What is mindfulness?什么是正念？
With its roots in various philosophical and religious traditions, especially Buddhism, mindfulness is usually defined as paying attention in a non-judgmental way to one’s experience of the here and now. Some psychologists’ and practitioners’ definitions are broader and speak of compassion for and curiosity about the world.The Oxford Mindfulness Centre, affiliated with the University of Oxford, states: “Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, with compassion, and open-hearted curiosity.” A mindful mindset can be adopted deliberately as part of a meditative exercise, but mindfulness is also considered a trait. As a trait, mindfulness is measured by agreement with questionnaire items such as “I intentionally stay aware of my feelings” and disagreement with questionnaire items like “I tend to make judgments about how worthwhile or worthless my experiences are”. One popular measure,The Five-Facets Mindfulness Questionnairemeasures a person’s non-reactivity, their acting with awareness, tendency to be non-judgmental, to be observant, and to describe experiences.
宗教传统，尤其是佛教。 正念通常的定义是：以一种非评判性的方式关注此时此地的体验。一些心理学家和实践者的定义更宽泛，并且讲到了对世界的悲悯心和好奇心。牛津大学附属牛津正念中心说：“正念是以慈悲和开放的好奇心关注当下之目的所显现的意识(awareness)。”人们可以有意识的采用作为冥想练习一部分的正念观念模式(mindful mindset)。但正念同时也是一种特质(trait)。正念作为一种特质，是通过诸如“我有意和自己觉知到的情绪共同相处”之类的问题来衡量一致性，并且与诸如“我倾向于判断我的体验是否有价值，或者其价值程度”之类的问题来衡量不一致。一个流行的测量方法是以五因素正念问卷(Five-Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire)测量一个人的非反应性、有意识行为、非判断倾向、善于观察、以及经验叙述。正念根植于各种哲学和
Is mindfulness-based meditation beneficial?
Lots of research certainly suggests it can be, but there are question marks over the rigour of some studies. Case in point: a 2013 study reported that a brief mindfulness interventionincreased healthy people’s sense of inner peacecompared with a control group. But the control group did nothing, so as the researchers acknowledge, ” We cannot exactly say whether the significant positive effects in the present study were caused by the mindfulness practice or just by the non-specific support provided by a weekly group.”
mindfulness training could have benefits for people’s attentional control and working memory(although the authors warned the quality of the evidence was often poor). Another review, published the same year, of dozens of studies reported that mindfulness has a range of psychological benefits, includingreduced anxiety and greater feelings of life having meaning.That said, a review from 2011 of 23 relevant studies reported that
could be beneficial to prison inmates(for example by reducing their anger and hostility), but the authors again warned about the need for higher quality research. Increasingly, aspects of mindfulness meditation are being incorporated into forms of therapy. For instance, a meta-analysis and review from 2012 of controlled trials found that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy successfullyhelps prevent depression relapse.A systematic review from 2013 of 8 papers found that mindfulness meditation and similar practices
What about trait mindfulness?
students who are more mindful have higher self-esteem. And a study from the noughties reported thatpeople who score higher in trait mindfulness tend be more satisfied with their romantic relationships, and respond better to relationship stress. Another paper claimed thatmanagers who are more mindful tend to have higher-performing staff, who are more satisfied with their jobs. There is even evidence thatpeople who are more mindful are less susceptible to the harmful effects of discrimination.There’s evidence that people who are inclined to be mindful tend to have advantages over others who are not. For instance,
How does mindfulness exert its apparent beneficial effects?
Research into this question is ongoing, buta review published in 2011 proposed four key ways: by helping people have more control over their minds, such as the ability to ignore distractions; through increased awareness of one’s own body; through improved control over one’s own emotions and the ability to cope with unpleasant emotions; and finally, through a changed perspective on the self. Regarding the last component, Britta Hölzel and her colleagues write that: “In place of the identification with the static self, there emerges a tendency to identify with the phenomenon of ‘experiencing’ itself”. This fits the Buddhist teaching that there is no such thing as a permanent unchanging self. The authors go on to say that these four components are highly interrelated and are associated with various neural changes, such as enhanced grey matter in frontal brain areas involved in mental control.
Mindfulness sounds amazing, is there any reason not to do it?
There’s some evidence that mindfulness meditation can beunhelpfulor even harmful for some people.A study from the early 90sreported that following a mindfulness-based meditation retreat most meditators described positive benefits, but 17 said they’d had at least one adverse effect, and two described experiencing “profound” adverse effects, such as panic attacks and loss of motivation.
A paper published in 2009summarises instances of adverse effects documented in 12 published case studies and reviews of mindfulness meditation. The authors place these adverse effects in three categories: mental health (e.g. anxiety, depersonalisation and hallucinations), physical health (e.g. seizures, double vision); and spiritual health (e.g. religious delusions).
Another paper from 2012 warns that little research has been conducted into this question. The authors led by Patricia Dobkin explain why mindfulness might be risky for some vulnerable people: “Meditation, when practiced intently, leads one into deep exploration of ‘inner space.’ Long-held grief, body tension, and critical or judgmental thoughts may be met perhaps for the first time with full attention.”So who could be at risk from these potential adverse effects?