Developing and testing an internet-based mindfulness intervention for women diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a rising epidemic worldwide and poses a significant public health challenge. GDM adversely affects women’s emotional well-being, health outcomes including future development of Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and infant health such as preeclampsia, mortality, and heightened risks for diabetes and other metabolic issues. A mindfulness-based intervention approach, coupled …

Biological and psychological mechanisms of mindfulness meditation-based interventions for depression

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is highly burdensome and psychological and biological features are mechanistically implicated in its etiology. Fewer than one-in-three depressed patients achieve remission after treatment. Understanding treatment mechanisms of MDD is clearly an important objective. Mindfulness training emphasizes the development of attention and experiential acceptance, improves depressive symptoms, reduces the likelihood of relapse, …

Differential effects of loving-kindness and insight meditation on self-referential thought and tacit coordination

We will take a multi-method approach to extend the reach of contemplative science beyond the individual practitioner. First, we will examine the impact of different types of meditation practices on propensity for self-generated thought—thinking that is decoupled from the present moment. Second, we will investigate whether meditation-induced changes in self-generated thought are associated with our …

The acute impact of yoga-based stretching on inflammation and its resolution: A pilot study

Inflammation plays fundamental positive and negative physiological roles during life. However, unresolved chronic inflammation is associated with morbidities affecting a wide range of multiple systems. A growing body of research supports the benefit of integrative therapies in preventing and treating chronic inflammation; however, the exact biological pathways/processes through which they deliver their beneficial effects are …

Merging mindfulness and climate change education

In light of the climate crisis, one of the biggest impediments to social action is changing individual mindsets towards greater human-earth connection, and sustainability practices. The “Bending the Curve” (BtC) Climate Change solutions curriculum has now been adopted at-scale across nine University of California campuses and also at the University of Stockholm, with over 1000 …

Building compassion and interconnectedness during a pandemic: Disentangling the immediate, daily, and long-term benefits of brief online loving kindness and concentration meditations

Mindfulness and loving kindness meditations (LKMs) have been linked to greater individual wellbeing, compassion, and lower stress and physiological stress reactions, even demonstrating abilities to buffer the impact of stress. However, the mechanisms underlying those benefits and the critical components of meditation interventions are not well understood. This study examines a brief, online program designed …

Documenting Mayan Milpa biocultural heritage through embodied ethnoecology

Milpa is a millennia-old agricultural polycrop system from Mesoamerica that continues to be widely used in México. Milpa includes maize, beans, and squash, often mixed with other crops. This agroecological system has many sustainable properties, including the ability to support large crop yields without requiring pesticides or fertilizers, even in nutrient poor soil. Lineage holders …

Making data more accessible: Visualizing the Contemplative Coping during COVID-19 project

The purpose of this project is to make results from the Contemplative Coping during COVID-19 (CCC) research study accessible to a variety of stakeholders. The CCC study investigates the lived experience of ~350 meditation practitioners in the US during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Our aim is to understand how people are making use of meditation practices …

Effects and mechanisms of smartphone-based mindfulness training on emotional well-being in at-risk college students

Emotional well-being (EWB) is an important component of mental and physical health that includes both positive emotions and an absence of emotional symptoms (e.g., depressive- and anxiety-related). EWB has declined dramatically among college students, a trend only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to develop solutions that can improve college students’ EWB and can …