Improve Food Related Cognitive Processing in Patients with Eating Disorders with Mindfulness

Improve Food Related Cognitive Processing in Patients with Eating Disorders with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Practicing mindfulness techniques has proven to be extremely helpful in aiding individuals to understand the driving forces behind their eating disorder.” – Greta Gleissner

 

Around 30 million people in the United States of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder: either anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or binge eating disorder. 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 26. Eating disorders are not just troubling psychological problems, they can be deadly, having the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Two example of eating disorders are binge eating disorder (BED) and bulimia nervosa (BN). BED involves eating a large amount of food within a short time-period while experiencing a sense of loss of control over eating. BN involves binge-eating and purging (e.g., self-induced vomiting, compensatory exercise).

 

Eating disorders can be difficult to treat because eating is necessary and cannot be simply stopped as in smoking cessation or abstaining from drugs or alcohol. One must learn to eat appropriately not stop. So, it is important to find methods that can help prevent and treat eating disorders. Contemplative practices, mindfulness, and mindful eating have shown promise for treating eating disorders. It is not known however, what processes are affected by mindfulness training to improve eating disorders.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy added to usual care improves eating behaviors in patients with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder by decreasing the cognitive load of words related to body shape, weight, and food.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8668447/ ) Sala and colleagues recruited adult participants who were diagnosed with either bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder. They were on a wait-list for 8 weeks and then received weekly 2-hour sessions over 8 weeks of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).  MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting and walking meditation and body scan, and cognitive therapy to alter how the patient relates to the thought processes that often underlie and exacerbate psychological symptoms. They were measured before and after therapy for mindfulness, eating behaviors, anxiety, and depression. In addition, the participants were presented cards printed in various colors with either neutral words or food related words and asked to name the color of the word as quickly as possible.

 

After Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) there were significant improvements in mindfulness, anxiety, depression and eating behaviors, including nonreactivity, cognitive restraint, disinhibition, and hunger. In addition, the reaction times to food-related words was significantly shorter after MBCT. Path analysis revealed that MBCT affected eating behavior indirectly by altering the responses to the food-related words.

 

These results are interesting, but the study lacked a comparison (control) condition limiting the strength of the conclusions. But previous controlled research has demonstrated that mindfulness training improves eating disorders. So, the present results are likely due to the effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and not to potential confounding variables.

 

The present study, though, has an interesting new finding. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) appears to affect the cognitive processing involved with eating. This includes nonreactivity, cognitive restraint, disinhibition, and hunger. These changes predict more healthful eating behavior and a reduction in disordered eating. In addition, MBCT affected these cognitive processes only indirectly by altering responses to food-related cues (words). This suggests that MBCT improves eating disorders by changing the thought processes in response to food cues. In other words, mindfulness improves eating disorders by altering how the individual processes information related to food. This interesting finding needs further research.

 

So, improve food related cognitive processing in patients with eating disorders with mindfulness.

 

increasing mindful awareness of internal experiences and automatic patterns could be effective for the improvement of self-acceptance and emotional regulation, thereby reducing the problematic eating behaviors.” – Jinyue Yu

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Sala, L., Gorwood, P., Vindreau, C., & Duriez, P. (2021). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy added to usual care improves eating behaviors in patients with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder by decreasing the cognitive load of words related to body shape, weight, and food. European psychiatry : the journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists, 64(1), e67. https://doi.org/10.1192/j.eurpsy.2021.2242

 

Abstract

Background

This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) as a complementary approach in patients with bulimia nervosa (BN) or binge eating disorder (BED), and to assess how the reduction of the cognitive load of words related to eating disorders (ED) could constitute an intermediate factor explaining its global efficacy.

Methods

Eighty-eight women and men participated in clinical assessments upon inscription, prior to and following 8-week group MBCT. Mindfulness skills were assessed using the five facet mindfulness questionnaire; eating behaviors were assessed using the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ); comorbid pathologies were assessed using the beck depression index and the state-trait anxiety inventory. The cognitive load of words associated with ED was assessed through a modified version of the Stroop color naming task.

Results

Mindfulness skills improved significantly (p < .05) after group MBCT. The improvement of TFEQ scores was accompanied by reduced levels of depressive mood and trait anxiety. The positive impact of MBCT on TFEQ score was directly related to an improvement of the performance in the Stroop task.

Conclusions

MBCT represents an interesting complementary therapy for patients with either BN or BED, at least when cognitive and behavioral domains are concerned. Such efficacy seems to be mediated by the reduction of the cognitive load associated with ED stimuli, which offers a possible explanation of how MBCT could reduce binge-eating behaviors. Other studies are needed, in independent centers, to focus more directly on core symptoms and long-term outcome.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8668447/

 

Improve Parkinson’s Disease Psychological Symptoms with Mindfulness

Improve Parkinson’s Disease Psychological Symptoms with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“[Parkinson’s Disease] patients experience greater levels of stress than controls, and that stress worsens both motor and non-motor symptoms. Mindfulness may improve [Parkinson’s Disease] symptom severity, with the strongest effects on anxiety and depressed mood.” – Anouk van der Heide

 

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is an incurable progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. The condition is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are around seven million people worldwide and one million people in the U.S. living with PD and about 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD every year. PD is associated with aging as the vast majority of patients are diagnosed after age 50. In fact, it has been speculated that everyone would eventually develop PD if they lived long enough.

 

Its physical symptoms include resting tremor, slow movements, muscle rigidity, problems with posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, and slurring of speech. PD itself is not fatal but is often associated with related complications which can reduce life expectancy, such as falls, choking, and cardiovascular problems. PD also has psychological effects, especially cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression. Balance is a particular problem as it effects mobility and increases the likelihood of falls, restricting activity and reducing quality of life.

