Reduce Insomnia and Rumination in Pregnant Women with Mindfulness

Reduce Insomnia and Rumination in Pregnant Women with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“practicing mindfulness during the day, ideally for 20 minutes, . . The idea is to create a reflex to more easily bring forth a sense of relaxation. That way, it’s easier to evoke the relaxation response at night when you can’t sleep.” – Herbert Benson

 

Pregnancy is a time of intense physiological and psychological change. Anxiety, depression, and insomnia are quite common during pregnancy. More than 20 percent of pregnant women have an anxiety disorder, depressive symptoms, or both during pregnancy. Sleep disturbance including insomnia is also common affecting around 75% of pregnant women. The psychological health of pregnant women has consequences for fetal development, birthing, and consequently, child outcomes. Depression during pregnancy is associated with premature delivery and low birth weight. Insomnia has been linked to an increased risk of giving birth to a baby that’s too large or too small for its age, longer labor, and higher likelihood of a cesarean section.

 

Hence, it is clear that there is a need for methods to treat depression, anxiety, and insomnia during pregnancy. Since the fetus can be negatively impacted by drugs, it would be preferable to find a treatment that did not require drugs. Mindfulness training has been shown to improve anxiety, depression, and sleep normally and to relieve maternal anxiety and depression during pregnancy. In addition, mindfulness is known to reduce worry and rumination which can also lead to restlessness and sleep disturbance. So, it would make sense to study the relationship of mindfulness during the pregnancy to depression, rumination, and insomnia.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness and nocturnal rumination are independently associated with symptoms of insomnia and depression during pregnancy.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7190270/ )  Kalmbach and colleagues recruited pregnant women in their third trimester and had them complete measures of mindfulness, rumination, insomnia, and depression. These data were subjected to multivariate linear regression analysis.

 

They found that women who were high in mindfulness had significantly lower levels of rumination, insomnia, and depression. Women who were high in rumination had significantly lower levels of mindfulness and higher levels of insomnia, and depression. Employing multivariate modelling they found that mindfulness and rumination separately and independently were related to insomnia and that mindfulness and rumination separately and independently were related to depression.

 

These results were correlational and as such causation cannot be determined. But previous research has demonstrated that mindfulness training reduces rumination, insomnia, and depression. So, the relationships observed here are likely due to causal relationships among the variables. It appears that mindfulness and rumination work in opposite directions. Mindfulness helps pregnant women sleep better and helps relieve depression while rumination does the opposite of interfering with sleep and increasing depression.

 

Interestingly, mindfulness and rumination affect sleep and depression independently but are negatively related such that mindfulness decreases rumination while rumination lowers mindfulness. Mindfulness is an asset to pregnant women while worry produces problems. This suggests that pregnant women should be trained in mindfulness and also trained to reduce worry. Both of these goals can be accomplished with Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Future research should investigate this possibility.

 

So, reduce insomnia and rumination in pregnant women with mindfulness.

 

It seems important to develop mindfulness to improve sleep in pregnancy or reduce the impact of insomnia symptoms (common at pregnancy).” – M. Marques

 

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

 

Kalmbach, D. A., Roth, T., Cheng, P., Ong, J. C., Rosenbaum, E., & Drake, C. L. (2020). Mindfulness and nocturnal rumination are independently associated with symptoms of insomnia and depression during pregnancy. Sleep health, 6(2), 185–191. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2019.11.011

 

Abstract

Background:

Insomnia and depression are highly prevalent perinatal complications. Ruminating on stress is etiologically implicated in both disorders, and ruminating while trying to fall asleep has been linked to insomnia and depression during pregnancy. Incompatible with rumination is everyday mindfulness, i.e., living with intentional and nonjudgmental awareness of internal and external experiences in the present moment. Responding to stress mindfully may protect against stress-related perinatal complications such as insomnia and depression. The present study described the association between everyday mindfulness and nocturnal rumination, and examined whether these trait characteristics were independently related to perinatal insomnia and depression.

Methods:

Cross-sectional and secondary analysis of existing data from 65 pregnant women recruited from a multisite hospital in Metro Detroit, MI, USA. Subjects completed online surveys including the Insomnia Severity Index, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, Presleep Arousal Scale, and the revised Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale.

Results:

Over half (53.8%) of women screened positive for clinical insomnia and 12.3% screened positive for major depression. Women high in mindfulness, relative to those low in mindfulness, reported less nocturnal rumination (Cohen’s d=1.16), insomnia symptoms (Cohen’s d=1.24), and depressive symptoms (Cohen’s d=1.35). Multivariate linear regression revealed that both mindfulness (β=−.24, p=.03) and rumination (β=.38, p<.01) were independently associated with insomnia. Similarly, a multivariate model showed that mindfulness (β=−.41, p<.001) and rumination (β=.35, p<.01) were independently associated with depression.

