Science & Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR; Kabat-Zinnn, 2003) is a meditation-based treatment program applied to diverse clinical conditions. It seems that MBSR improves attention, nonjudgmental attitude and focus on the present.
Nonjudgmental attitude may be related to an emotional response. Emotional resonses are linked to the emotional brain, particularly with the amygdala. It has been demonstrate that the response of the amygdala to negative distractors in a sustained attention task is better in experienced meditators (Brefczynski-Lewis et al., 2007). In normal life, negative distractors tend to focus our attention on the future more than in the present. For example, if I am studying for an exam, my fear of fail on the exam, disrupts my sustained attention on what I am learning. At the same time, my attention jumps from the present to the future.
There is a big difference on studying for achieve or pass the test, and studying for learning. In the first condition, you will need a big attentional effort because your motivation is clearly in the future and not in the process itself. The process itself always happens in the present. It can not always be ensured that you will pass the exam with a mindful brain.
HOW TO MEDITATE
- TRY ON SUNSET.
- TRY WITH FRIENDS.
- DO NOT TRY WITH RELAXATION MUSIC.
- DO NOT TRY IN YOUR BED, BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP.
- YOU NEED TO MASTER THE EXERCISE BEFORE TRYING IT IN VERY BAD DAYS.
Brefczynski-Lewis, J. A., Lutz, A., Schaefer, H. S., Levinson, D. B., & Davidson, R. J. (2007). Neural correlates of attentional expertise in long-term meditation practitioners. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(27), 11483-11488. doi:10.1073/pnas.0606552104
Jensen, C. G., Vangkilde, S., Frokjaer, V., & Hasselbalch, S. G. (s.d.). Mindfulness training affects attention—Or is it attentional effort? Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141(1), 106-123. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0024931
Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). Constructivism in the Human Sciences, 8(2), 73-107.
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