 

There are no cures for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) or even treatments to slow its progression. There are only treatments that can produce symptomatic relief. So, there is a need to discover new and different treatments. Mindfulness training has been found to improve the psychological symptoms and the quality of life with PD patients. PD patients often develop an unawareness of their motor symptoms. It is not known if mindfulness training may help make the patients more aware of their symptoms.

 

In today’s Research News article “Pilot Study of Mindfulness Training on the Self-Awareness of Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease – A Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.763350/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1784429_a0P58000000G0YfEAK_Psycho_20211202_arts_A ) Buchwitz and colleagues recruited otherwise healthy patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (average 64 years) and randomly assigned them to either a wait-list control condition or to receive 8 weekly 2-hour sessions of mindfulness training tailored for Parkinson’s Disease patients. Before and after training and 8 weeks later they were measured for awareness of their motor symptoms, cognitive ability, and Parkinson’s Disease symptoms.

 

They found that there was no improvement in general cognitive ability, motor performance, or awareness of motor symptoms by either group. But the mindfulness trained group had significant improvement in mindfulness, sleep quality, attentional ability, and language performance and reductions in anxiety, apathy, and impulsivity of eating behavior.

 

The findings are similar to those of others that mindfulness training improves the psychological well-being of patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. But it did not improve motor symptoms or the awareness of those motor symptoms. This suggests that mindfulness training should be incorporated into the routine treatment program for Parkinson’s Disease patients.

 

So, improve Parkinson’s Disease psychological symptoms with mindfulness

 

 

mindfulness training for people with [Parkinson’s Disease] found significant reductions in anxiety, depression and distress about symptoms, along with improvements in memory and verbal fluency.” – Emily Delzell

 

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Buchwitz TM, Maier F, Greuel A, Thieken F, Steidel K, Jakobs V and Eggers C (2021) Pilot Study of Mindfulness Training on the Self-Awareness of Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease – A Randomized Controlled Trial. Front. Psychol. 12:763350. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.763350

 

ABSTRACT

Objective: This study aims to evaluate feasibility and effects of a newly developed mindfulness intervention tailored to specific needs of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Background: The phenomenon of impaired self-awareness of motor symptoms (ISAm) in PD might be reduced by increasing patients’ mindfulness. A PD-specific mindfulness intervention has been developed and evaluated as a potential treatment option: IPSUM (“Insight into Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms by using Mindfulness”).

Methods: IPSUM’s effectiveness is evaluated by comparing an intervention with a waitlist-control group. Applying a pre-post design, patients were assessed before, directly after and 8weeks after treatment. The primary outcome was the change in a quantitative ISAm score from baseline to post-assessment. Secondary outcome measures were PD-related affective changes and neuropsychological test performance. Feasibility was evaluated via feedback forms.

Results: In total, 30 non-depressed and non-demented PD patients were included (intervention: n=14, waitlist-control: n=16). ISAm score did not change significantly, but the training group showed greater performance in sustained attention and language tasks over time. Additional changes included greater mindfulness as well as less sleeping problems and anxiety. Cognitive disturbances, apathy, and sleeping problems worsened only in the waitlist-control group. Patients’ feedback regarding the training concept and material was excellent.

Conclusion: Insight into Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms by using Mindfulness has not been capable of reducing ISAm in PD patients but appears to be a feasible and effective concept to, among others, support mental health in the mid-term. It has to be noted though that the study was stopped beforehand because of the SARS CoV-2 pandemic. The lack of findings might therefore be caused by a lack of statistical power. The need for further research to better understand the mechanisms of ISAm and its connection to mindfulness in PD is highlighted.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.763350/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1784429_a0P58000000G0YfEAK_Psycho_20211202_arts_A

 

Meditation Experience is Associated with Increased Concern for and Impact on the Environment

Meditation Experience is Associated with Increased Concern for and Impact on the Environment

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindfulness . . . promotes environmental sustainability. It helps individuals disengage from automatic thoughts and become more open to behavioral change and freedom to make different choices. Examples of mindful behaviors include bringing a reusable bag to the grocery store, taking shorter showers, refilling personal water bottles instead of using a disposable bottle and using your purchasing power as a consumer to support companies with more sustainable practices.” – Menchi Liu

 

The ability of humans to manipulate and control the environment has developed to the point that human activity is now threatening to destroy that environment. This can be seen in the rapid extinction of once thriving species, the loss of forestation, the historic rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, sea level rise, and climate change. It has been argued that we may have crossed a tipping point where the environmental damage is irreversible. But, if we haven’t, there is a pressing need to address the very activities that are producing the damage. We need to begin acting more responsibly toward our environment to reverse and heal the damage,

 

This will require actions by humans. This will require positive ecological behaviors. Ecological behavior is defined “as behaviors that protect/avoid harm to the environment and span all areas of life such as nutrition, mobility and transportation, energy and water consumption, waste avoidance, and consumerism.” In other words, humans need to change their behaviors toward more sustainable patterns.

 

Mindfulness promotes awareness of the internal and external environments. As such, it promotes sensitivity to these environments and to the impact of our actions on ourselves and the environment. In fact, mindfulness has been shown to be associated with the individual’s feelings of connectedness to nature. It is thus possible that mindfulness can stimulate ecological behavior and be a positive force for reversing the damage to our precious environment.

