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Chapter 10

PSYC 335 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Pre-Medical, Operationalization


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 335
Professor
Dean A Tripp
Chapter
10

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PSYC 335:
POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
CHAPTER #10:
MINDFULNESS, FLOW, & SPIRITUALITY
-Intentional, moment to moment searches for optimal experiences give us joy &
fulfilment
-bring about sanity in daily life that is grounded in competence & happiness
-mindfulness, flow, & spirituality → searches for optimal experiences
-too many of us walk t/ life unaware & out of sync w the significance of our
experience & w our emotional selves → we need to learn more about the psyc of
deeper living including the depth of enjoyment, contentment, & meaningfulness that
can be achieved t/ engagement w everyday life
-In fast past & future-focused cultures (West) mindfulness if undervalued
-American Native groups → shown to have a more present focused time-orientation,
which allows them to create & cultivate mindful experiences
-Asian cultures → Buddhism: encourages mindfulness & reward in its achievement
Moment-to moment searches
-easy to lose sight of moments passing you in fast paced world → yet each moment
is accessible & has untapped potential → each part of the search for optimal
experiences
-moments are plentiful in each day & the potential each holds is reflected in
thoughts, feelings, & psyc forced connected to each moment
-day presents 20,000 moments/opportunities for engagement for overcoming the
negative & pursuing the pos
Mindfulness: In search of Novelty
-best examples of mindfulness are manifested in the everyday behaviours of ppl
-Amy Wrzesniewski:
Pos psyc interested in how ppl functioning optimally @ work
Found that ⅓ of the hospital cleaners in a metropolitan medical centre
considered their work a calling & therefore did everything they could to make
the healthcare experience pos for patients & staff
Reconstrued their job by mindfully making moment-to-moment choices about
what is worthy of attention
Mindfulness resulted in benefits for others (more vigilant in attempt to make
hospital sanitary)
Each day, cleaners found novel ways to improve the hospital environment
-Ellen Langer:
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Social psyc who made sense out of mindfulness behaviour by observing the
everyday behaviour of ppl from all walks of life
examined the effects of perceived control on older adults in a residential care
facility
Gave group of residences a pep talk about making their own decisions & then
allowed these p’s to choose a houseplant to tend over the coming months
Other group: received talk focused on how staff would help them w daily
activities & decisions & also received plants but told staff would care for them
Results → those encouraged to make choices & care for their plants were
more alert & happier, found novelty in their everyday as plants & lives
changes little by little
Only Half as many ppl in the group encouraged to make choices had died 18
months later compared to other group
Many age-related declines may be at least in part related to type of mindset
that elderly ppl develop as a result of neg stereotypes
In being more mindful about not accepting these stereotypes, we may age
better
Mindfulness as a state of mind
-comparable to the age-old process of cultivating awareness of everyday happenings
& physiological & psyc sensations in Buddhist traditions & to the modern technique
of increasing attention in order to identify distorted thinking (in cog & cog-behavioural
therapies)
-Many diffs bw Westernized mindfulness & its use in buddhist tradition
West → constructs studied independently & external awareness of
surroundings
Buddhist → viewed as only 1 component on the road to true enlightenment &
must be introspective
Mindfulness: an active search for novelty
Mindlessness: passively \onning out to everyday life
-drawing novel distinctions (being mindful) requires us to:
1. Overcome the desire to reduce uncertainty in daily life
Desire to control our surroundings by reducing uncertainty often leaders to
more uncertainty
Mindfulness makes clear that things change & loosens the grip of our
evaluative mind-sets so that these changes need not be feared
Uncertainty keeps us grounded in the present & awareness of all that is
happening in the present creates more uncertainty
2. Override a tendency to engage in automatic behaviour
The automaticity of behaviour provides quick, well-honed responses to
familiar situations (ex automatically answer phone when it rings no matter
what you’re doing)
Automaticity of behaviour relies on the assumptions that the quick, well-
rehearsed behaviour is the easiest behaviour to engage in
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May not be the most efficient way to behave in situation
Mindfulness occurs when we become less automatic in our daily behaviour &
search for novelty
3. Engage less frequently in evaluations of self, others, & situations
Mindfulness battles our evaluated behaviour & leads us to make less
unnecessary judgments (even pos ones)
Here & now living requires a refined ability to discriminate bw subtleties but
this doesnt need to lead to an evaluation
-Miller’s focus on avoiding evaluation of internal & external events is shared by
Hishop & his colleagues:
-Bishop’s operationalization of mindfulness discourages continued evaluation of the
self & draws more attention to the cog & emotional components of mindful
engagement
2 component system:
1. Self-Regulated Attention: honed on current personal experience
2. Emotional Openness: facilitates the acceptance & appreciation of all internal
experiences
-mindfulness from this perspective borrows more from buddhist teaching & involves
metacognition & emotional awareness
-Operationalization of Mindfulness used by mindfulness meditation practitioners:
Mindfulness, in the practice community, is simply described as → attending
nonjudgmentally to all stimuli in the internal & external environments
In moments of mindfulness, mindfulness qualities come into consciousness:
Shown below
The Benefits of Mindfulness
-the deliberate practice of Mindfulness often takes the form of mindfulness
meditation
-Aim of mindfulness meditation → the development of deep insight into the nature of
mental processes, consciousness, identity, & reality, & the development of optimal
states of psyc well-being & consciousness through opening up
-in past → mindfulness meditation research was criticized bc few rigorous,
randomized, controlled studies have been published
-Now → more randomized clinical trials using various techniques have been
conducted w promising results
-Jon Kabat-Zinn: Adapted some of the ancient eastern meditation practices &
creates a form of mindfulness meditation that has been used in the successful
treatment of chronic pain & anxiety
Examined the effects of an 8 week mindfulness based stress reduction
program (MBSR) on stress hardiness & sense of coherence (ability to find the
world meaningful & manageable) in hospital patients
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find more resources at oneclass.com
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