Difficulties with emotion regulation could be a core mechanism of mood and anxiety disorders. Various meditation-based interventions are found to ameliorate a wide range of psychological problems however, it is crucial to understand how different types of meditation improve emotional abilities to develop structured treatment and preventative protocols for emotional disorders. Based on a commonly accepted theoretical framework (Lutz, Slagter, Dunne, & Davidson, 2008), meditation techniques can be broadly separated into two elements–focused attention (FA) and open monitoring (OM). This study directly investigates the potential benefits of OM versus FA techniques as tools for improving emotion regulation and optimizing reactivity from pre-to-post training. Emotional skills were assessed using behavioral and psychological measures. Participants were assessed before, during, and after the interventions to investigate factors that may explain longitudinal changes in emotional skills. Data collection for this study is now complete and data analyses is underway. Investigating unique effects of meditation training using a randomized controlled longitudinal trial will help delineate the mechanisms by which emotional skills are cultivated and establish protocols to cultivate emotional well-being.

Monika Lohani

Brandeis University

Grantee

I am a fifth year Ph.D. student at Brandeis University in the Social Developmental Psychology program. Currently, I am working with Dr. Derek Isaacowitz in the Lifespan Emotional Development Lab … MORE

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