 

In today’s Research News article “Practice Matters: Pro-environmental Motivations and Diet-Related Impact Vary With Meditation Experience.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.584353/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1757290_a0P58000000G0YfEAK_Psycho_20211021_arts_A ) Thiermann and colleagues recruited adult participants online who had varied diets and had them complete a questionnaire measuring their mindfulness practices, mindfulness, motivation, happiness, connection to the natural world, and animal protein consumption.

They separated the participants into 3 groups depending upon the amount of meditation they practiced, no practice, novice meditators, and advanced meditators. They found that the advanced meditations in comparison to the two other groups had significantly higher levels of mindfulness, happiness, connection to the natural world, integrated motivation, intention to reduce the intake of animal proteins, and concerns about the environment as a reason for reduced animal protein, and lower levels of introjected motivation. They also modelled the impact of each participants’ diets on greenhouse gas emissions, water use, and land use and found that the advanced meditators had significantly lower environmental impacts.

 

This study compared existing groups and as such causation cannot be determined as people who choose to meditate may be very different types of people than those who do not. Nevertheless, it is clear that meditators, particularly experienced meditators, have better psychological well-being, greater environmental consciousness, and lower impact on the environment. This does not establish meditation as a solution to the degradation of the environment. Future research needs to examine the effects of meditation training on environmentally impactful behaviors to determine if meditation can cause better ecological behaviors..

 

So, meditation experience is associated with increased concern for and impact on the environment.

 

A sense of awareness, empathy, and connection with our surroundings, as well as an ability to create innovative solutions, are necessary and vital for solving any global issues facing our world today.” – Art of Living

 

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

 

Thiermann UB, Sheate WR and Vercammen A (2020) Practice Matters: Pro-environmental Motivations and Diet-Related Impact Vary With Meditation Experience. Front. Psychol. 11:584353. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.584353

 

Mindfulness has emerged as a potential motivator for sustainable lifestyles, yet few studies provide insight into the relationship between mindfulness practice levels and individual engagement in pro-environmental behaviors. We also lack information about the significance of meditators’ behavioral differences in terms of their measurable environmental impact and the motivational processes underlying these differences in pro-environmental performance. We classified 300 individuals in three groups with varying meditation experience and compared their pro-environmental motivations and levels of animal protein consumption. Exceeding prior attempts to compare high-impact behaviors of mindfulness practitioners and non-practitioners, we created the most detailed classification of practice engagement by assessing frequency, experience and type of meditation practice. This nuanced view on mindfulness practice reveals that advanced meditators, who reported high levels of connectedness with nature (CWN), subjective happiness and dispositional mindfulness showed significantly more concern for the environment. They also demonstrated the lowest levels of greenhouse gas emissions, land occupation and water use related to their animal-protein consumption. This study is the first to follow a self-determination theory perspective to deepen our understanding of the motivational differences between meditator groups. We revealed that advanced meditators reported significantly more integrated motivation toward the environment than non-meditators. We also provided preliminary evidence for a new theoretical framework suggesting that experiential strategies such as mindfulness practices could strengthen the relational pathway of pro-environmental behaviors. Using sequential mediation analysis, we confirmed that the negative effect of mindful compassion practice on greenhouse gas emissions from animal-protein consumption is partially mediated by CWN and integrated motivation toward the environment. While our study does not support assumptions of causality, it shows that much can be learned by studying the motivations of advanced meditators for maintaining high levels of pro-environmental behavior.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.584353/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1757290_a0P58000000G0YfEAK_Psycho_20211021_arts_A

Yoga Practitioners Cope Better with the Stress and Psychological Distress During Covid-19 Pandemic

Yoga Practitioners Cope Better with the Stress and Psychological Distress During Covid-19 Pandemic

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“As the lockdown cannot last forever and workplaces will have to be functional soon, there is an increased possibility of recurrent infection. Therefore, Yoga can provide the necessary tool for risk reduction, amelioration of stress and anxiety and strengthening of the immune function.” – Kanupriya Sharma 

 

Mindfulness training and yoga practices have been shown to improve health and well-being in healthy individuals. They have 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. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the mental and physical health of the population. It has created intense stress both for frontline workers but also for people simply isolating at home. Mindfulness is known to decrease the psychological and physical responses to stress and yoga practice also produces similar improvements. So, yoga practice may be helpful in coping with the mental and physical challenges resulting from the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

In today’s Research News article “Yoga Practice Is Beneficial for Maintaining Healthy Lifestyle and Endurance Under Restrictions and Stress Imposed by Lockdown During COVID-19 Pandemic.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8257944/ ) Nagarathna and colleagues recruited adult (>18 years of age) participants in India online during the Covid-19 lockdown and had them complete a questionnaire measuring demographics, Covid-19 exposure, physical health, mental health, coping strategies, lifestyle, and physical activities.

 

They defined a yoga group as those participants who practiced yoga before and during the Covid-19 lockdown and the non-yoga group as those who did not. They report that the yoga group had a significantly greater proportion of females and students, were younger, were less likely to use alcohol, tobacco, or other substances and eat junk food, more likely to be vegetarian, were disciplined in their diet, and had greater sleep quality, physical strength and endurance, and energy, have lower levels of anxiety and fear, but did not differ in Covid-19 exposure. In addition, the yoga group indicated more adaptive coping strategies.

 

This study was a comparison between groups defined by whether they were yoga practitioners or not. Any observed differences could well be due to the types of people attracted to yoga practice versus those who are not. It cannot be concluded that the practice of yoga was responsible for the differences. But prior research has demonstrated in controlled trials that the practice of yoga produces many physical and psychological benefits. So, the differences observed here may well be due to causal effects of yoga practice. Regardless of causation, the results clearly show that during the Covid-19 lockdown, yoga practitioners have greater physical and mental well-being and have healthier lifestyles.