Conclusions:

Ruminating in bed at night is strongly associated with insomnia and depression during pregnancy, whereas mindfulness may potentially protect against these stress-related perinatal complications.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7190270/

 

A Supportive Environment is Necessary for Mindfulness to Lower Stress and Increase Well-Being at Work

A Supportive Environment is Necessary for Mindfulness to Lower Stress and Increase Well-Being at Work

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindfulness is not about living life in slow motion. It’s about enhancing focus and awareness both in work and in life. It’s about stripping away distractions and staying on track with individual, as well as organizational, goals.” –  Rasmus Hougaard

 

Work is very important for our health and well-being. We spend approximately 25% of our adult lives at work. How we spend that time is immensely important for our psychological, social, and physical health. But, nearly 2/3 of employees worldwide are unhappy at work. This is partially due to work-related stress which is epidemic in the western workplace. Almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. This stress can result in impaired health and can result in burnout; producing fatigue, cynicism, and professional inefficacy.

 

To help overcome unhappiness, stress, and burnoutmindfulness practices have been implemented in the workplace. Indeed, mindfulness practices have been shown to markedly reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress. As a result, it has become very trendy for business to incorporate meditation into the workday to help improve employee well-being, health, and productivity. These programs attempt to increase the employees’ mindfulness at work and thereby reduce stress. The research is accumulating. So, it makes sense to step back and summarize what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-based programmes to reduce stress and enhance well-being at work: a realist review” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7986896/ )  Micklitz and colleagues review and summarize the published research on the effectiveness of mindfulness training to improve the psychological well-being of employees. They identified 75 published research studies.

 

They report that the published research found that mindfulness-based programs in the workplace significantly reduce employee stress and improve well-being. They report that these benefits appear to occur as a result of mindfulness training producing increases in awareness, self-regulation, acceptance, compassion, permission for self-care, growth, and goal attainment. But, in order for this to work, the employees must feel comfortable sharing with peers their emotional difficulties, see that the program aligns with existing goals and practices, and be comfortable with a potential loss of productivity during training.

 

These findings suggest that mindfulness training at work can be effective in improving the employee’s ability to cope with stress and thereby improve their well-being. But a supportive environment must be present in order for the benefits to occur. These include managements acceptance of the program, employees seeing it as management caring for their well-being, and the programs alignment with the employee’s aspirations.

 

So, a supportive environment is necessary for mindfulness to lower stress and increase well-being at work.

 

When we constantly flit from one task to another, the quality of our work can suffer. By practicing mindfulness — simply coming back to the present moment over and over again — we can train ourselves to become more focused.” – David Gelles

 

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

 

Micklitz, K., Wong, G., & Howick, J. (2021). Mindfulness-based programmes to reduce stress and enhance well-being at work: a realist review. BMJ open11(3), e043525. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043525

Abstract

Objectives

To understand how and why workplace mindfulness-based programmes (MBPs) work or do not work.

Design

A realist review.

Eligibility criteria for selection

We considered any studies (experimental quasi-experimental, observational, qualitative and mixed-methods studies) of workplace MBPs as long as they provided data to explain our programme theories. All MBP formats and delivery modes were included.

Analysis

Consistent with realist review methodology, we systematically screened and analysed data to explain how and why workplace MBPs work or do not work. These explanations were consolidated into a programme theory augmented by theories from organisational literature, such as conservation of resources theory.

Results

Findings from 75 primary studies suggest that workplace MBPs enable participants (including healthcare professionals) to deal more skillfully with stressful events and improve their well-being. The mechanisms involved can be grouped around awareness/self-regulation, acceptance/compassion, feeling permitted to take care of self, sense of growth and promise of goal attainment. In order for professionals to invest in an MBP and benefit from it, it is important that they feel safe to engage with self-care at work and share emotional difficulties among peers. It is also important that employees are able to link the programme and its activities to existing goals and practices. Concerns of being non-productive, of not getting work done or of being exposed in front of colleagues can result in strategic use of brief mindfulness exercises, non-adherence or drop-out.

Conclusions

Simply offering an MBP to (healthcare) professionals in order to reduce stress and enhance well-being does not suffice. A supportive environment must exist in order for the programme’s benefits to be reaped.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7986896/

 

Reduce Employee Stress with Workplace Yoga

Reduce Employee Stress with Workplace Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Practicing yoga at the workplace teaches employees to use relaxation techniques to reduce stress and risks of injury on the job. Yoga at the workplace is a convenient and practical outlet that improves work performance by relieving tension and job stress.” – Shira Taylor Gura

 

Work is very important for our health and well-being. We spend approximately 25% of our adult lives at work. How we spend that time is immensely important for our psychological, social, and physical health. But, nearly 2/3 of employees worldwide are unhappy at work. This is partially due to work-related stress which is epidemic in the western workplace. Almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. This stress can result in impaired health and can result in burnout; producing fatigue, cynicism, and professional inefficacy.

 

To help overcome unhappiness, stress, and burnoutmindfulness practices have been implemented in the workplace. Mindfulness has been demonstrated to be helpful in reducing the psychological and physiological responses to stress and for treating and preventing burnout in a number of work environments. Yoga practice has the extra benefits of not only being mindfulness training but also as an exercise. The research has been accumulation. So, it makes sense to step back and summarize what has been learned about the effects of yoga practice in the workplace on employee stress levels.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effectiveness of Workplace Yoga Interventions to Reduce Perceived Stress in Employees: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7739364/ ) Valle and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the published controlled research studies of the effectiveness of yoga practice in the workplace for the stress levels and psychological health of employees.

