefs and feelings including difficulty experiencing positive or loving feelings toward other people, avoiding relationships, avoiding situations that remind them of the event memory difficulties, or see the world as dangerous and no one can be trusted. Sufferers may feel keyed up and jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. They may experience sudden anger or irritability, may have a hard time sleeping or concentrating, may be startled by a loud noise or surprise.

 

Obviously, these are serious and troubling symptoms that need to be addressed. There are a number of therapies that have been developed to treat PTSD. One of which, mindfulness training has been found to be particularly effective. Exercise also appears to be effective in treating the symptoms of PTSD. So, it would seem reasonable to examine the meditation and yoga training in treating PTSD.

 

In today’s Research News article “Meditation and Yoga for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Meta-Analytic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5939561/ ), Gallegos and colleagues reviewed, summarized and performed a meta-analysis of the 19 published randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) of the application of mindfulness training, meditation, and/or yoga for the treatment of the symptoms of PTSD. They found that the research reports that all techniques including mindfulness training, meditation, and yoga produced significant improvements in the symptoms of PTSD regardless of whether they were compared to active or inactive control conditions. They all had moderate to large effect sizes.

 

This summary of the research is very encouraging and suggests that mindfulness, meditation, and yoga training are safe and effective adjunctive treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is not known exactly how these trainings improve PTSD but they are known to reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress, improve the regulation of emotions, and reduce worry and rumination, all of which should be beneficial for PTSD sufferers.

 

So, improve Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with meditation or yoga.

 

“Veterans struggling with the growing problem of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have new hope in helping to alleviate their symptoms with Mindful Yoga Therapy (MYT), according to research that finds the specific yoga practices in its protocol can help improve their physical and psychological well-being.” – Mindful Yoga Therapy

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Gallegos, A. M., Crean, H. F., Pigeon, W. R., & Heffner, K. L. (2017). Meditation and Yoga for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Meta-Analytic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Clinical Psychology Review, 58, 115–124. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2017.10.004

 

Abstract

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic and debilitating disorder that affects the lives of 7-8% of adults in the U.S. Although several interventions demonstrate clinical effectiveness for treating PTSD, many patients continue to have residual symptoms and ask for a variety of treatment options. Complementary health approaches, such as meditation and yoga, hold promise for treating symptoms of PTSD. This meta-analysis evaluates the effect size (ES) of yoga and meditation on PTSD outcomes in adult patients. We also examined whether the intervention type, PTSD outcome measure, study population, sample size, or control condition moderated the effects of complementary approaches on PTSD outcomes. The studies included were 19 randomized control trials with data on 1,173 participants. A random effects model yielded a statistically significant ES in the small to medium range (ES = −.39, p < .001, 95% CI [−.57, −.22]). There were no appreciable differences between intervention types, study population, outcome measures, or control condition. There was, however, a marginally significant higher ES for sample size ≤ 30 (ES = −.78, k = 5). These findings suggest that meditation and yoga are promising complementary approaches in the treatment of PTSD among adults and warrant further study.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5939561/

Improve Psychological Health with Mindfulness

Improve Psychological Health with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindfulness exercises are ways of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing, and yoga. Training helps people to become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and body sensations so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, they are better able to manage them. Practising mindfulness can give more insight into emotions, boost attention and concentration, and improve relationships.” – Mental Health Foundation

 

Mindfulness training has been shown through extensive research to be effective in improving physical and psychological health and particularly with the physical and psychological reactions to stress. The vast majority of the mindfulness training techniques, however, require a certified trained therapist. This results in costs that many clients can’t afford. In addition, the participants must be available to attend multiple sessions at particular scheduled times that may or may not be compatible with their busy schedules and at locations that may not be convenient. As an alternative, online mindfulness training programs have been developed. These have tremendous advantages in decreasing costs, making training schedules much more flexible, and eliminating the need to go repeatedly to specific locations.

 

One difficulty with understanding the effects of mindfulness training is that they often contain multiple components such as training on the ideas of mindfulness, practicing mindfulness in everyday activities, meditation, chanting, body scanning, yoga, etc. It cannot be determined then what component or combination of components are responsible for the effects. It would be helpful to compare one form of training with the same training minus single components to begin to isolate what components are necessary and sufficient for the benefits.

