Paper: Theory/Modality Compare And Contrast
This assignment is aimed at identifying two theories of mindfulness and their application to the real life situations. First part of the assignment will encapsulate the identification of appropriate and relevant mindfulness theories and then a comparison will be carried out to find their applicability to real life situation in order to mitigate cognitive impairments and maladjustments and gaining a healthy pin-hole for receiving the positive. Second part will be concerned with the documentation of ways through which these modalities can be applied to life circumstances.
Darwin’s theory of individual differences propounds the most intriguing but worthy notion of uniqueness and acknowledgment of humans as distinct creatures. They are unique in terms of their cognition e.g., thinking patterns, behaviors, sensations, perceptions, attitudes, outlooks, orientations, preferences, decision-making power, intelligence, self efficacy, resiliency, personality, problem-solving abilities and so on (Scott & Branch, 2009). Darwin attributes these distinctive features of human to genetics however this initiate another thread of discussion. Getting back to the unique intellectual tendencies of humans, it can be concluded that their ability to get influenced by same stimuli is pretty much different from each other. For example, the level of exam anxiety and fear of failure in two classmates of same age is different from each other. This difference can be attributed to cognitive tendencies irrefutably.
Mental distress and Individual differences
Based on the theory of individual differences, it can be assumed that nature of stimulus is sensed and perceived differently by different individuals. Hence, apparently a neutral stimulus is potent enough to induce mental distress among some individuals whereas some are resilient enough to remain indifferent even in super-colossal adversities. Now the question arises, what is stress and why is it produced? It is referred as the state of tension that compels an individual to restore its previous optimal position by committing some cognitive or behavioral actions.
Mental distress and Mindfulness
Stress usually arises when there is a huge discrepancy between what an individual expects and what he actually gets as a consequence. For example, a student expects to get A grade in final examination but he gets B, based on his particular cognitive patterns, he will acquire the state of tension. This tension is sometimes healthy because it enforces individual to commit certain actions to mitigate the cause of stress. But when the stress gets out of proportion, the outcome is obvious—mental health deterioration (Creswell, 2017).
Each individual develops stress as a normal and healthy biological phenomenon but when he finds him helpless in eradicating this state for longer periods, his mental health starts deteriorating. The best way to alleviate or eradicate stress is mindfulness. Mindfulness, as the name indicates, is the state of being mindful or aware of what we are going through right now, what we feel, experience, sense and perceive. It is also referred as the act of accepting situations as they are because sometimes situations exist outside the individual’s locus of control over which he has no control.
Models to mindfulness
After deliberate painstaking analysis, two models of mindfulness were identified as:
Two Component Model: this model was presented by some Clinical Psychologists (Bishop et. al., 2004) who proposed two factors necessary for mindfulness. The first factor is maintenance of attention on the present moment so that more and more information could be communicated to brain using sensations. The second component is acceptance. It is concerned with the openness of one’s personality to experience any sort of upcoming information from sensations—never refuse to accept information from any source. Hence, attention and acceptance make individual prone to experience new things and reduce mental distress originating from the unexpected experiences (Linda et. al., 2006).
The Five-Aggregate Model: this ancient model emphasizes the importance of living in the present moment and taking each and every minute material or personal entity into account. There are five aggregates that define mindfulness (Karunamuni, 2015).
Feelings: Emotion coated perceptions
Perceptions: Wearing meaning to the sensations
Material form: encompasses external material outside the human body.
Volition: verbal or psychological behavior
Sensory consciousness: The upcoming information from five senses
Mindfulness is defined as the state when these factors act collaboratively and individual becomes completely aware of his current state and outside world.
Integration of models in personal life—how would I apply?
I personally liked two-factor model because it is quite easy to understand and implement in real life. Therefore, I will discuss and apply this model to my own life using an example. Situation that creates enormous distress on my part is when someone criticizes me when I give my best and expect positive feedback to come. Now applying two-factor model here, I will first pay close attention to my own thinking and outside world e.g., how am I doing this? What am I expecting to come? What am I not expecting to come? Will someone find my efforts lacking somewhere? If so, what would it be? I will pay attention closely to each and every minute details associated with that particular task and expected behavior of other in the best positive and best negative ranges. Then I will try to develop acceptance in case someone provides me with the negative feedback. When I will expect both the positive and negative outcomes, the actual outcome will not bother me too adversely. I will stress less than before.
The continuous practice will strengthen my mind undoubtedly.
Creswell, J.D. (2017). "Mindfulness Interventions". Annual Review of Psychology. 68: 491–516. doi:10.1146/annurev-psych-042716-051139
Linda C., Anderson N. D. Carmody, J., Segal, Z. V. et. al. (2006). Mindfulness: A Proposed Operational Definition. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice. 11 (3), 230–41.
Karunamuni, N. D. (2015). The Five-Aggregate Model of the Mind. SAGE Open. 5 (2): 215824401558386. doi:10.1177/2158244015583860.
Scott, E. C. & Branch, G. (2009). Don't Call it Darwinism. Evolution: Education and Outreach. New York: Springer Science Business Media. 2 (1), 90–94. doi:10.1007/s12052-008-0111-2
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