Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Day 68: Mindfulness and everything

What went well? 

  1. Got a lot of research done. I have scrolled through all 5000+ hits for "mindfulness" on the PsycInfo database and collected a sample of the ways in which it's being used. Some themes:
    • Benefits of mindfulness: health, attention, positive psychological functioning, sex...
    • Mindfulness changes the brain
    • Mindfulness is a tool
    • Mindfulness & compassion
    • Mindfulness-based everything (stress reduction, cognitive therapy, eating awareness...)
    • Mindfulness helping with psychopathology (depression, anxiety, substance abuse, addiction, psychosis)
    • Mindfulness as part of a "new wave" of therapy (the "third wave")
    • Issues in defining mindfulness, and how much the Western usage reflects the original Buddhist concept
    • How effective is it?
    • How much mindfulness do you need to make it effective?
    • Mindfulness with youth and in education
    • Mindfulness for so many populations (cancer patients, teachers, HIV patients, college students, parents, prisoners)
    • Integrating Buddhist ideas with Western psychology
    • Teaching mindfulness through internet/apps/phone programs
    • Another use of mindfulness, headed by Ellen Langer's research, which was popular around the 1980s - 2003ish, and is now rarely used. Her concept is of mindfulness as active distinction making, kinda more to do with creativity and openness to novelty.
  2. Cooked a healthy meal that actually tasted pretty good! Veggie + tofu + noodle stir-fry with peanut sauce. I have discovered the power of cooking with sauce!!
  3. Got a nice email from someone I met at the mindfulness conference, sharing resources and generously offering to connect me with people in the future.
  4. Someone shared their password with me for something, and it made me laugh. Obviously I can't share what the password was but it was highly amusing :)

What did I learn? 

  • Why haven't I learned (still!) that I should just take a nap when I'm fading? I mindlessly wasted an hour or so before giving in. Listen to the body...
  • How to put together a Consent Form for a research study.

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