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Mindful : December 2018
Mindfulness-based therapy may keep depression at bay In a study of people in remission from major depression, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) prevented relapse just as well as traditional cognitive therapy. While both treat- ments teach people to observe how their thoughts, feelings, and habits fuel depression, MBCT adds meditation to the mix. In the study, Canadian researchers asked 166 adults in remission from major depression to attend either an MBCT group or a standard cognitive therapy group for eight weeks. Two years later, fewer than a quarter of people in both groups had suffered another bout of major depression. Those in the standard group were better at managing distressing thoughts and emotions, but both groups got better at not believing all of their thoughts. This par ticular skill, called decentering, can be helpful in managing a negative mood. What’s more, people who got good at decentering were less likely to relapse. Exper ts have cautioned that mindfulness-based therapies may not be suitable for treating people in the midst of a depressive episode. But MBCT, it appears, can provide real protection against relapse. Waste not wear not BIKES AND BEERS WITH A MINDFUL TWIST Vroom vroom Glug glug For 30 days, Rob Greenfield lived like an aver- age American, save for one detail: Every piece of garbage he generated, he wore on his body. The end result was a massive suit that makes a big fashion statement about how much trash we produce—in 2015, according to the EPA, nearly 4.5 pounds per day, per American. Have we hit peak mindfulness? These two playful guided meditations prove that the increasingly popular practice can crop up where we least expect it. Harley-Davidson offers a two-minute meditation, grounded by the sound of a revving motorcycle engine throughout, to help Harley riders de-stress. Compared to the “complete freedom” of the open road, Harley’s marketing director says, it’s “the next best thing.” Stella Artois has created an audio guide to mindfully enjoying a beer. The 20-minute track is narrated by actor Luke Evans, who invites listeners to discover the “complexities” of the brew “through attentive, mindful sipping.” It’s OK to take it back Dana Carney and col- leagues created a stir in 2010 with a Psychological Science paper claiming that power poses—e.g., stand- ing with legs apart and hands on hips like Wonder Woman—induce positive behavioral and hormonal changes. After a TED talk went viral, power posing was touted at conferences for years, including many mindfulness gatherings. In 2016, Carney walked it back: The results could not be replicated. Many psychologists feel that far too many studies cannot be replicated, and yet few, like Carney, come forward to inform the world. Now, several psychologists have started the Loss-of-Confi- dence Project, which col- lects accounts of research findings that have not been borne out in an effort to “destigmatize declaring a loss of confidence in one’s own research.” 12 mindful December 2018 what’s new PHOTOGRAPHBY@ROBJGREENFIELD