 

They identified 6 controlled trials with a total of 487 participants. They report that these published trials found that yoga interventions in the workplace produced significant reductions in the stress levels of the employees. This replicates previous studies that practicing yoga reduces stress. It is important that the yoga classes were held at work. This makes participation much more convenient, making it more likely. As a result, yoga in the workplace may be a very effective means of reducing stress and thereby reducing employee burnout.

 

So, reduce employee stress with workplace yoga.

 

Yoga postures, slow, deep, yogic breathing has also shown to elicit a relaxation response which could contribute to a reduction in stress in the workplace.” – Lisa Rappaport

 

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

 

Della Valle, E., Palermi, S., Aloe, I., Marcantonio, R., Spera, R., Montagnani, S., & Sirico, F. (2020). Effectiveness of Workplace Yoga Interventions to Reduce Perceived Stress in Employees: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of functional morphology and kinesiology, 5(2), 33. https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk5020033

 

Abstract

Work-related stress represents a relevant public health issue and solution strategies are mandatory. Yoga is a common approach to manage stress and its effectiveness has been extensively confirmed. Therefore, this study aims systematically to review the effectiveness of Yoga interventions carried out at workplace on work-related stress among employees and to assess their impact quantitatively. Springerlink, MEDLINE, PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, Scopus, Cochrane CENTRAL and PEDro databases were searched. Clinical trials comparing workplace Yoga interventions to control groups, and evaluating perceived stress as outcome measure, were assessed for eligibility. All forms and styles of Yoga were considered for the analysis. Out of 3392 initially identified, 6 studies were included in the meta-analysis; 266 participants practicing Yoga interventions at worksite were compared to 221 subjects in control group. Included studies showed “some concerns” about different domains of source of bias. Quantitative analysis showed an overall effect size of −0.67 [95% confidence interval (CI): −0.86, −0.49] in favor of Yoga intervention in reducing stress outcome measures. Hence, workplace Yoga interventions were more effective when compared to no treatment in work-related stress management. Further high-quality studies are needed to improve the validity of these results and to specify more characteristics of the Yoga intervention, such as style, volume, and frequency.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7739364/

 

Spirituality is Associated with Improved Psychological Well-Being in Patients with Persistent Mental Illness

Spirituality is Associated with Improved Psychological Well-Being in Patients with Persistent Mental Illness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

No cure that fails to engage our spirit can make us well.” – Victor Frankl

 

Religion and spirituality have been promulgated as solutions to the challenges of life both in a transcendent sense and in a practical sense. What evidence is there that these claims are in fact true? The transcendent claims are untestable with the scientific method. But the practical claims are amenable to scientific analysis. There have been a number of studies of the influence of religiosity and spirituality on the physical and psychological well-being of practitioners mostly showing positive benefits, with spirituality encouraging personal growth and mental health. But there is still a need to investigate the relationships of spirituality with psychological well-being in patients with persistent mental illness.

 

In today’s Research News article “Spirituality and Employment in Recovery from Severe and Persistent Mental Illness and Psychological Well-Being.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7827133/ ) Saiz and colleagues recruited adult patients with persistent mental illness who were in a program to prepare them for employment. The disorders included psychoses, schizophrenia, personality disorders, and mood disorders. The patients completed questionnaires measuring stage of recovery, hope, self-determination, psychological well-being, including self-acceptance, positive relationships, autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth and purpose in life subscales, employment, work motivation including of satisfaction, integration into the work environment, social acceptance, social performance, job skills, self-esteem, perception of family support and job assertiveness subscales, spiritual experiences and spiritual well-being.

 

They report that the higher the levels of spirituality and work motivation, the higher the levels of psychological well-being and recovery. When spirituality and work motivation were used together as predictors of recovery only spirituality was significantly related. Similarly, when spirituality and work motivation were used together as predictors of psychological well-being only spirituality was significantly related. Hence, when work motivation is considered, only spirituality is significantly related to psychological well-being and recovery.

 

These findings for patients with persistent mental illness make sense as spirituality has been found in the past with other groups to be associated with psychological well-being and better mental health. The findings, though, are correlational and as such causation cannot be determined. Only that spirituality is associated with to psychological well-being and recovery can be ascertained. But this association is potentially important and suggests that the promotion of spirituality may be beneficial for patients with persistent mental illness, helping them recover better and be psychologically healthier. This remains for future research.

 

So, spirituality is associated with improved psychological well-being in patients with persistent mental illness.

 

“many people with mental illness desire the incorporation of spirituality in their recovery process/treatment.” – Jan-Stella Metheany

 

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

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

 

Study Summary

 

Saiz, J., Galilea, M., Molina, A. J., Salazar, M., Barsotti, T. J., Chopra, D., & Mills, P. J. (2021). Spirituality and Employment in Recovery from Severe and Persistent Mental Illness and Psychological Well-Being. Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1), 57. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010057

 

