Mindfulness, consciousness, spirituality, and well-being
Spiritual engagement has long been argued, and often empirically supported, as important to well-being. Recent work suggests mindfulness must be considered when investigating relationships between spirituality and health. Mindfulness, which involves the intentional direction of attention to the present moment with an accepting and nonjudgmental attitude, has received a great deal of attention as a means to improve wellness via mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). Though mindfulness is often learned or practiced in a secular manner, individuals often report spiritual benefits from their practice. On the whole, research suggests that mindfulness and spirituality are overlapping but distinct constructs, that they likely interact and contribute to one another's development, and that both are important mechanisms through which MBIs exert benefits. Given that mindfulness meditation has been shown to induce an altered state of consciousness, it may be important to consider how other means of inducing altered states may be harnessed for therapeutic purposes.
Lykins, E. L. (2014)., Mindfulness, consciousness, spirituality, and well-being, in C. Kim-Prieto (ed.), Religion and spirituality across cultures, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 203-225.
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