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<p>Mindfulness is an attribute of consciousness long believed to promote well-being. This research provides a theoretical and empirical examination of the role of mindfulness in psychological well-being. The development and psychometric properties of the dispositional Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) are described. Correlational, quasi-experimental, and laboratory studies then show that the MAAS measures a unique quality of consciousness that is related to a variety of well-being constructs, that differentiates mindfulness practitioners from others, and that is associated with enhanced self-awareness. An experience-sampling study shows that both dispositional and state mindfulness predict self-regulated behavior and positive emotional states. Finally, a clinical intervention study with cancer patients demonstrates that increases in mindfulness over time relate to declines in mood disturbance and stress.</p>

Four studies examined the effects of nature on valuing intrinsic and extrinsic aspirations. Intrinsic aspirations reflected prosocial and other-focused value orientations, and extrinsic aspirations predicted self-focused value orientations. Participants immersed in natural environments reported higher valuing of intrinsic aspirations and lower valuing of extrinsic aspirations, whereas those immersed in non-natural environments reported increased valuing of extrinsic aspirations and no change of intrinsic aspirations. Three studies explored experiences of nature relatedness and autonomy as underlying mechanisms of these effects, showing that nature immersion elicited these processes whereas non-nature immersion thwarted them and that they in turn predicted higher intrinsic and lower extrinsic aspirations. Studies 3 and 4 also extended the paradigm by testing these effects on generous decision making indicative of valuing intrinsic versus extrinsic aspirations.

The present study aimed to extend the existing literature of mindfulness as a stress protective factor by (1) exploring the role of mindfulness state, not only in response to but also in anticipation of acute pain and (2) investigating an explanatory pathway, decreased rumination, between anticipation of acute pain and cognitive performance, with mindfulness moderating this indirect effect. One-hundred-and-four undergraduates were assessed for state mindfulness and then underwent an acute pain induction using the cold pressor task (CPT). Pain measures included pain threshold, pain tolerance, pain intensity, short-form McGill Pain questionnaire, and pain catastrophizing. Next, half of the participants were told that they would be repeating the CPT after some intervening tasks; half were not told to expect a second CPT. Participants completed a Cognitive Estimation Task (CET) that involved problem-solving, followed by a measure of rumination during CET. Results showed no meaningful associations between mindfulness state and sensory measures of pain (e.g., pain tolerance, pain threshold), but higher mindfulness state was related to lower pain catastrophizing and lower McGill affective subscale scores. There was also evidence of a moderated indirect effect: the indirect effect of condition through rumination on CET performance was moderated by mindfulness. That is, those in the anticipation condition with higher mindfulness state later reported ruminating less during CET and performed better at CET. Mindfulness thus appeared to have a protective role in maladaptive emotional responses when one anticipates acute pain, shielding self-regulatory resources needed to think flexibly when expecting a stressor.

An authoritative handbook, this volume offers both a comprehensive review of the current science of mindfulness and a guide to its ongoing evolution. Leading scholars explore mindfulness in the context of contemporary psychological theories of attention, perceptual processing, motivation, and behavior, as well as within a rich cross-disciplinary dialogue with the contemplative traditions. After surveying basic research from neurobiological, cognitive, emotional/affective, and interpersonal perspectives, the book delves into applications of mindfulness practice in healthy and clinical populations, reviewing a growing evidence base. Examined are interventions for behavioral and emotion dysregulation disorders, depression, anxiety, and addictions, and for physical health conditions.

Well-being is a complex construct that concerns optimal experience and functioning. Current research on well-being has been derived from two general perspectives: the hedonic approach, which focuses on happiness and defines well-being in terms of pleasure attainment and pain avoidance; and the eudaimonic approach, which focuses on meaning and self-realization and defines well-being in terms of the degree to which a person is fully functioning. These two views have given rise to different research foci and a body of knowledge that is in some areas divergent and in others complementary. New methodological developments concerning multilevel modeling and construct comparisons are also allowing researchers to formulate new questions for the field. This review considers research from both perspectives concerning the nature of well-being, its antecedents, and its stability across time and culture.

Interest in mindfulness and its enhancement has burgeoned in recent years. In this article, we discuss in detail the nature of mindfulness and its relation to other, established theories of attention and awareness in day-to-day life. We then examine theory and evidence for the role of mindfulness in curtailing negative functioning and enhancing positive outcomes in several important life domains, including mental health, physical health, behavioral regulation, and interpersonal relationships. The processes through which mindfulness is theorized to have its beneficial effects are then discussed, along with proposed directions for theoretical development and empirical research.

Mindful individuals orient to ongoing events and experiences in a receptive, attentive manner. This experiential mode of processing suggests implications for the perception of and response to stress situations. Using laboratory-based, longitudinal, and daily diary designs, four studies examined the role of mindfulness on appraisals of and coping with stress experiences in college students, and the consequences of such stress processing for well-being. Across the four studies (n’s = 65 − 141), results demonstrated that mindful individuals made more benign stress appraisals, reported less frequent use of avoidant coping strategies, and in two studies, reported higher use of approach coping. In turn, more adaptive stress responses and coping partially or fully mediated the relation between mindfulness and well-being. Implications for the role of mindfulness in stress and well-being are discussed.