Abstract

People diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) face multiple vulnerabilities, including when seeking employment. Among SPMI patients, studies show that a stronger sense of spirituality can help to reduce psychotic symptoms, increase social integration, reduce the risk of suicide attempts and promote adherence to psychiatric treatment. This study examined how the variables spirituality and employment affect the recovery process and psychological well-being of people with SPMI who attend employment recovery services. The sample consisted of 64 women and men diagnosed with an SPMI. The assessment instruments included the Recovery Assessment Scale, Ryff Psychological Well-Being Scale, Work Motivation Questionnaire, Daily Spiritual Experience Scale, and Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy—Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-Sp12). Hierarchical regression analyses were performed to compare three different models for each dependent variable (recovery and psychological well-being). The findings showed that job skills predicted psychological well-being and recovery. When spiritual variables were included in the model, job skills dropped out and the dimension meaning/peace of the FACIT-Sp12 emerged as the only significant predictor variable. Integrating spirituality into recovery programs for people with SPMI may be a helpful complement to facilitate the recovery process and improve psychological well-being.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7827133/

 

Workplace Well-Being is Associated with Spirituality

Workplace Well-Being is Associated with Spirituality

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Burnout, compassion fatigue, career exhaustion—you can rewire your brain to see these afflictions as opportunities for embarking on a new path. You don’t have to stay on a dead-end street.”- Pamela Milam

 

Work is very important for our health and well-being. We spend approximately 25% of our adult lives at work. How we spend that time is immensely important for our psychological and physical health. Indeed, the work environment has even become an important part of our social lives, with friendships and leisure time activities often attached to the people we work with. But, more than half of employees in the U.S. and nearly 2/3 worldwide are unhappy at work. This is partially due to work-related stress which is epidemic in the western workplace. Almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. This stress can result in impaired health and can result in burnout; producing fatigue, cynicism, and professional inefficacy.

 

Religion and spirituality have been promulgated as solutions to the challenges of life both in a transcendent sense and in a practical sense. There have been a number of studies of the influence of religiosity and spirituality on the physical and psychological well-being of practitioners mostly showing positive benefits, with spirituality encouraging personal growth and mental health. Perhaps, then, spirituality can be helpful in relieving stress and lowering burnout in the workplace.

 

In today’s Research News article “Employee burnout and positive dimensions of well-being: A latent workplace spirituality profile analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7671502/ ) Del Corso and colleagues performed 2 studies of the association of workplace spirituality with the employee well-being. In the first study they recruited employees of 3 different Italian companies and had them complete measures of positive supervisor behavior, burnout, and workplace spirituality.

 

They found that the higher the levels of workplace spirituality the lower the levels of burnout. They also found that positive supervisor behavior was negatively associated with burnout indirectly by being positively associated with workplace spirituality which was in turn negatively associated with burnout. So, spirituality was higher in employees whose supervisors expressed positive supervisory behavior and burnout was lower in employees who were high in spirituality.

 

In the second study they again recruited employees of Italian companies and had them complete measures of workplace spirituality, work engagement, positive emotions, self-efficacy, and resilience. They found that employees who were high in workplace spirituality were significantly higher in positive emotions, resilience, self-efficacy, vigor, dedication, absorption, and work engagement.

 

These studies were correlational and as such caution must be exercised in reaching causal conclusions. With this in mind, the results suggest that workplace spirituality is highly associated with employee well-being and lower levels of burnout. Workplace spirituality is composed of 4 factors; engaging work, sense of community, spiritual connection, and mystical experiences. Two of these components involve a satisfying work environment while two involve dimensions of spirituality. The results suggested that all of these components were significantly involved in the association with well-being.

 

Spirituality has well documented associations with overall well-being of the individuals. This study demonstrates that this extends into the workplace. These results suggest, not surprisingly, that having a satisfying work environment contributes to the employees’ well-being but more surprisingly being spiritual also contributes.

 

So, workplace well-being is associated with spirituality.

 

When people operate with high-stress levels without rest, they reduce productivity and risk their health. . . practices like meditation make your mind strong balanced and flexible and able to focus at will. “ – Spiritual Earth

 

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

 

Dal Corso, L., De Carlo, A., Carluccio, F., Colledani, D., & Falco, A. (2020). Employee burnout and positive dimensions of well-being: A latent workplace spirituality profile analysis. PloS one, 15(11), e0242267. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0242267

 

Abstract

In recent years, a new and promising construct has attracted the attention of organizational research: Workplace spirituality. To investigate the role of workplace spirituality in organizational contexts, two studies were carried out. Study 1 explored the mediation role of workplace spirituality in the relationship between positive supervisor behaviors and employee burnout. Results showed that workplace spirituality strongly contributes to reduce burnout and mediates the effect of supervisor integrity in reducing this threat. Study 2 considered the relationships of workplace spirituality with positive affectivity, resilience, self-efficacy, and work engagement. In particular, workplace spirituality profiles were investigated through latent profile analysis (LPA). Findings showed that workplace spirituality is related to higher positive affectivity, resilience, self-efficacy, and work engagement. In contrast, a workplace spirituality profile characterized by a low-intensity spiritual experience is associated with higher negative feelings. The practical implications of these findings are discussed.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7671502/

 

Breathing-Focused Yoga Practices Produce Greater Benefits for College Students than Meditative-Focused Practices

Breathing-Focused Yoga Practices Produce Greater Benefits for College Students than Meditative-Focused Practices

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Want to manage your anger so you don’t feel you’re always on the verge of blowing up? Want to feel less stressed and juggle all the things going on in your life? Need to focus better in class or while you do your homework? Yoga poses can help. But meditation and breathing really round out those benefits.” – Mary L. Gavin

 

Yoga 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. There are a wide variety of different yoga training techniques. Many varieties employ breath-focused practices while many others employ meditative-focused practices. Although the benefits of yoga practices in general are well studied there is little scientific research comparing breathing-focused versus meditative-focused yoga.

