The Effects of Mindfulness on Self-Rumination, Self-Reflection, and Depressive Symptoms: A Research Proposal
The investigation of mindfulness has increased significantly over the past decade regarding its efficacy as a clinical tool, particularly in the treatment of depression. Mindfulness is often conceptualized as a mental state characterized by present-moment, non-judgmental attention and awareness. Past researchers have suggested that mindfulness is linked to reduction of self-rumination (i.e. maladaptive self-focused attention to one’s self-worth) through promotion of concrete focus and inhibition of automatic elaboration of intrusive thoughts. Moreover, mindfulness also promotes low-level construal thinking (i.e. concrete thinking) which competes against high-level construal thinking (i.e. abstract thinking). Researchers have proposed that self-rumination involves high-level construal of the self and others, which could increase the likelihood of experiencing negative moods. On the other hand, mindfulness may potentially promote self-reflection (i.e. adaptive self-focused attention to the self) while inhibiting self-rumination. The purpose of this paper is to propose a research idea that will explore the relationship between mindfulness, self-rumination, self-reflection, and depressive symptoms (i.e., low mood, anhedonia or ability to feel pleasure, and changes in sleep). The findings of the proposed research may have significant implications for treatment of depressive symptoms and for promotion of positive outcomes such as mitigation of self-rumination and enhancement of self-reflective processes through potential effects of mindfulness.
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