 

So, yoga practitioners cope better with the stress and psychological distress during Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Yoga can be a powerful tool to deal with the lockdown’s uncertainty and isolation, as well as to maintain physical well-being.” – United Nations

 

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

Nagarathna, R., Anand, A., Rain, M., Srivastava, V., Sivapuram, M. S., Kulkarni, R., Ilavarasu, J., Sharma, M., Singh, A., & Nagendra, H. R. (2021). Yoga Practice Is Beneficial for Maintaining Healthy Lifestyle and Endurance Under Restrictions and Stress Imposed by Lockdown During COVID-19 Pandemic. Frontiers in psychiatry, 12, 613762. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.613762

 

Abstract

Uncertainty about Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and resulting lockdown caused widespread panic, stress, and anxiety. Yoga is a known practice that reduces stress and anxiety and may enhance immunity. This study aimed to (1) investigate that including Yoga in daily routine is beneficial for physical and mental health, and (2) to evaluate lifestyle of Yoga practitioners that may be instrumental in coping with stress associated with lockdown. This is a pan-India cross-sectional survey study, which was conducted during the lockdown. A self-rated scale, COVID Health Assessment Scale (CHAS), was designed by 11 experts in 3 Delphi rounds (Content valid ratio = 0.85) to evaluate the physical health, mental health, lifestyle, and coping skills of the individuals. The survey was made available digitally using Google forms and collected 23,760 CHAS responses. There were 23,290 valid responses (98%). After the study’s inclusion and exclusion criteria of yogic practices, the respondents were categorized into the Yoga (n = 9,840) and Non-Yoga (n = 3,377) groups, who actively practiced Yoga during the lockdown in India. The statistical analyses were performed running logistic and multinomial regression and calculating odds ratio estimation using R software version 4.0.0. The non-Yoga group was more likely to use substances and unhealthy food and less likely to have good quality sleep. Yoga practitioners reported good physical ability and endurance. Yoga group also showed less anxiety, stress, fear, and having better coping strategies than the non-Yoga group. The Yoga group displayed striking and superior ability to cope with stress and anxiety associated with lockdown and COVID-19. In the Yoga group, participants performing meditation reportedly had relatively better mental health. Yoga may lead to risk reduction of COVID-19 by decreasing stress and improving immunity if specific yoga protocols are implemented through a global public health initiative.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8257944/

 

Improve Well-Being During Covid-19 Lockdown with Yoga and Meditation

Improve Well-Being During Covid-19 Lockdown with Yoga and Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Practicing mindfulness and meditation may help you manage stress and high blood pressure, sleep better, feel more balanced and connected, and even lower your risk of heart disease.” American Heart Association

 

The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged the mental and physical health of the population. It has created intense stress both for frontline workers but also for people simply isolating at home. Mindfulness training has been shown to improve health and well-being in healthy individuals and those with medical and psychiatric conditions, Similarly, yoga practice has been shown to improve health and well-being in healthy individuals and those with medical and psychiatric conditions.  Meditation practice is known to decrease the psychological and physical responses to stress. Similarly, yoga practice has been shown to decrease the psychological and physical responses to stress. So, mindfulness and yoga practices may be helpful in coping with the mental and physical challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.

 

In today’s Research News article “A cross–sectional study of mental wellbeing with practice of yoga and meditation during Covid-19 pandemic.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8144767/ ) Priyanka and colleagues recruited adults over the internet during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and had them complete a questionnaire measuring yoga practice, meditation practice, mental well-being, change in eating and sleeping, and the effects of the lockdown on mental health. The participants were separated into 4 groups, yoga only (18%), meditation only (21%), meditation plus yoga (35%), and no yoga or meditation.

 

They found that normal well-being scores were present in 66% of participants who practiced both yoga and meditation, 62% of those practicing meditation only, 60% of those practicing yoga only and 50.6% of people who practiced none. They also found that the greater the number of years practicing and the more frequent the practice the greater the proportion of participants with normal well-being scores.  A similar association of yoga and meditation practices was found with the change in eating, sleeping pattern, and family relations.

 

These results are correlational and as such caution must be exercised in concluding causation. But it has been previously shown that contemplative practices improve well-being, sleep, eating, and family relations. So, it is likely that the present results are due to yoga and meditation producing these benefits. The results, then, suggest that practicing yoga and meditation help to maintain mental well-being during a stressful pandemic lockdown and practicing both produces optimum benefits. They also suggest that the greater the frequency of practice and years practicing the greater the benefits. This suggests that practicing yoga and meditation help to relieve stress during difficult times, improving overall well-being.

 

So, improve well-being during Covid-19 lockdown with yoga and meditation.

 

mindfulness meditation is related to improved mental health across a variety of disorders, including different anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, and chronic pain symptom reduction.” – Jennifer Wolkin

 

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

 

Priyanka, & Rasania, S. K. (2021). A cross–sectional study of mental wellbeing with practice of yoga and meditation during COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of family medicine and primary care, 10(4), 1576–1581. https://doi.org/10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_2367_20

 

Abstract

Background:

COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased mental health issues. Yoga and meditation can help in alleviating mental stress and improving psychological wellbeing.

Methods:

It was a community-based online cross-sectional study involving adult general population. Data collection was done by using a Google form link that was circulated via online platforms. The data were analyzed using Microsoft Excel and SPSS version 22. Qualitative data were expressed in proportions or percentages and quantitative data were expressed in mean and standard deviation. Chi-square test was used to check the association of various factors and mental wellbeing.

