Sunday, 9 November 2014

Resilience via Mindfulness

     "Resilience is a 'class of phenomena characterized by patterns of positive adaptation in the context of significant adversity or risk,' meaning that resilience is largely the ability to remain at one's hedonic setpoint while going through negative experiences. Psychologists have identified various factors that contribute to a person being resilient, such as positive attachment relationships (Attachment Theory), positive self-perceptions, self-regulatory skills (Emotional Self-regulation), ties to prosocial organizations (Prosocial behavior), and a positive outlook on life. These factors can contribute to maintaining a happiness set point even in the face of adversity or negative events."

     Mindfulness training is about developing intimate engagement with reality, as it unfolds moment-by-moment, regardless of whether we perceive reality to be pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. While this may seem like a simple concept, it requires much patient training. Yet stabilizing in awareness, even for brief periods, is to enjoy a freedom and quality of life that makes the practice abundantly worthwhile.
     A nice 2014 summary of the neuroscientific understanding about how Mindfulness works from Scientific American:
     Ritchie Davidson PhD and Jon Kabat-Zinn PhD concisely summarize some of the neuroscientific data in this (6 minute) 2012 YouTube video: