Kathryn Doyle, Reuters: Adolescents assigned to a mindfulness meditation program appeared to have improvements in memory in a recent study.
“These results are consistent with a growing body of research in adults that has found mindfulness meditation to be a helpful tool for enhancing working memory capacity,” said Kristen E. Jastrowski Mano of the psychology department at the University of Cincinnati, who coauthored the new study.
The researchers randomly divided 198 public middle school students into three groups: mindfulness meditation, hatha yoga or a waitlist. Most students were female, ages 12 to 15, and from low-income households that qualified for reduced-cost lunch.
Before the study began and …
One of the most interesting studies I’ve ever seen was by James Pennebaker, a University of Texas psychology professor, and Shannon Wiltsey Stirman, who is now associate professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine.
Poets are particularly prone to taking their own lives, and Pennebaker and Stirman were interested to see if the writings of poets who had killed themselves contained linguistic clues that could have predicted their fate. They matched together, by age, era, nationality, educational background, and sex, poets who had and had not killed themselves, and ran their works through a computer program that looked for patterns in the language they used.
What they found was that the poets who … Read more »
Ann Lukits, Wall Street Journal: Washing the dishes may be a convenient detox for overwrought minds, a study in the journal Mindfulness suggests. The study found that washing dishes mindfully—focusing on the smell of the soap, and the shape and feel of the dishes, for example—significantly reduced nervousness and increased mental stimulation in dishwashers compared with a control group.
Mindful dishwashing also heightened the sense of time pleasurably slowing down. Studies have associated altered time perception with greater psychological well-being, the researchers said.
Mindfulness refers both to a peaceful cognitive state and a popular form of therapeutic meditation that calms the mind …
Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D, Psych Central: Allow me to explain this paradox; and then I’ll provide 5 tips to help you with your practice.
Look at your right hand. See the shades of color in your skin? Notice the lines on your palm and the lines that separate the segments of your fingers? Easy to see, right? You just brought mindfulness to your right hand in this moment.
Now, consider the task of facing your deepest grief and sorrow. Or reflect on how it might be for you to bring your attention to extreme physical pain, hour after hour. Much more difficult to bring your …
Garrett Heaney, Montpelier Bridge: Over the past few years, in my quest to become a perfect human, I have sought a number of different therapies, therapists, counselors, and programming — each with its own specific agenda in attending to my mental health. Through it all has been a common thread that seems to tie together each of these individual disciplines in mental health. This thread, of course, is “mindfulness.”
It seems no matter where I was physically or mentally, whether battling depression, partying too much, or sitting in a weekly session of dialectical behavioral therapy, the concept of mindfulness was always right there in the …
Dr. Peter Nieman, Calgary Herald: Ask any teacher or pediatrician what has been the single predominant shift in their work over the past two or three decades. The odds are high that many will admit that children and youth are experiencing a dramatic increase of medical conditions which previously were only seen in adults.
To see diabetes in children — previously called “adult-onset-diabetes” — is now so common that few people gasp. To see children whose coronary vessels have aged prematurely surprises few pediatric cardiologists. And the notion that childhood should be a time of innocence and playfulness, lasting well into the teen years, experienced a …
Claire Withycombe, The Bulletin: As Bend Police Department approaches the launch date for a new mental health crisis team, the department is also turning inward to the mental health of the officers on the force.
Combined with regular midday yoga classes, which the department started offering last year, the department wants to incorporate more training in mindfulness — an increasingly popular practice of self-awareness and stress reduction. Together with the Bend Fire Department, the agency is also seeking a behavioral health specialist to provide day-to-day mental health support.
The stresses of police work can have significant long-term effects: late-night shifts, physical demands and seeing criminal …
Charles Francis, Psych Central: There has been some growing concern recently about the safety of mindfulness meditation. Some claim that the practice can have severe side effects, such as panic, depression, and confusion. Are these concerns well founded? Maybe.
The main study cited by opponents of meditation is a British study of the effects of mindfulness meditation on a group of prison inmates. The inmates participated in a 90-minute weekly meditation class for 10 weeks. The study found that the inmates’ moods had improved and they had experienced a lower stress level, but remained just as aggressive as before the intervention.
I fail to see …
I’m such an idiot! I can’t believe I locked the keys in the car. What am I going to do now? How am I going to get home? I can’t even call my husband because my phone’s in the car and my purse!! I’m totally stuck. I have no idea what to do. I am hopeless!”
I’d like to say that this is a purely fictional situation: that I have never locked my keys, purse and phone in the car, and that, moreover, I would not address myself in such a negative way. But, unfortunately, I cannot.
Firstly, I have found myself in …
Kathleen McLaughlin, The Bulletin: When Kevin Meyer picked up Transcendental Meditation in 1971, the practice was sweeping college campuses. The Beatles had made a pilgrimage to India a few years earlier, so meditation was cool, but it also required some pretty big life changes.
“It was a struggle because you couldn’t drink or smoke pot for 30 days before the training,” Meyer said. In that way, he said, meditation was like a “counter-culture to the counter-culture.”
Meyer, 63, has been meditating off and on since his days at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, mainly because of the calming effect it has on his everyday life. Meditating first thing …