Results:

A total of 649 (58.4%) subjects had normal mental wellbeing score, whereas 279 (25.1%) were found to be at risk of developing psychological distress and 184 (16.5%) were at risk of depression. A significantly larger proportion of subjects with normal mental wellbeing was found with the practice of both yoga and meditation (66.2%), followed by practice of only meditation (62.1%), only yoga (59.9%), and none of them (50.6%). A similar association of yoga and meditation practices was found with the change in eating, sleeping patterns, and family relations. The frequency of practice was positively associated with a higher level of mental wellbeing in the case of both yoga as well as meditation, with daily practice having the highest wellbeing scores.

Conclusion:

The practice of yoga and meditation, preferably both of them, is associated with higher level of mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8144767/

 

Improve Health and Healthy Behaviors with Yoga and Pilates

Improve Health and Healthy Behaviors with Yoga and Pilates

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Multiple studies have confirmed the many mental and physical benefits of yoga. Incorporating it into your routine can help enhance your health, increase strength and flexibility and reduce symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety.” – Rachael Link

 

We tend to think that illness is produced by physical causes, disease, injury, viruses, bacteria, etc. But many health problems are behavioral problems or have their origins in maladaptive behavior. This is evident in car accident injuries that are frequently due to behaviors, such as texting while driving, driving too fast or aggressively, or driving drunk. Other problematic behaviors are cigarette smoking, alcoholism, drug use, or unprotected sex. Problems can also be produced by lack of appropriate behavior such as sedentary lifestyle, not eating a healthy diet, not getting sufficient sleep or rest, or failing to take medications according to the physician’s orders. Additionally, behavioral issues can be subtle contributors to disease such as denying a problem and failing to see a physician timely or not washing hands. In fact, many modern health issues, costing the individual or society billions of dollars each year, and reducing longevity, are largely preventable. Hence, promoting healthy behaviors and eliminating unhealthy ones has the potential to markedly improve health.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to promote health, healthy behaviors, and improve illness. It is well established that if patterns and habits of healthy behaviors can be promoted, ill health can be prevented. There is, however, little research on the effects of yoga and Pilates on health and healthy behaviors.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Impacts of Pilates and Yoga on Health-Promoting Behaviors and Subjective Health Status.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8038747/ )  Lim and colleagues recruited adults aged 30-49 years who did not have experience with yoga or Pilates and randomly assigned them to receive either no treatment or a 50 minute, 3 times per week for 8 weeks program of either yoga or Pilates. They were measured before and after training for health behaviors and health status.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the no-treatment control group both the yoga and Pilates groups had significant improvements in health status and health related behaviors including eating healthy, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, being responsible for their own health, maintaining healthy social relationships, managing stress, and emphasizing spiritual growth. But in all cases Pilates was significantly superior to yoga.

 

Both Pilates and yoga are exercises. So, the results demonstrate that engaging in exercises results in improvements in health and health behaviors. Further they demonstrate that Pilates produce superior results. “Pilates focuses more on core control and posture development. In contrast, yoga focuses more on static stretching and flexibility.” These differences in the programs may be responsible for Pilates superior effects on health behaviors.

 

The results, however do not show that yoga and Pilates are superior to other exercises such as aerobic training. Hence, it is not clear whether components specific to yoga and Pilates are important for health or if any exercise would produce comparable results.In addition, the control condition was no treatment. This leaves open the possibility that the participants expectation about the effectiveness of exercise were responsible for the results rather than the exercises themselves. It remains for future studies to address these issues.

 

Nevertheless, promoting health related behaviors are important for the health and well-being of the individual. Both yoga and Pilates were effective in doing this. So, participation in these exercises should be encouraged.

 

So, improve health and healthy behaviors with yoga and Pilates.

 

The benefits of various yoga techniques have been professed to improve body flexibility, performance, stress reduction, attainment of inner peace, and self-realization.” – Manoj Sharma

 

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

 

Lim, E. J., & Hyun, E. J. (2021). The Impacts of Pilates and Yoga on Health-Promoting Behaviors and Subjective Health Status. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(7), 3802. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073802

 

Abstract

This study investigates whether Pilates and yoga lead people to adopt generally health-promoting lifestyle elements and feel better about their physical and mental fitness. To this end, we designed an 8 week exercise program of Pilates and yoga reviewed by veteran practitioners and conducted an experimental study through which we collected the data from 90 volunteered adult subjects between ages 30 and 49 (mean age = 35.47), equally represented by women and men without previous experience with Pilates or yoga. In the 8 week long experiment, we assigned the subjects to three groups, where subjects in the two exercise groups regularly took part in either Pilates or yoga classes, and the control group participated in neither exercise classes. All participants completed two surveys, the Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile (HPLP II) and the Health Self-Rating Scale (HSRS), before and after their assigned program. In our analysis of pre- and post-treatment differences across the three groups, we ran ANOVA, ANCOVA, and Sheffé test, implemented using SPSS PASW Statistics 18.00. Our results indicate that Pilates and yoga groups exhibited a higher engagement in health-promoting behaviors than the control group after the program. Subjective health status, measured with HSRS, also improved significantly among Pilates and yoga participants compared to those in the control group after the program. The supplementary analysis finds no significant gender-based difference in these impacts. Overall, our results confirm that Pilates and yoga help recruit health-promoting behaviors in participants and engender positive beliefs about their subjective health status, thereby setting a positive reinforcement cycle in motion. By providing clear evidence that the promotion of Pilates or yoga can serve as an effective intervention strategy that helps individuals change behaviors adverse to their health, this study offers practical implications for healthcare professionals and public health officials alike.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8038747/

 

Mindful Eating is Related to Less Binge Eating and Fewer Mood Disorders

Mindful Eating is Related to Less Binge Eating and Fewer Mood Disorders

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Paying attention to what you are eating is the most effective way to attain a positive relationship with food and therefore find your ideal healthy weight.” – UT Counseling

 

Around 30 million people in the United States of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder; either anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or binge eating disorder. 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 26. So, college age students are particularly vulnerable. Eating disorders are not just troubling psychological problems, they can be deadly, having the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Binge eating disorder involves eating a large amount of food within a short time-period while experiencing a sense of loss of control over eating.