 

In today’s Research News article “Comparing the Psychological Effects of Meditation- and Breathing-Focused Yoga Practice in Undergraduate Students.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.560152/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1490157_69_Psycho_20201124_arts_A ) Qi and colleagues recruited college students with no yoga experience and randomly assigned them to a once a week for 80 minutes 12-week program of either breath-focused yoga or meditation-focused yoga. During each Hatha yoga class the students received either 10 minutes of meditation practice or breathing practice. They were measured before and after the program for work intention, mindfulness, and perceived stress.

 

They found that both before and after yoga training the higher the participants’ levels of mindfulness the lower their levels of perceived stress. They further found that in comparison to baseline and the other yoga group, the breath-focused yoga group had significantly higher levels of perceived stress and mindfulness while the meditation-focused yoga group had significantly lower work intention.

 

These results are interesting and document the previously reported linkage between mindfulness and lower stress levels. But they go further in demonstrating that breath-focus is an important component of yoga practice for the improvement of mindfulness and the lowering of perceived stress. This suggests that breathing practice should be emphasized in yoga instruction. These results also suggest that yoga practice may be beneficial for college students who are routinely found to have high stress levels, reducing their stress and thereby allowing them to perform their best in their studies.

 

So, breathing-focused yoga practices produce greater benefits for college students than meditative-focused practices.

 

Mindful yoga (or the integration of yoga and mindfulness meditation techniques) provides a healthy and safe environment for individuals to practice “being with” uncomfortable emotional and physical experiences, and to eventually reunite with and fully inhabit their bodies.” – Melissa Mercedes

 

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

 

Qi X, Tong J, Chen S, He Z and Zhu X (2020) Comparing the Psychological Effects of Meditation- and Breathing-Focused Yoga Practice in Undergraduate Students. Front. Psychol. 11:560152. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.560152

 

ABSTRACT

Objectives: The present study aimed to compare the psychological effects of meditation- and breathing-focused yoga practice in undergraduate students.

Methods: A 12-weeks yoga intervention was conducted among a group of undergraduate students enrolled in four yoga classes at an academically prestigious university in Beijing, China. Four classes were randomized to meditation-focused yoga or breathing-focused yoga. A total of 86 participants finished surveys before and after the 12-weeks intervention, measuring work intention, mindfulness, and perceived stress. The repeated-measure multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) followed by univariate analyses were conducted to examine the differences in work intention, mindfulness, and stress between the two yoga intervention groups over the semester, after controlling for age and gender.

Results: The repeated-measure MANCOVA revealed significant group differences with a median effect size [Wilks’ lambda, Λ = 0.90, F(3, 80) = 3.10, p = 0.031, η2 = 0.104]. Subsequent univariate analyses showed that students in the breathing-focused yoga group had significant higher work intentions [F(1, 82) = 5.22; p = 0.025; η2p = 0.060] and mindfulness [F(1, 82) = 6.33; p = 0.014; η2p = 0.072] but marginally lower stress [F(1, 82) = 4.20; p = 0.044; η2p = 0.049] than students in the meditation-focused yoga group.

Conclusion: Yoga practice with a focus on breathing is more effective than that with a focus on meditation for undergraduates to retain energy for work, keep attention and awareness, and reduce stress.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.560152/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1490157_69_Psycho_20201124_arts_A

 

Mindfulness Reduces the Impact of Job Climate on Healthcare Workers Job Satisfaction

Mindfulness Reduces the Impact of Job Climate on Healthcare Workers Job Satisfaction

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

being mindful at work can reduce your level of emotional exhaustion, help keep your emotions on an even keel, and increase your job satisfaction.” – Fox News

 

In high stress occupations, like healthcare work, burnout is all too prevalent. It is characterized by fatigue, cynicism, emotional exhaustion, sleep disruption, professional inefficacy, and low job satisfaction that comes with work-related stress. It is estimated that over 45% of healthcare workers experience burnout. It not only affects the healthcare providers personally, but also the patients, as it produces a loss of empathy and compassion.

 

It is beyond the ability of the individual to change the environment to reduce stress and prevent burnout. So, it is important that methods be found to reduce the individual’s responses to stress; to make the individual more resilient when high levels of stress occur and thereby make them better healthcare providers. Mindfulness has been shown to reduce the psychological and physiological responses to stress and improve well-being. Indeed, mindfulness has been shown to be helpful in treating and preventing burnoutincreasing resilience, and improving sleep. Hence, mindfulness may be a means to reduce burnout and improve well-being, and job satisfaction in healthcare workers.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness as a Protective Factor for Dissatisfaction in HCWs: The Moderating Role of Mindful Attention between Climate Stress and Job Satisfaction.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7312809/) Ramaci and colleagues recruited nurses from an emergency hospital and had them complete measures of occupational stress, including managerial roles, relationships with other people, organizational structure, and power subscales, mindfulness, job control, and job satisfaction.

