Mindfulness can be conceptualized as a process of self-regulation of attention to the present moment, understood as curiosity, openness and acceptance. This type of attention requires sustained attention and flexibility in the ability to orient attention. The focus of attention varies constantly because they can be emotions, thoughts, and actions. It also requires the ability to inhibit elaborative thought process. In depressive states is normal that ruminating thinking prevails among other mental states. This kind of thinking is not effective to resolve the discrepancy between the current state and the desired mental state. Mindfulness helps reduce dysphoric ruminative thinking spiral. According to Kabat-Zinn (1990), this process of mindfulness brings a certain quality to the focus on the experience of the present moment-to-moment. This experience of the present moment is an observation that does not pass through the filter of beliefs, assumptions and expectations. Mindfulness is a process that develops a decentralized view of emotions and thinking in terms of subjectivity and transience.
WHAT SCIENCE SAYS
- Mindfulness increases the ability to have cognitive flexibiliy (Lee & Orsillo, 2014).
- It is easy to inhibit maladaptive thoughts after mindfulness training (Hoffmann, et al., 2010).
- Mindfulness training is effective on reduction of anxiety and depressive symptoms among different and several pathologies (Hoffmann, et al., 2010).
- Cognitive flexibility appears to be inclusive of both inhibitory and switching involved on breathing and focus attention processes (Lee & Orsillo, 2014).
HOW TO MEDITATE
- SEAT WELL. WE DON´T SLEEP.
- FOCUS ON RETURNING ATTENTION TO EXPIRATION.
- STAY WITH FIVE MINUTS EVERY DAY: 5 MINUTS COULD BE HELL!!
- DON´T TRY TO CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS. IT´S NORMAL THAT YOUR ATTENTION JUMPS BETWEEN THOUGHTS AND YOUR EXPIRATION.
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Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living: Using the wisdom of your mind to face stress, pain and illness. New York: Dell.
Hofmann, S. G., Sawyer, A. T., Witt, A. A., & Oh, D. (2010). The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(2), 169-183.
Lee, J. K., & Orsillo, S. M. (2014). Investigating cognitive flexibility as a potential mechanism of mindfulness in Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 45(1), 208-216. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2013.10.008