 

Eating disorders can be difficult to treat because eating is necessary and cannot be simply stopped as in smoking cessation or abstaining from drugs or alcohol. One must learn to eat appropriately not stop. So, it is important to find methods that can help prevent and treat eating disorders. Contemplative practices, mindfulness, and mindful eating have shown promise for treating eating disorders.

 

Mindful eating involves paying attention to eating while it is occurring, including attention to the sight, smell, flavors, and textures of food, to the process of chewing and may help reduce intake by affecting the individual’s response to non-homeostatic cues for eating. Indeed, high levels of mindfulness are associated with lower levels of obesity and mindful eating has been shown to improve eating behaviors. Hence, mindful eating may counter binge eating. So, it is important to investigate the relationship of mindful eating to mood and binge eating.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness in Eating Is Inversely Related to Binge Eating and Mood Disturbances in University Students in Health-Related Disciplines.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7071141/ ) Giannopoulou and colleagues recruited college students and had them complete online measures of mood, mindful eating, and binge eating. They then compared students with binge eating to non-binge eaters and the data were subjected to regression analysis.

 

They found that 41% of the students met the criterion for binge eating. In comparison to non-binge eating students, the binge eaters had significantly higher levels of tension, depression, anger, fatigue, and confusion and significantly lower levels of vigor and mindful eating. Similarly, female students had significantly higher levels of tension, depression, anger, fatigue, and confusion and significantly lower levels of vigor and mindful eating. In addition, the higher the level of mindful eating the higher the mood scores and the lower the binge eating score.

 

It should be noted that these results are correlational. So, conclusions about causation cannot be made directly. But prior research has demonstrated that training in mindfulness produces reductions in binge eating and improvements in mood. Including decreases in, depression, anger, and fatigue. So, the present results probably result from causal connections.

 

The results then suggest that binge eating is associated with negative mood states. College students are particularly vulnerable to negative moods and binge eating. The results also suggest that mindful eating may be an antidote to negative moods and binge eating. This suggests that training in mindful eating might work to lessen or prevent these problems so rampant in college students.

 

So, mindful eating is related to less binge eating and fewer mood disorders.

 

Practicing mindfulness can help you recognize when you’re no longer hungry, which can improve your eating behaviors and reduce the incidence of binge eating.” – Rachel Link

 

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

 

Giannopoulou, I., Kotopoulea-Nikolaidi, M., Daskou, S., Martyn, K., & Patel, A. (2020). Mindfulness in Eating Is Inversely Related to Binge Eating and Mood Disturbances in University Students in Health-Related Disciplines. Nutrients, 12(2), 396. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020396

 

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between mindful eating, disordered eating and mood in university students in health-related disciplines. A total of 221 university students participated in the study; 102 students studied sport and exercise science (SS), 54 students pharmacy sciences (PS), and 65 students health sciences (HS). Participants completed the Binge Eating Scale (BES), the Mindful Eating Questionnaire (MEQ), and the Profile of Mood State questionnaire (POMS). 41% of the students were classified as binge eaters and 57% were above the POMS threshold of depression. Binge eaters were found to have significantly lower MEQ score and significantly higher total mood disturbance scores (TMD) compared to non-binge eaters (p < 0.01). Students with a high depression score exhibited no differences in the MEQ score but a significantly higher BES score compared to non-depressed students (p < 0.01). Gender differences were found in the MEQ with females exhibiting significantly higher scores in the MEQ score and in all MEQ subscales compared to males, with the exception of the emotional subscale that females were noted to have a lower score compared to males (p < 0.01). The MEQ score was inversely related to the BES score (r = −0.30, p < 0.01) and TMD (r = −0.21, p < 0.05). The MEQ score was a significant negative predictor of the variance of the binge eating behavior of the students (B = −3.17, p < 0.001). In conclusion, mindfulness in eating is inversely related to the binge eating behavior and mood state of university students studying health-related subjects and is a significant negative predictor of disordered eating behavior in this high risk population.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7071141/

 

Moderate Emotion Effects on the Eating Styles of Obese Women with Mindful Eating

Moderate Emotion Effects on the Eating Styles of Obese Women with Mindful Eating

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“There is so much stigma around weight, and judgement around right and wrong eating behavior, and good and bad food in our culture. Mindful eating fills in gaps in the traditional approach of discussing weight management.” – Lenna Liu

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (BMI > 25). Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others. Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments for overweight and obese individuals. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity.

 

Mindful eating involves paying attention to eating while it is occurring, including attention to the sight, smell, flavors, and textures of food, to the process of chewing and may help reduce intake. Indeed, high levels of mindfulness are associated with lower levels of obesity and mindfulness training has been shown to reduce binge eating, emotional eating, and external eating. It is important to identify how mindful eating may alter the eating behaviors of obese individuals.

 

In today’s Research News article “The moderating effects of mindful eating on the relationship between emotional functioning and eating styles in overweight and obese women.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7399674/ ) Czepczor-Bernat and colleagues recruited overweight and obese women and measured them for body size and had them complete measures of emotion regulation, mindful eating, eating styles, and positive and negative emotions. These data were subjected to regression analysis.