 

In today’s Research News article “A Randomised Controlled Trial of a Brief Online Mindfulness-Based Intervention in a Non-clinical Population: Replication and Extension.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6061247/ ), Cavanagh and colleagues compared a 2-week online mindfulness training containing meditation with the same training without meditation. They recruited university students and staff to participate in a “Learning Mindfulness online” course and randomly assigned them to receive either mindfulness training, mindfulness training without meditation, or a wait-list control condition.

 

The mindfulness training consisted of a 5-minute mindfulness video and a 2000-word teaching on mindfulness that recommended performing one activity per week mindfully. The training also had a daily guided walking exercise. When meditation was included it consisted of instructions on meditation and a daily 10-minute guided meditation. The participants were measured before and after training for mindfulness, perceived stress, anxiety, depression, perseverative thinking, and a daily questionnaire on the use of training components.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the wait-list control, both mindfulness training groups had significantly higher levels of mindfulness and significantly lower levels of perceived stress, anxiety, depression, and perseverative thinking. They also found that perseverative thinking mediated the effects of mindfulness on perceived stress, anxiety, and depression. That is mindfulness was associated with decreased perseverative thinking (worry, rumination) which was, in turn, associated with lower perceived stress, anxiety, and depression.

 

The primary findings that mindfulness training decreases perseverative thinking, perceived stress, anxiety, and depression and that rumination (perseverative thinking is an important mediator http://contemplative-studies.org/wp/index.php/category/research-news/anxiety/of the effects, are not new as have been documented repeatedly elsewhere. What is new is that a relatively brief, online, training is sufficient to produce these benefits. The fact that it could be taught exclusively online is important and suggests that mindfulness training can be implemented broadly, at low cost, and great convenience.

 

It was surprising that the inclusion of meditation in the mindfulness training did not add any extra benefits. This may suggest that training on the application of mindfulness to day to day living is the most important component of mindfulness training for producing improvements in the psychological state of otherwise healthy individuals. This suggests that it is using mindfulness in ongoing day to day activities is very important for the training to be effective.

 

So, improve psychological health with mindfulness.

 

“Their analysis indicated that one skill—the ability to consciously focus on moment-to-moment experiences—fully predicted the benefits of mindfulness for work-related maladies.” – Adam Hoffman

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Cavanagh, K., Churchard, A., O’Hanlon, P., Mundy, T., Votolato, P., Jones, F., … Strauss, C. (2018). A Randomised Controlled Trial of a Brief Online Mindfulness-Based Intervention in a Non-clinical Population: Replication and Extension. Mindfulness, 9(4), 1191–1205. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-017-0856-1

 

Abstract

Building on previous research, this study compared the effects of two brief, online mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs; with and without formal meditation practice) and a no intervention control group in a non-clinical sample. One hundred and fifty-five university staff and students were randomly allocated to a 2-week, self-guided, online MBI with or without mindfulness meditation practice, or a wait list control. Measures of mindfulness, perceived stress, perseverative thinking and anxiety/depression symptoms within were administered before and after the intervention period. Intention to treat analysis identified significant differences between groups on change over time for all measured outcomes. Participation in the MBIs was associated with significant improvements in all measured domains (all ps < 0.05), with effect sizes in the small to medium range (0.25 to 0.37, 95% CIs 0.11 to 0.56). No significant changes on these measures were found for the control group. Change in perseverative thinking was found to mediate the relationship between condition and improvement on perceived stress and anxiety/depression symptom outcomes. Contrary to our hypotheses, no differences between the intervention conditions were found. Limitations of the study included reliance on self-report data, a relatively high attrition rate and absence of a longer-term follow-up. This study provides evidence in support of the feasibility and effectiveness of brief, self-guided MBIs in a non-clinical population and suggests that reduced perseverative thinking may be a mechanism of change. Our findings provide preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of a mindfulness psychoeducation condition, without an invitation to formal mindfulness meditation practice. Further research is needed to confirm and better understand these results and to test the potential of such interventions.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6061247/