Posted in field study, longitudinal, mindfulness meditation

Boosting out-of-class meditation practice

Galla, Brian M., et al. “Mindfulness, meet self-regulation: Boosting out-of-class meditation practice with brief action plans.” Motivation Science, vol. 2, no. 4, 2016, pp. 220,


Abstract. Mindfulness training programs require the completion of daily out-of-class meditation practices, often referred to as “homework,” and individuals who adhere to these requirements have better outcomes. Nevertheless, many people fall short of the recommended amount of meditation practice. Two field studies tested whether the formation of action plans—strategic plans for when and where to meditate—would support out-of-class meditation practice.

Study 1 was a 3-month longitudinal study of adolescents who participated in a 5-day meditation retreat. Immediately before and after, and then 3 months later, adolescents answered questions about emotional well-being. Immediately after the retreat, adolescents also answered questions about their commitment to continue meditating, and action plans for when and where to meditate. Three months later, they reported on their meditation frequency. S

tudy 2 was a between-subjects experiment in which adults enrolled in an 8-week mindfulness program were randomly assigned to an action plan condition or a control condition. Personal commitment to practice meditation was assessed at baseline, out-of-class meditation frequency was assessed weekly, and emotional well-being was assessed at the beginning and end of the 8-week program.

In both studies, individuals who formed strategic plans for when and where to meditate meditated more frequently, but only if they also had a strong personal commitment to do so. Further, out-of-class meditation days mediated the association between action plans and emotional well-being among participants with strong personal commitment. Collectively, these results suggest that although mindfulness is about nonreactive awareness of the present, its practice is enhanced by planning ahead.

Posted in mindfulness, semi-structured interviews, workplace

Mindfulness at work: being while doing

Lyddy, Christopher, and Darren J. Good. “Being While Doing: An Inductive Model of Mindfulness at Work.” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 7, 2017, pp. 1-18. Full text.

Abstract. Mindfulness at work has drawn growing interest as empirical evidence increasingly supports its positive workplace impacts. Yet theory also suggests that mindfulness is a cognitive mode of “Being” that may be incompatible with the cognitive mode of “Doing” that undergirds workplace functioning. Therefore, mindfulness at work has been theorized as “being while doing,” but little is known regarding how people experience these two modes in combination, nor the influences or outcomes of this interaction.

Drawing on a sample of 39 semi-structured interviews, this study explores how professionals experience being mindful at work. The relationship between Being and Doing modes demonstrated changing compatibility across individuals and experience, with two basic types of experiences and three types of transitions. We labeled experiences when informants were unable to activate Being mode while engaging Doing mode as Entanglement, and those when informants reported simultaneous coactivation of Being and Doing modes as Disentanglement. This combination was a valuable resource for offsetting important limitations of the typical reliance on the Doing cognitive mode.

Overall our results have yielded an inductive model of mindfulness at work, with the core experience, outcomes, and antecedent factors unified into one system that may inform future research and practice.

Posted in mindfulness, review

Reducing adverse effects of childhood Stress and trauma

Ortiz, Robin, and Erica M. Sibinga. “The Role of Mindfulness in Reducing the Adverse Effects of Childhood Stress and Trauma.” Children, vol. 4, no. 3, 2017, pp. 16. Full text.

Abstract. Research suggests that many children are exposed to adverse experiences in childhood. Such adverse childhood exposures may result in stress and trauma, which are associated with increased morbidity and mortality into adulthood.

In general populations and trauma-exposed adults, mindfulness interventions have demonstrated reduced depression and anxiety, reduced trauma-related symptoms, enhanced coping and mood, and improved quality of life. Studies in children and youth also demonstrate that mindfulness interventions improve mental, behavioral, and physical outcomes.

Taken together, this research suggests that high-quality, structured mindfulness instruction may mitigate the negative effects of stress and trauma related to adverse childhood exposures, improving short- and long-term outcomes, and potentially reducing poor health outcomes in adulthood. Future work is needed to optimize implementation of youth-based mindfulness programs and to study long-term outcomes into adulthood.