 

They found that the higher the level of mindful eating the lower the level of emotional eating and restrictive eating. They also found that the greater the emotion regulation the higher the restrictive eating but this relationship was amplified by mindful eating. In addition, the higher the levels of negative emotions the greater the levels of emotional eating and restrictive eating and again these relationships were moderated by mindful eating

 

These findings are correlational and as such causation cannot be determined. But the results suggest that mindful eating is associated with better eating styles and it moderates the effects of emotion regulation and negative emotions on eating styles. These results begin to reveal how mindful eating reduces food intake. These results further suggest that training in mindful eating may be particularly beneficial for overweight women who have high levels of negative emotions and low levels of emotion regulation.

 

So, moderate emotion effects on the eating styles of obese women with mindful eating.

 

Applied to eating, mindfulness includes noticing the colors, smells, flavors, and textures of your food; chewing slowly; getting rid of distractions like TV or reading; and learning to cope with guilt and anxiety about food.” –  Healthbeat

 

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

 

Czepczor-Bernat, K., Brytek-Matera, A., Gramaglia, C., & Zeppegno, P. (2020). The moderating effects of mindful eating on the relationship between emotional functioning and eating styles in overweight and obese women. Eating and weight disorders : EWD, 25(4), 841–849. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-019-00740-6

 

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the current study was to examine the moderating effect of mindful eating on the relationship between emotional functioning and eating styles in overweight and obese women.

Methods

One hundred and eighty four overweight and obese adult women (BMI 30.12 ± 3.77 kg/m2) were assessed with the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire and the Mindful Eating Scale.

Results

Mindful eating significantly moderated several of the relationships between emotional functioning and eating styles. At all levels of mindful eating, emotion dysregulation and negative affect are both associated with greater emotional eating, but with stronger associations for high levels of mindful eating. For people low in mindful eating, both emotion dysregulation and negative affect are associated with lower restrictive eating, and neither of them are associated with uncontrolled eating. For people high in mindful eating, neither emotion dysregulation nor negative affect are associated with restrictive eating, and only negative affect is associated with greater uncontrolled eating.

Conclusion

When mindful eating techniques are included as part of an intervention for overweight or obese individuals, it is even more important that those interventions should also include techniques to reduce emotion dysregulation and negative affect.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7399674/

 

Change Behavior for the Better with Mindfulness

Change Behavior for the Better with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

mindfulness practice supports and facilitates behavior change through training attention, emotion, and self-awareness.” – Yi-Yuan Tang

 

We tend to think that illness is produced by physical causes, disease, injury, viruses, bacteria, etc. But many health problems are behavioral problems or have their origins in maladaptive behavior. This is evident in car accident injuries that are frequently due to behaviors, such as texting while driving, driving too fast or aggressively, or driving drunk. Other problematic behaviors are cigarette smoking, alcoholism, drug use, or unprotected sex.

 

Problems can also be produced by lack of appropriate behavior such as sedentary lifestyle, not eating a healthy diet, not getting sufficient sleep or rest, or failing to take medications according to the physician’s orders. Additionally, behavioral issues can be subtle contributors to disease such as denying a problem and failing to see a physician timely or not washing hands. In fact, many modern health issues, costing the individual or society billions of dollars each year, and reducing longevity, are largely preventable.

 

Hence, promoting healthy behaviors and eliminating unhealthy ones has the potential to markedly improve health. Mindfulness training has been shown to promote health and improve illness. It is well established that mindfulness can improve healthy behaviors. The research has been accumulating. So, it is reasonable to stop and summarize what has been learned. In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness and Behavior Change.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7647439/ )  Schuman-Olivier and colleagues review and summarize the published research on the ability of mindfulness training to promote healthy behaviors.

 

They report that the published studies found that mindfulness training reduces cravings and produces improvements in alcohol and substance abuse disorders, binge eating disorder, obesity, improves smoking cessation, reduces emotional eating and eating when not hungry and produces weight reduction. Mindfulness training has been shown to improve self-management of chronic diseases, including hypertension, COPD, and diabetes and results in improvements in quality of life and reductions in anxiety and depression. Mindfulness training also reduces impulsive behavior, risky sexual behavior, aggression, and violent behaviors. It also reduces self-injury, suicidal thinking, and suicidal behavior.

 

The authors go on to produce and discuss a model of how mindfulness training may be improving troubling behaviors. They speculate that mindfulness training produces a general improvement in self-regulation which results in improved control of behavior. This self-regulation is produced by improvements in attention and cognitive control, emotion regulation, and self-related processes, as well as motivation and learning ability. Regardless, it is clear that mindfulness training improves behaviors that can lead to or exacerbate illness. It’s actually amazing that such simple practices can have such profound and widespread effects in promoting health and well-being and treating diseases.

 

So, change behavior for the better with mindfulness.

