The Importance of Acceptance in Mindfulness
In this paper, the critical role of acceptance is explored in the context of mind wandering reduction as a result of brief mindfulness training.
Acceptance seems like an important concept to highlight this week. Not the kind of acceptance akin to waving a white flag and 'putting up and shutting up' but the kind of deeper acceptance spoken about by the mystics and sages throughout the ages. Acceptance is not the same as resignation. Acceptance is about being with our experience, whatever it might be, without any attempt to manipulate our inner feeling of it. There can be response with acceptance, yet this response is steeped in a willingness to see and be with something as it is presenting itself to us.
In this paper, the critical role of acceptance is explored in the context of mind wandering reduction as a result of brief mindfulness training. Two competing accounts for how mindfulness training reduces mind wandering are evaluated in terms of whether the attention-monitoring component of mindfulness training alone reduces mind wandering or whether the acceptance training component is necessary for reducing mind wandering.
147 adults were randomised to either a 3-day brief mindfulness training condition incorporating instruction in both attention monitoring and acceptance, a mindfulness training condition incorporating attention monitoring instruction only, a relaxation training condition, or an active reading-control condition. Acceptance training was found to be important for reducing mind wandering, such that the attention-monitoring plus acceptance mindfulness training condition had the lowest mind wandering relative to the other conditions, including significantly lower mind wandering than the attention-monitoring only mindfulness training condition. Researchers conclude that acceptance skills may facilitate emotion regulation on attention tasks that foster mind wandering.
Peace to you all this Thursday.