 

They found that occupational work climate was negatively related to job satisfaction. But mindful attention was found to moderate this relationship such that the higher the nurses’ levels of mindful attention the smaller the negative impact of occupational work climate on job satisfaction.

 

Stressful organizational climates are characterized by limited participation in decisions, use of punishment and negative feedback, conflict avoidance or confrontation, and non-supportive group and leader relations. The study reports, not surprisingly, that this type of climate is related to low job satisfaction in nurses. These organizational climates tend to poison the work environment leading to unhappiness and low satisfaction with their jobs. But mindfulness may help nurses cope with such a negative climate. High levels of mindfulness lessen the negative relationship between organizational climate and job satisfaction.

 

Mindfulness has been shown to decrease the physiological and psychological impact of stress. This may account for its moderating effect on the impact of organizational climate on job satisfaction. The mindful nurses are simply less stressed by the climate. It may also be the case that mindful nurses are more focused on the immediate job, with less intrusive thoughts about a negative climate. By focusing on the job itself, they are more affected by the satisfaction of helping others and thereby less impacted by the organizational climate. Regardless, it is clear the being mindful is an asset that can assist nurses in coping with the organizational climate. It remains for future research to determine causation by training nurses in mindfulness and observing the effects of this training on the stresses produced by negative organizational climates.

 

So, mindfulness reduces the impact of job climate on healthcare workers job satisfaction.

 

Mindfulness in the workplace is most likely beneficial, whether the end goal is productivity or – more broadly speaking – employee wellness.” – Marlynn Wei

 

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

 

Ramaci, T., Rapisarda, V., Bellini, D., Mucci, N., De Giorgio, A., & Barattucci, M. (2020). Mindfulness as a Protective Factor for Dissatisfaction in HCWs: The Moderating Role of Mindful Attention between Climate Stress and Job Satisfaction. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(11), 3818. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113818

 

Abstract

With the aim of investigating the possible moderating effect of job control and dispositional mindfulness between different sources of organizational stress and job satisfaction, a correlational study was designed involving health care workers (HCWs). The following questionnaires were administered and completed by 237 HCWs: (1) Occupational Stress Indicator (OSI), to measure the sources of stress at work (managerial role, climate power, climate structure, internal relationships), and job satisfaction; (2) Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) to assess the individual’s level of attention to what is taking place in the present; (3) Job Control Scale (JCS) to assess the perceived control at work. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to test the hypothesized relationships between variables; the results showed that, between the different sources of stress, the organizational climate dimension was negatively associated with job satisfaction; moreover, mindfulness attention moderated the relationship between climate stress and job satisfaction; unexpectedly, the interaction between job control and the organizational climate dimension was not significant in affecting job satisfaction. This study can provide useful information for Human Resources Management (HRM) practices regarding job and mental control interventions and empowerment, and possibly offer a new interpretation of the role of attention to what is happening in the present moment and autonomy between climate stressors and occupational satisfaction.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7312809/

 

Mindfulness Reduces the Impact of Musculoskeletal Disease and Stress on Firefighters

Mindfulness Reduces the Impact of Musculoskeletal Disease and Stress on Firefighters

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

The payoff of being calm and mindful is the strawberry; all those beautiful moments in life, that if we don’t slow down, we’ll miss. And that is a real tragedy. So be brave, be kind, fight fires, and be mindful!” – Hersch Wilson

 

First responders such as firefighters and police experience stressful and traumatic events as part of their jobs. In addition, the physical nature of the job can produce musculoskeletal problems for the firefighters. The effects of these stresses and injuries are troubling problems for firefighters that need to be addressed. Mindfulness has been shown to has been shown to reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress, to reduce the impact of trauma on the individual, and to decrease burnout. So, a firefighter’s mindfulness may be essential to the individual’s ability to deal with the stresses of the profession and produce greater resilience.

 

In today’s Research News article “Moderated Mediation Effect of Mindfulness on the Relationship Between Muscular Skeletal Disease, Job Stress, and Turnover Among Korean Firefighters.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7303520/), Lee and colleagues surveyed firefighters in Korea with questions regarding musculoskeletal disease, job stress, mindfulness, and intention to leave firefighting.

 

They found that the higher the levels of mindfulness the lower the levels of job stress and intention to leave firefighting. They also found that the higher the levels of job stress the higher the levels of musculoskeletal disease and the intention to leave firefighting. Mediation analysis determined that musculoskeletal disease increased the levels of job stress and that increased intention to leave firefighting. But the higher the levels the of mindfulness the lower the ability of musculoskeletal disease to increase the intention to leave firefighting.

 

These are correlative results so causation cannot be determined. Nevertheless, the intention to leave firefighting appears to be associated with job stress and this is increased by the firefighter having musculoskeletal problems. It makes sense that having musculoskeletal problems would make it more difficult for the firefighters to perform their duties, increasing stress. So, musculoskeletal problems make the job more difficult, increasing stress and resulting in an increase in the intention to quit the profession.