 

On your path to create change invite compassion and embrace and accept where you are. Only from a place of compassion will your efforts move into fruition. What is the next compassionate step you can make towards this change today?” – Carley Hauck

 

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

 

Schuman-Olivier, Z., Trombka, M., Lovas, D. A., Brewer, J. A., Vago, D. R., Gawande, R., Dunne, J. P., Lazar, S. W., Loucks, E. B., & Fulwiler, C. (2020). Mindfulness and Behavior Change. Harvard review of psychiatry, 28(6), 371–394. https://doi.org/10.1097/HRP.0000000000000277

 

Abstract

Initiating and maintaining behavior change is key to the prevention and treatment of most preventable chronic medical and psychiatric illnesses. The cultivation of mindfulness, involving acceptance and nonjudgment of present-moment experience, often results in transformative health behavior change. Neural systems involved in motivation and learning have an important role to play. A theoretical model of mindfulness that integrates these mechanisms with the cognitive, emotional, and self-related processes commonly described, while applying an integrated model to health behavior change, is needed. This integrative review (1) defines mindfulness and describes the mindfulness-based intervention movement, (2) synthesizes the neuroscience of mindfulness and integrates motivation and learning mechanisms within a mindful self-regulation model for understanding the complex effects of mindfulness on behavior change, and (3) synthesizes current clinical research evaluating the effects of mindfulness-based interventions targeting health behaviors relevant to psychiatric care. The review provides insight into the limitations of current research and proposes potential mechanisms to be tested in future research and targeted in clinical practice to enhance the impact of mindfulness on behavior change.

CONCLUSION

A growing evidence base supports the benefits of mindfulness for behavior change. A mindful self-regulation model based on an integration of neuroscientific findings describes the complex and synergistic effects of attention/cognitive control, emotion regulation, and self-related processes, as well as motivation and learning mechanisms that may provide a unique pathway toward sustainable behavior change. While evidence supports the impact of mindfulness on behavior change for key health behaviors related to psychiatric practice, more high-quality research is needed, especially with objective measures, larger samples, replication studies, active controls, and formal monitoring of adverse events.474 The field will also benefit from additional research on the impact of integrating compassion practices and from a focus on trauma-sensitive adaptations for diverse populations.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7647439/

 

A Healthy Lifestyle is Promoted by Mindfulness

A Healthy Lifestyle is Promoted by Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Let’s say you find yourself eating a bag of chips in front of the TV — your evening pattern. Being mindful can help you break free from the autopilot trance and take a moment to make a different choice. You could trade the chips for carrots, or decide to skip TV and take a walk around the block instead.” – WebMD

 

We tend to think that illness is produced by physical causes, disease, injury, viruses, bacteria, etc. But many health problems are behavioral problems or have their origins in maladaptive behavior. This is evident in car accident injuries that are frequently due to behaviors, such as texting while driving, driving too fast or aggressively, or driving drunk. Other problematic behaviors are cigarette smoking, alcoholism, drug use, or unprotected sex. Problems can also be produced by lack of appropriate behavior such as sedentary lifestyle, not eating a healthy diet, not getting sufficient sleep or rest, or failing to take medications according to the physician’s orders. Additionally, behavioral issues can be subtle contributors to disease such as denying a problem and failing to see a physician timely or not washing hands. In fact, many modern health issues, costing the individual or society billions of dollars each year, and reducing longevity, are largely preventable. Hence, promoting healthy behaviors and eliminating unhealthy ones has the potential to markedly improve health.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to promote health and improve illness. It is well established that if patterns and habits of healthy behaviors can be promoted, ill health can be prevented. There is, however, little research on the effects of mindfulness practice on promotion healthy behaviors.

 

In today’s Research News article “.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7468720/) Soriano-Ayala and colleagues recruited college students and randomly assigned them to a wait-list control group or to receive 7 weekly 2-hour sessions of mindfulness training. Mindfulness training involved breath and body scan meditations, and training on letting thoughts flow. Before and after training they completed measures of lifestyle choices, including alcohol consumption, cannabis consumption, tobacco use, eating habits, and rest habits. They were also measured for eating consumption patterns and eating responses to negative emotions.

 

They found that in comparison to the wait-list control group, the group that received mindfulness training had significant improvements in healthy lifestyles, including eating a balanced diet, rest habits, and alcohol consumption. It is, however, not possible to determine from the current study how lasting these changes may be. The authors did not state how long they waited before the post-test. So, it is not clear that there was sufficient time for the mindfulness training to register an alteration of the lifestyle behaviors.   In addition, the control condition was a passive wait-list control. This leave open the possibility of confound variables like placebo, attentional, or experimenter bias effects being responsible for the observed differences. Nevertheless, these improved lifestyle behaviors would predict better future health and better college performance for the students after mindfulness training.

 

So, promote a healthy lifestyle with mindfulness.

 

While meditation can help you manage stress, sleep well and feel better, it shouldn’t replace lifestyle changes like eating healthiermanaging your weight, and getting regular physical activity. It’s also not a substitute for medication or medical treatment your doctor may have prescribed.” – Heart.org

 

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

 

Encarnación Soriano-Ayala, Alberto Amutio, Clemente Franco, Israel Mañas. Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle through Mindfulness in University Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2020 Aug; 12(8): 2450. Published online 2020 Aug 14. doi: 10.3390/nu12082450

 

Abstract

The present study explored the effects of a second-generation mindfulness-based intervention known as flow meditation (Meditación-Fluir) in the improvement of healthy life behaviors. A sample of university students (n = 51) in Spain were randomly assigned to a seven-week 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 including healthy eating habits (balanced diet, intake rate, snacking between meals, decrease in consumption by negative emotional states, increased consumption by negative emotional states, amount of consumption, meal times, consumption of low-fat products), tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis consumption, and resting habits. There were differences between males and females in some of these variables and a better effect of the treatment was evident in the females of the experimental group when compared to the males. The flow meditation program shows promise for fostering a healthy lifestyle, thus decreasing behaviors related to maladaptive eating, tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis consumption as well as negative rest habits in university students. This mindfulness program could significantly contribute to the treatment of eating disorders and addictions, wherein negative emotional states and impulsivity are central features of the condition.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7468720/