Mindfulness meditation can help strengthen the ability to regulate emotions,[i] boost mood,[ii] enhance focus,[iii] and increase empathy towards others. Mindfulness, as taught by IOI, is the practice of intentionally cultivating a present-sense awareness that is clear, compassionate, and less reactive to emotional stimuli, enabling the practitioner to more easily choose a wise response. Mindfulness practices aim to alleviate the suffering caused by our aversion to unpleasant emotional states and our craving for pleasant ones – a continuous struggle that often results in addictive and harmful behaviors. We are just starting to solicit feedback from our students who have attended our classes. Here is a sampling of what they had to say.
[i] Goldin, P. R., & Gross, J. J. (2010). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on emotion regulation in social anxiety disorder. Emotion, 10(1), 83-91.
[ii] Zeidan, F. et al. (2010). Effects of brief and sham mindfulness meditation on mood and cardiovascular variables. J. Altern. Complement. Med. 2010 Aug. 16(8): 867-73.
[iii] Michael D. Mrazek et al. (2013). Mindfulness Training Improves Working Memory Capacity and GRE Performance While Reducing Mind Wandering. Psychological Science 24 (5), 776-781.