 

Mindfulness has been shown in extensive research studies to decrease the individual’s physiological and psychological responses to stress. It has also been shown to reduce burnout and the likelihood that the individual will leave a profession. The present study confirms these effects of mindfulness and extends them to firefighters. Mindfulness, however, has an additional effect of decreasing the impact of musculoskeletal disease on job stress and in turn an increase in the intention to leave firefighting. So, mindfulness appears to protect firefighters from musculoskeletal diseases increasing the stress of their jobs and the intention to leave firefighting.

 

So, reduce the impact of musculoskeletal disease and stress on firefighters with mindfulness.

 

targeted mindfulness training program increases some aspects of firefighter resilience (distress tolerance, positive adjustment, and perseverance).” – AMRA

 

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

 

Lee, J. H., Lee, J., & Lee, K. S. (2020). Moderated Mediation Effect of Mindfulness on the Relationship Between Muscular Skeletal Disease, Job Stress, and Turnover Among Korean Firefighters. Safety and Health at Work, 11(2), 222–227. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shaw.2020.03.006

 

Abstract

Background

This study investigated the effect of increased job stress, caused by musculoskeletal disease (MSD) among firefighters, on a firefighter’s intention to leave the profession, henceforth referred to as “turnover intention,” and verified the moderating effect of mindfulness on such a relationship.

Methods

A survey involving a total of 549 Korean male firefighters as participants was conducted herein, and the following results were obtained: the mediation effect of the MSD to turnover intention through job stress was confirmed, and the indirect effect of job stress was verified.

Results

We verified the moderated mediation effect of mindfulness on the relation:MSD, job stress, and turnover intention. The conditional indirect effect for middle and high levels of mindfulness is significant.

Conclusion

The result of this study is supported by proofs of the relationship between a firefighter’s MSD, job stress, and turnover intention, and these case studies reveal the moderated mediation effect of dispositional mindfulness.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7303520/

 

Reduce Stress at Work with Mindfulness

Reduce Stress at Work with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“I think of mindfulness as the ability not to be yanked around by your own emotions. That can have a big impact on how you are in the workplace.” – Dan Harris

 

Work is very important for our health and well-being. We spend approximately 25% of our adult lives at work. How we spend that time is immensely important for our psychological, social, and physical health. But, nearly 2/3 of employees worldwide are unhappy at work. This is partially due to work-related stress which is epidemic in the western workplace. Almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. This stress can result in impaired health and can result in burnout; producing fatigue, cynicism, and professional inefficacy.

 

To help overcome unhappiness, stress, and burnoutmindfulness practices have been implemented in the workplace. Indeed, mindfulness practices have been shown to markedly reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress. As a result, it has become very trendy for business to incorporate meditation into the workday to help improve employee well-being, health, and productivity. These programs attempt to increase the employees’ mindfulness at work and thereby reduce stress. It is not known, however, the amount of mindfulness training that is needed to improve employee well-being or whether the training affects moment-to-moment stress levels and the individual’s ability to cope with the stress in the actual work environment.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness Training Reduces Stress At Work: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6433409/), Chin and colleagues recruited healthy adults at their workplace who had not received training in mindfulness or actively practiced mindfulness. They were provided a 4-hour mindfulness workshop and then randomly assigned to either a low- or high-dose mindfulness training. Low-dose participants received no further training while high-dose participants were provided 6 weekly instructions in mindfulness and also practiced at home for 25-minutes per day for 5 days per week with pre-recorded guided mindfulness instructions.

 

The participants were measured before and after training for perceived stress. They also completed momentary ecological assessments of stress, coping, and emotions. For these assessments they were prompted on their smartphones 4 times throughout the day for 3 days before and 3 days after treatment and were asked to rate on their smartphones their levels of momentary perceived stress, their ability to cope with the momentary stress, and the levels of positive or negative emotions experienced at that moment.

 

They found that after training, the high-dose but nor the low-dose participants had significant reductions in overall perceived stress after training. This was also true for the momentary positive emotions and perceived stress experienced including perceived stress severity, coping efficacy, and coping success, with high-dose participants having significantly greater changes in than low-dose participants after training. In addition, low-dose participants increased in their levels of negative emotions from baseline, while the high-dose participants did not.

 

These results are interesting and demonstrate, as has previous research, that mindfulness training reduces overall perceived stress. It is significant that the comparison condition also contained mindfulness training but at a low dose. This suggests that a small amount of mindfulness training is not sufficient to alter perceived levels of stress.

 

The present study also demonstrated that the effects of mindfulness training are not only on overall levels of perceived stress but also on these levels in momentary real-time work situations. They also show that during actual workplace stress mindfulness training improves the individuals’ ability to cope with the stress and experience more positive emotions and less negative emotions. This all suggests that mindfulness training doesn’t just work overall but moment-to-moment in the work environment to reduce stress levels and their impact on the worker. This should promote the overall psychological and physical health and well-being of the worker.

 

So, reduce stress at work with mindfulness.

