Even if mental health was defined in term of an absence of illness, it has recently become changing in a more holistic way (1). It is recently defined in regard to having positive qualities that help people to keep healthy. The new and broader definition has led to the studies about meditation and mindfulness techniques, which have been intended to expand human potential. Mindfulness has three components: (a) intention-knowing why and what we are doing; (b) attention-attending the present moment; and (c) attitude-how we pay attention, enabling us to be more open, curious, and kind. It helps the practitioners to increase empathy, compassion, awareness, and insight (2).
It was noticed that emotional health was more than only being optimistic. Emotionally and mentally healthy individuals are defined as the ones having a sense of contentment, the ability to handle with stress, a sense of meaning and aim in life, the ability to balance the parts of life, the capability to establish and maintain relationships, high levels of self-esteem, and the flexibility to learn and adapt (3).
Accepting thoughts, feelings and emotions without any judgment help the person to deal with experiential avoidance. There is a positive relationship between acceptance and well being, improved mental health and personal effectiveness. Mindfulness has some similarities with the concept of acceptance because it also supports openness and welcoming of psychological content (emotions, feelings, thoughts, ruminations, etc.) without a judgment. In a study conducted with police officers, it was stated that recruits who were more mindful and better at identifying their feelings and thoughts are more likely to have lower levels of depression and increased mental health (4).
A study showed that heartful meditation helps health providers to improve their burnout and increase their emotional wellness (5). Additionally, transcendental meditation is also found as helpful to improve psychological wellness, and to decrease mental and physical tension (6).
- Seligman, M., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55, 5-14.
- Shapiro, S. L., Carlson, L. E., Astin, J. A., & Freedman, B. (2006). Mechanisms of mindfulness. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62, 373-386.
- The Help Guide (2016). Improving emotional health: Strategies and tips for good mental health. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/improving-emotional-health.htm.
- Williams, V., Ciarrochi, J., & Deane, F. P. (2010). On being mindful, emotionally aware, and more resilient: Longitudinal pilot study of police recruits. Australian Psychologist, 45(4), 274-282.
- Thimmapuram, J., Pargament, R., Sibliss, K., Grim, R., Risques, R., & Toorens, E. (2017). Effect of heartfulness meditation on burnout, emotional wellness, and telomere length in health care professionals. Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives, 7(1), 21-27.
- Hjelle, L. A. (1974). Transcendental Meditation and Psychological Health. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 39(1), 623-628.