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Psychiatry Investig > Volume 20(5); 2023 > Article
Ahmed: The Perspective of Psychological Action Mechanism of Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness Meditation Blurs the Transparent Boundary Between the Unconscious and the Conscious Mind

Abstract

Based on the author’s clinical experience, the aim of this paper is to conceptually analyse the theory of psychological functioning and action mechanisms in the way mindfulness meditation works. Meditation is a method of revealing unconsciousness. It works in a similar way to the inhibitory and excitatory mechanisms of neurones. Block pathogenic thoughts and emotions that reach the unconscious to the conscious mind. The long-term implementation of mediation may be more effective than the short-term and interrupted implementation.

INTRODUCTION

Mindfulness-based interventions have become increasingly popular [1]. During the last two decades, studies have generally supported the idea that mindfulness meditation is widely practiced to reduce stress and promote mental and physical health, as well as to reduce cognitive and behavioral problems [2].
However, there was no evidence that meditation programs were better than any active treatment (i.e., medications, exercise, and other behavioral therapies) [3]. Therefore, clinicians should be aware that meditation programs can result in minor to moderate reductions in a variety of negative dimensions of psychological distress. Therefore, clinicians should be prepared to discuss with their patients the potential benefits of a meditation program to address psychological stress. Based on the author’s clinical experience, the present paper aims to conceptually analyze the theory regarding psychological functioning and action mechanisms in how mindfulness meditation works.

IMPLICATIONS OF MINDFULNESS MEDIATION

For more than two millennia, mindfulness meditation has been practised in the East [4], as well as currently, a growing number of people are seeking health recovery treatments with a holistic approach to the human being [5]. In my experience, I noticed that many of my patients asked for meditation to empty their minds. But in reality, the mind will never be empty.
Although, when resources are not fully available, such as psychiatric medication and professional psychotherapy, meditation could be effective as a fast, immediate, and short-term psychobehavioral therapeutic intervention model, particularly during an emergency or humanitarian crisis [6], because it is simple, easy, and non-harmful, and patients can learn and practice it whenever and wherever they have mental and psychological disturbances. Nevertheless, it enhances the mental health and well-being of aid workers in humanitarian settings because it has the power to build resilience on the field and beyond [7].

THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ACTION MECHANISM OF MINDFULNESS MEDIATION

Meditation is a method of uncovering unconsciousness; I have observed from my patients that meditation functions in a way similar to the inhibitory and excitatory mechanisms of neurons, blocking pathogenic thoughts and emotions that access the unconscious to the conscious mind (awareness). Meanwhile, in the absence of the effects of meditation, the path between both minds will be open (excitatory) after a few hours or days of practicing meditation. Therefore, unconscious suppressed psychological complexes will be stimulated and released more negative psychological dimensions from the unconscious and subconscious into the consciousness. Therefore, the problems will be relapsing and recurrent because we hypothesised that the transition from the unconscious to the conscious mind would be rapid and vivid right after practising the first session of meditation. However, according to Hoffer [8], meditation, like the free association technique, could be used to facilitate the emergence of unconscious material and allow integration at a higher (more cognitive) level of consciousness.

FURTHER RECOMMENDATIONS

Meditation research continues to advance, allowing us to better understand how meditation works and its effects [9]. Although further research is needed to determine the psychotheoretical mechanism of how meditation works, the current conceptual hypothesis presented in this study might be helpful.

CONCLUSION

To conclude, long-term implementation of mediation may be more effective than short-term and interruptive implementation, as it can blur the transparent boundary between unconscious and conscious minds until the point of processing and clearing all pathogenic thoughts and emotions from the unconscious mind and blocking the transition, and this obviously depends on the individual and the severity of distress. However, this theoretical concept is based on clinical experience, but more research is needed to provide stronger evidence.

Notes

Availability of Data and Material

Data sharing not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analyzed during the study.

Conflicts of Interest

The author has no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

Funding Statement

None

REFERENCES

1. Tang YY, Hölzel BK, Posner MI. The neuroscience of mindfulness meditation. Nat Rev Neurosci 2015;16:213-225.
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2. Ngô TL. [Review of the effects of mindfulness meditation on mental and physical health and its mechanisms of action]. Sante Ment Que 2013;38:19-34. French.
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3. Goyal M, Singh S, Sibinga EM, Gould NF, Rowland-Seymour A, Sharma R, et al. Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med 2014;174:357-368.
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4. Manuello J, Vercelli U, Nani A, Costa T, Cauda F. Mindfulness meditation and consciousness: an integrative neuroscientific perspective. Conscious Cogn 2016;40:67-78.
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5. Sampaio CV, Lima MG, Ladeia AM. Meditation, health and scientific investigations: review of the literature. J Relig Health 2017;56:411-427.
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6. Chung SC, Hunt J. Meditation in humanitarian aid: an action research. Lancet 2016;388(Special issue 2):S36
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7. Ye H, De S. Thermal injury of skin and subcutaneous tissues: a review of experimental approaches and numerical models. Burns 2017;43:909-932.
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8. Hoffer A. Psychoanalysis as a two-person meditation: free association, meditation and Bion. Am J Psychoanal 2020;80:331-341.
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9. Brandmeyer T, Delorme A, Wahbeh H. The neuroscience of meditation: classification, phenomenology, correlates, and mechanisms. Prog Brain Res 2019;244:1-29.
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