 

Work is a very commonplace of stress, but with a few minutes of mindfulness each day, we can improve our feelings regarding these stressors, reduce their impact on our mental health, and improve our mood as well, leaving us ready for anything ahead.” – Paul Jozsef

 

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

 

Chin, B., Slutsky, J., Raye, J., & Creswell, J. D. (2019). Mindfulness Training Reduces Stress At Work: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Mindfulness, 10(4), 627–638. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-1022-0

 

Abstract

Mindfulness-based interventions have been suggested as one way to improve employee well-being in the workplace. Despite these purported benefits, there have been few well-controlled randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating mindfulness training in the workplace. Here we conducted a two-arm RCT at work among employees of a digital marketing firm comparing the efficacy of a high dose six-week mindfulness training to a low dose single-day mindfulness training for improving multiple measures of employee well-being assessed using ecological momentary assessment. High dose mindfulness training reduced both perceived and momentary stress, and buffered employees against worsened affect and decreased coping efficacy compared to low dose mindfulness training. These results provide well-controlled evidence that mindfulness training programs can reduce momentary stress at work, suggesting that more intensive mindfulness training doses (i.e., 6-weeks) may be necessary for improving workplace well-being outcomes. This RCT utilizes a novel experience sampling approach to measure the effects of a mindfulness intervention on employee well-being and considers potential dose-response effects of mindfulness training at work.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6433409/

 

Improve Psychological Well-Being at Work with a Mindfulness App

 

Improve Psychological Well-Being at Work with a Mindfulness App

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

Mindfulness is not about living life in slow motion. It’s about enhancing focus and awareness both in work and in life. It’s about stripping away distractions and staying on track with individual, as well as organizational, goals.” Jacqueline Carter

 

Work is very important for our health and well-being. We spend approximately 25% of our adult lives at work. Indeed, the work environment has even become an important part of our social lives, with friendships and leisure time activities often attached to the people we work with. But, more than half of employees in the U.S. and nearly 2/3 worldwide are unhappy at work. This is partially due to work-related stress which is epidemic in the western workplace. Almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. This stress can result in impaired health and can result in burnout; producing fatigue, cynicism, and professional inefficacy.

 

To help overcome unhappiness, stress, and burnoutmindfulness practices have been implemented in the workplace. These mindfulness practices have been shown to markedly reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress. As a result, it has become very trendy for business to incorporate meditation into the workday to help improve employee well-being, health, and productivity.

 

The vast majority of the mindfulness training techniques, however, require a trained teacher. The participants must be available to attend multiple sessions at particular scheduled times that may or may not be compatible with busy employee 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 reducing stress and improving psychological well-being in employees in real-world work settings.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness on-the-go: Effects of a mindfulness meditation app on work stress and well-being.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6215525/), Bostock and colleagues recruited healthy adults in the workplace and randomly assigned them to either a wait-list control condition or to 45 days of daily mindfulness training with the “Headspace” app for their smartphones. They were measured before and after the intervention and 8 weeks later for blood pressure and daily well-being at 5 different times during the day, psychological well-being, anxiety, depression, job strain, job status, workplace social support, and mindfulness.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the wait-list controls the participants who used the mindfulness training app had significantly higher levels of psychological well-being, daily positive emotions, and workplace social support and significantly lower levels of blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and job strain. They found that these benefits only occurred in participants who completed 10 or more practice sessions. Most of these improvements were maintained at the 8-week follow-up.

 

The research design contained a control condition but the condition was not active. This leaves open the possibility of placebo effects, demand characteristics, and experimenter bias. Employees that used the app less than 10 times, however, could be seen as an active control and they did not show improvements. Nevertheless, the results suggest that using a mindfulness training smartphone app can improve the psychological well-being of employees in the workplace. Since they can receive the training at their own convenience and schedule, it is especially applicable to busy real-world work environments. The low cost of this training suggests that it can be used over large numbers of employees, at diverse locations.

 

So, improve psychological well-being at work with a mindfulness app.

 

“mindfulness and mindfulness-based practices improve self-regulation of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, linking them to both performance and employee well-being in the workplace.” Theresa Glomb

 

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

 

Bostock, S., Crosswell, A. D., Prather, A. A., & Steptoe, A. (2019). Mindfulness on-the-go: Effects of a mindfulness meditation app on work stress and well-being. Journal of occupational health psychology, 24(1), 127–138. https://doi.org/10.1037/ocp0000118

 

Abstract

We investigated whether a mindfulness meditation program delivered via a smartphone application (app) could improve psychological well-being, reduce job strain, and reduce ambulatory blood pressure during the workday. Participants were 238 healthy employees from two large UK companies that were randomized to a mindfulness meditation practice app or a wait-list control condition. The app offered 45 pre-recorded 10–20 minute guided audio meditations. Participants were asked to complete one meditation per day. Psychosocial measures, and blood pressure throughout one working day, were measured at baseline and 8 weeks later; a follow-up survey was also emailed to participants 16 weeks after the intervention start. Usage data showed that during the 8-week intervention period, participants randomized to the intervention completed an average of 17 meditation sessions (range 0 to 45 sessions). The intervention group reported significant improvement in well-being, distress, job strain, and perceptions of workplace social support compared to the control group. In addition, the intervention group had a marginally significant decrease in self-measured workday systolic blood pressure from pre to post intervention. Sustained positive effects in the intervention group were found for well-being and job strain at the 16-week follow-up assessment. This trial suggests that short guided mindfulness meditations delivered via smartphone and practiced multiple times per week can improve outcomes related to work stress and well-being, with potentially lasting effects.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6215525/