Increase Positive Psychological States with Mindfulness

Increase Positive Psychological States with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

state mindfulness was associated with positive experiences across the three outcomes: higher levels of autonomy, more intense and frequent pleasant affect, and less intense and less frequent unpleasant affect.” – Kirk Warren Brown

 

The primary focus of the majority of research on mindfulness has been on its ability to treat negative emotional states such as anxiety, depression, and perceived stress. As such, it has been found to be effective for a large array of medical and psychiatric conditions, either stand-alone or in combination with more traditional therapies. But mindfulness training has also been shown to improve health and well-being in healthy individuals. Indeed, it is possible that the effectiveness of mindfulness training in relieving mental and physical illness may result from its ability to improve positive psychological states. There is accumulating research. So, it makes sense to review and summarize what has been learned

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-based positive psychology interventions: a systematic review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8344333/ ) Allen and colleagues review and summarize the published research studies of the effects of mindfulness-based interventions on positive psychological states. They identified 22 published research studies.

 

They report that the published research found that mindfulness-based interventions significantly increased eudaimonia, well-being, of children, adults, and couples. Mindfulness-based interventions were also found to significantly enhance hedonia, positive emotions (amusement, awe, contentment, joy, gratitude, hope, interest, love, and pride, collectively) and quality of life. They also report that mindfulness training produces significant increases in prosocial behavior, social competence, emotion regulation, flexibility, academic performance, delay of gratification, coping behavior, relaxation, self-compassion, and happiness.

 

Hence, the research published to date supports the conclusion that mindfulness-based interventions improve positive psychological states. So, these interventions are not only useful for the relief of negative psychological states in people who are suffering but can also enhance the psychological well-being of everyone.

 

So, increase positive psychological states with mindfulness.

 

 

mindfulness is a fundamental part of a broad program of psycho-spiritual development, aiming to help people reach ‘enlightenment’. . .  it may be conceived of as the superlative state of happiness, equanimity and freedom that a human being is capable of experiencing.” – Itai Ivtzan

 

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

 

Allen, J. G., Romate, J., & Rajkumar, E. (2021). Mindfulness-based positive psychology interventions: a systematic review. BMC psychology, 9(1), 116. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-021-00618-2

 

Abstract

Background

There are hundreds of mindfulness-based interventions in the form of structured and unstructured therapies, trainings, and meditation programs, mostly utilized in a clinical rather than a well-being perspective. The number of empirical studies on positive potentials of mindfulness is comparatively less, and their known status in academia is ambiguous. Hence, the current paper aimed to review the studies where mindfulness-based interventions had integrated positive psychology variables, in order to produce positive functioning.

Methods

Data were obtained from the databases of PubMed, Scopus, and PsycNet and manual search in Google Scholar. From the 3831 articles, irrelevant or inaccessible studies were eliminated, reducing the number of final articles chosen for review to 21. Interventions that contribute to enhancement of eudaimonia, hedonia, and other positive variables are discussed.

Results

Findings include the potential positive qualities of MBIs in producing specific positive outcomes within limited circumstances, and ascendancy of hedonia and other positive variables over eudaimonic enhancement.

Conclusion

In conclusion, exigency of modifications in the existing MBIs to bring about exclusively positive outcomes was identified, and observed the necessity of novel interventions for eudaimonic enhancement and elevation of hedonia in a comprehensive manner.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8344333/

Mindfulness Promotes Life Satisfaction by Increasing Gratitude and Savoring of Positive Experiences

 

Mindfulness Promotes Life Satisfaction by Increasing Gratitude and Savoring of Positive Experiences

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

savoring . . . is pretty powerful: it can lead to better mental health and relationships, among many other benefits.” – Magdalena Puniewska

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to be effective in improving physical and psychological health. This has led to an increasing adoption of mindfulness techniques for the health and well-being of both healthy and ill individuals. Mindfulness, however, is a complex concept that contains attentional processes, non-judgmental awareness, non-reactivity to the environment, gratitude, and a savoring of the present moment. It is not known if mindfulness’ promotion of savoring and gratitude may be responsible for some of its beneficial effects.

 

In today’s Research News article “Is Mindfulness Linked to Life Satisfaction? Testing Savoring Positive Experiences and Gratitude as Mediators.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7965977/ )  Cheung and Lau recruited adult Chinese mindfulness practitioners and had them complete measures of mindfulness, savoring positive experiences, gratitude, and life satisfaction. Their responses were subjected to regression analysis and linear structural modelling.

 

The regression analysis revealed that the higher the levels of mindfulness the higher the levels of gratitude, and life satisfaction, and savoring, including savoring anticipation, savoring the moment, savoring reminiscing, and the higher the levels of savoring the higher the levels of gratitude, and life satisfaction. Modelling revealed that mindfulness was only indirectly related to life satisfaction as a result of its associations with savoring of positive experiences and gratitude which in turn were associated with increases in life satisfaction.

 

These results are correlational and as such causation cannot be determined. But mindfulness training has been shown in prior research to increase savoring, gratitude, and life satisfaction. So, the relationships observed in the present study likely result from causal relationships. The present study contributes to knowledge by finding that mindfulness improves savoring and gratitude and these in turn increase satisfaction with life.

 

In other words, mindfulness increases the savoring of positive experiences and this leads to more positive feelings about life. Mindfulness also increases being thankful for what one has and this too leads to greater positive feelings about life. These increases in savoring and gratitude may be how mindfulness produces many of its benefits for the psychological well-being of the individual.

 

So, mindfulness promotes life satisfaction by increasing gratitude and savoring of positive experiences.

 

“Like mindfulness, savoring is another way to exercise being present, but it takes things a step further. Mindfulness asks you to observe the present moment without judging it and then let go of it. Whereas with savoring, you observe a specific type of moment, a positive one, and then you try to cling onto it and not let it go.” – Fred Bryant

 

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

 

Cheung, R., & Lau, E. N. (2021). Is Mindfulness Linked to Life Satisfaction? Testing Savoring Positive Experiences and Gratitude as Mediators. Frontiers in psychology, 12, 591103. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.591103

 

Abstract

Grounded in Mindfulness-to-Meaning Theory, this study examined the relation between dispositional mindfulness and life satisfaction through mediating mechanisms including savoring positive experiences and gratitude. A total of 133 Chinese mindfulness practitioners at 20–72 years old were recruited from a 3-day transnational meditation event in Hong Kong. Findings based on structural equation modeling indicated that controlling for sex, age, education, family income, number of hours of mindfulness practice per week, and type of administration, dispositional mindfulness was associated with satisfaction with life through savoring positive experiences and gratitude as mediators. The findings provided initial evidence for these processes between mindfulness and life satisfaction in the Chinese context. To promote life satisfaction, researchers and mental health practitioners should recognize the chain of mechanisms related to mindfulness.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7965977/