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Conscious Cogn. 2012 Jun;21(2):1016-22. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2012.01.008. Epub 2012 Feb 5.

Mindfulness meditation counteracts self-control depletion.

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Department of Psychology, University of Basel, Missionsstr. 60/62, 4055 Basel, Switzerland.


Mindfulness meditation describes a set of different mental techniques to train attention and awareness. Trait mindfulness and extended mindfulness interventions can benefit self-control. The present study investigated the short-term consequences of mindfulness meditation under conditions of limited self-control resources. Specifically, we hypothesized that a brief period of mindfulness meditation would counteract the deleterious effect that the exertion of self-control has on subsequent self-control performance. Participants who had been depleted of self-control resources by an emotion suppression task showed decrements in self-control performance as compared to participants who had not suppressed emotions. However, participants who had meditated after emotion suppression performed equally well on the subsequent self-control task as participants who had not exerted self-control previously. This finding suggests that a brief period of mindfulness meditation may serve as a quick and efficient strategy to foster self-control under conditions of low resources.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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