Mindfulness May Help You See the Bright Side

Mindfulness really is a foundational habit for happiness and mental health.

Mindfulness allows for awareness of negative thoughts and bad habits, creates the space to make changes, and can even set one up to see life and to live life more positively.

As with many things in life, it’s easier said than done but if you can practice and master mindfulness, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying happiness and living well …

via Psychology Today by Art Markman

KEY POINTS

  • Research has increasingly shown the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation techniques in calming stress and anxiety.
  • Negatively interpreting ambiguous information can maintain a person’s stress and anxiety.
  • A recent study showed that mindfulness enables people to interpret ambiguous facial expressions in a more positive way.

Source: iStock image by cagkansayin licensed to Art Markman

Over the last decade, there has been a growing body of research on the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation techniques in calming stress and anxiety. With training, people can become more adept at recognizing thoughts that trigger anxiety and can work on allowing those thoughts to happen without reacting to them emotionally, which can help prevent stress from escalating when having a thought about a negative event.

Another way that stress can be maintained is that feeling stressed and anxious can cause you to interpret things in the world in a way that maintains your stress level, even though they need not signal anything bad. Consider facial expressions. Some are clearly negative. If a person displays anger to you, then clearly they are feeling bad. But, what if you see a person with a surprised expression? They might have seen something unexpected that they did not like, but they might have also received a gift out of the blue. So, a look of surprise could signal something positive or something negative.

There is some evidence that people react initially to ambiguous emotions like surprise as if they were negative, but then recognize that they can also be positive. If you are stressed, then you probably won’t get to the point where you see the potential positive side of emotions like this. If so, then you’ll be walking around the world interpreting the things around you negatively in ways that may also sustain your stress.

Mindfulness changes the way we interpret ambiguous information

An interesting paper in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General in 2022 by Nicholas Harp, Jonathan Freeman, and Maital Neta explored whether mindfulness training could change the way people interpret ambiguous information like surprise…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE



Source link