How and when mindfulness works: attention as a mediator/moderator

[Speaker] Sugiura, Yoshinori:1
1:Hiroshima University (Japan)

Recent studies document mindfulness is effective in reducing psychological distress and increasing well-being. On the other hand, studies on how and when mindfulness works are relatively lagging behind. This talk will present findings from our lab, which show attention mediates or moderates the effect of mindfulness on reduced distress and/or increased well-being. Attention is a multi-faceted phenomenon. Increased attentional orienting and alerting, both are characterized by efficient use of environmental cues to focus attention mediated the relationship between mindfulness and decentering, which in turn reduced worrying. On the other hand, attention not attached to particular objects (e.g., increased attentional disengagement and attentional switching) is a prerequisite for mindful observation to enhance well-being. The latter findings may suggest the conditions which discriminate maladaptive self-focus and mindful (and nonattached) observation. In addition, these findings may explain the effect of both focused attention meditation and open awareness meditation.
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