The skill chosen for the project is mindfulness since, currently, it is frequently discussed as a treatment for many psychological disorders, including anxiety and depression. In simple words, mindfulness is awareness of the present moment instead of thinking about past or future experiences. According to Tang, Hölzel, & Posner (2015), the concept originated in Buddhism, as Buddhist monks practiced meditation to control attention and emotions. Such meditations were vital to remain self-aware, which ultimately leads to self-regulation (Tang et al., 2015). Currently, this meditation technique is being transformed to anchor people’s attention to the present moment.
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While the concept of mindfulness is intuitive, it is vital to give a scientific definition of the phenomenon. According to Cresswell (2017), it is “a process of openly attending, with awareness, to one’s present moment experience” (p. 493). According to recent research, people spend around 47% of time detached from the present moment thinking about past or future events (Cresswell, 2017). Most of this time, a person predicts unhappiness, causing stress and dissatisfaction with the current state of things (Cresswell, 2017).
The definition implies that there are two features, which are vital for achieving mindfulness. A person should not only be aware of the present moment but also she or he need to accept everything that is happening to be able to connect with reality (Cresswell, 2017). Even though everyone is capable of mindfulness, people may require help to get a positive experience in the matter.
In modern psychotherapy, mindfulness interventions are used to reduce stress and help to recover from psychological trauma. A recent meta-analysis conducted by Khoury, Sharma, Rush, and Fournier (2015) demonstrates that mindfulness therapy has a positive effect on people trying to overcome stress, depression, anxiety, and distress. Moreover, self-reported mindfulness is associated with the enhanced emotional recovery and reduced negative emotional responses (Roemer, Williston, & Rollins, 2015). Connection to reality, however, does not guarantee favorable outcomes since there is another vital element of mindfulness therapy.
Noticing the reality can also be a source of stress if a person chooses to see adverse events or fails to notice positive changes. According to Ngnoumen and Langer (2016), people need to be aware that events are neutral, and only the mind evaluates everything that happens. Therefore, noticing positive changes, controlling mindless thought processes, and active engagement in activities helps to avert negative thoughts, which can reduce stress and anxiety.
The topic was chosen because the problem of stress in modern society is threatening the well-being of the entire world population. Industrialization, globalization, and urbanization make people live in a hectic environment, where they suffer from the lack of healthy food, low physical activity, and pollution of air and water. Modern people do not have time for self-reflection, and when there is time, they are unaware of efficient techniques that can help to live in harmony with one-self and reality.
As a result, increased stress leads to various illnesses and psychologic conditions. Mindfulness can help to prevent such adverse outcomes and improve the well-being of the world population. Moreover, the concept of mindfulness is an ancient method that has been intensively studied by modern researchers, which makes the technique credible and reliable.
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In conclusion, mindfulness is a skill that is becoming an increasingly popular topic for discussion in the media and press due to its positive impact on population health. The method is viewed as a traditional technique for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. A mindful person is aware of the present moment, accepts the reality, and controls mindless thoughts. An increased understanding of the concept may be associated with improved well-being.
Creswell, J. D. (2017). Mindfulness interventions. Annual review of psychology, 68, 491-516.
Khoury, B., Sharma, M., Rush, S. E., & Fournier, C. (2015). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for healthy individuals: A meta-analysis. Journal of psychosomatic research, 78(6), 519-528.
Ngnoumen, C. T., & Langer, E. J. (2016). Mindfulness: The essence of well-being and happiness. In I. E. Ivtzan Mindfulness in Positive Psychology (pp. 107-117). Abington, UK: Routledge.
Roemer, L., Williston, S. K., & Rollins, L. G. (2015). Mindfulness and emotion regulation. Current Opinion in Psychology, 3, 52-57.
Tang, Y. Y., Hölzel, B. K., & Posner, M. I. (2015). The neuroscience of mindfulness meditation. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 16(4), 213-225.