Posted in mindfulness, workplace

Mindfulness interventions in the workplace

Hafenbrack, Andrew C. “Mindfulness Meditation as an On-The-Spot Workplace Intervention.” Journal of Business Research, vol. 75, June 2017, pp. 118-29.

Abstract. This article introduces the concept of mindfulness meditation as an on-the-spot intervention to be used in specific workplace situations. It presents a model of when, why, and how on-the-spot mindfulness meditation is likely to be helpful or harmful for aspects of job performance.

The article begins with a brief review of the mindfulness literature and a rationale for why mindfulness could be used on-the-spot in the workplace. It then delineates consequences of on-the-spot mindfulness interventions on four aspects of job performance – escalation of commitment, counterproductive work behaviors, negotiation performance, and motivation to achieve goals.

The article closes with three necessary conditions for an on-the-spot mindfulness intervention to be effectively used, as well as suggestions for how organizations, managers, and employees can facilitate the fulfillment of these necessary conditions. Possible negative consequences of mindfulness and which types of meditation to use are considered. Taken together, these arguments deepen our understanding of state mindfulness and introduce a new manner in which mindfulness can be used in the workplace.

Posted in opinion manuscript, weight regulation

Self compassion/kindness in weight regulation and behavior change

Mantzios, Michail, and Helen H. Egan. “On the Role of Self-compassion and Self-kindness in Weight Regulation and Health Behavior Change.” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 8, 2017, pp. 229. Full text.

From the Abstract. The construct of self-compassion has been investigated in relation to health behaviors, health behavior change, and health outcomes such as regulated eating and weight loss. Self-compassion has been defined as a mindful awareness of oneself, which involves treating oneself kindly and understanding oneself during difficult and challenging times by realizing that such experiences are common amongst all humans described how self-compassion consists of three interrelated components: self-kindness (vs. self-judgment), common humanity (vs. isolation), and mindfulness (vs. over-identification).

While the psychological benefits are well documented, the health behaviors and outcomes may require more consideration, and this opinion manuscript aims to shed light on potential problems in eating and weight issues. Initial findings of self-compassion in assisting regulated eating are promising, and are explored next.

Posted in case study, mindfulness training

Improved visual, motor, anxiety, and mindfulness among grade 4-5 children

Tarrasch, Ricardo, Lilach Margalit-Shalom, and Rony Berger. “Enhancing Visual Perception and Motor Accuracy among School Children through a Mindfulness and Compassion Program.” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 8, 2017, pp. 281. Full text.

From the Introduction. The present study assessed the effects of the mindfulness/compassion cultivating program on the performance in visual perception (VP) and motor accuracy, as well as on anxiety levels and self-reported mindfulness among 4th and 5th grade students.

One hundred and thirty-eight children participated in the program for 24 weekly sessions, while 78 children served as controls. . . . [T]ests revealed significant improvements in the four aforementioned measures in the experimental group only. In addition, significant correlations were obtained between the improvement in motor accuracy and the reduction in anxiety and the increase in mindfulness.

Since VP and motor accuracy are basic skills associated with quantifiable academic characteristics, such as reading and mathematical abilities, the results may suggest that mindfulness practice has the ability to improve academic achievements.

Posted in mindful eating, pretest and posttest

Mindful eating and early stage chronic kidney disease

Timmerman, Gayle M., et al. “Self-management of dietary intake using mindful eating to improve dietary intake for individuals with early stage chronic kidney disease.” Journal of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 1, no. 10.

From the Abstract Using mindful eating to improve specific dietary recommendations has not been adequately studied. This feasibility study examined an intervention, self-management of dietary intake using mindful eating, with 19 participants that had mild to moderate chronic kidney disease, using a prospective, single group, pretest–posttest design.

The intervention had six weekly classes focused on self-management using mindful eating, goal-setting, problem-solving, and food label reading. Weight, body mass index (BMI), 3-day 24-h dietary recalls and fasting blood samples were measured.

Participants improved significantly in mean weight but not in dietary intake nor blood measures with the exception of cis-beta-carotene levels, which correlates to fruit and vegetable servings. These promising results warrant further testing of the intervention in randomized control trials.