In the most extensive review to date, a meta-analysisby Sin and Lyubomirsky (2009) of 51 (non-organisational) PPI’s suggests PPI’s doindeed signi?cantly enhance well-being (mean r5.29) and decrease depressivesymptoms (mean r5.31). Moreover, a recent literature review of PPI’s in anorganisational context suggest they are a promising tool for enhancing employeewell-being and performance, while also tending to diminish stress and burnoutand to a lesser extent depression and anxiety (Meyers, Woerkom & Bakker,2013).
This review of 15 studies incorporating PPI into the organisationalcontext, suggest this this intervention serves as a useful, cost-effective,non-invasive tool in terms of improving organisational performance through enhancedemployee well-being. However, the literature remains sparse and more researchis needed in an organisational setting. Unfortunately, empirical evidencesupporting the supposed beneficial effects for employees and organizationsremaining sparse, inhibits individuals from implementing positive psychologypractices (Cameron, Mora, Leutscher, & Calarco, 2011).MindfulnessIn recent years, there has been an emergence of a newclass of ‘wise’ interventions, which are more ordinary, brief, and more precise(Walton, 2014). Walton, (2014) suggests they aim, simply, to alter a specificway in which people think or feel in the normal course of their lives to helpthem flourish.
To understand them, it is essential that one consider how interventionschange not a moment in time (“a snapshot”) but a process that unfolds over time(“a movie”) (as cited in Walton, 2014, p.76). This is where mindfulness comesin.
A characteristic of consciousness that has long beenassociated with well-being is mindfulness (Brown & Ryan, 2003). Mindfulnessis a 2600-year-old meditation technique derived from Buddhist practice. NyanaponikaThera, delineated mindfulness as “the unfailing master key for knowing the mindand is thus the starting point; the perfect tool for shaping the mind, and isthus the focal point; and the lofty manifestation of the achieved freedom ofthe mind, and is thus the culminating point” (as cited in Kabat-Zinn, 2015,p.1481). Variousdelineations of mindfulness have been proposed that largely reflect thepreference to either distance or align contemporary mindfulness-basedinterventions (MBIs) with their Buddhist and spiritual roots (Shonin & VanGordon, 2016). Anexample of the latter is proposed by Shonin and Van Gordon who define mindfulnessas the “process of engaging a full, direct, and active awareness of experienced phenomena that is (i) spiritual in aspect, and (ii) maintained from one moment to the next” (2015,p. 900). According to Noguchi (2017) in the current conceptualization,mindfulness is defined as seeing things as they are moment by moment withoutany judgment.
In this framework, attention/awareness, acceptance, an ability todescribe, and non-reactivity may not be the core of mindfulness, but merelyrepresentative of important facets leading to end-state mindfulness (Noguchi,2017).Brown & Ryan (2003) suggest mindfulness isdifferent from other modes of mental processing, for example, emotionalintelligence, as described by Salovey, Mayer, Goldman, Turvey, and Palfai(1995) or wakefulness, as described by Langer (1989). Mindfulness directedinward as a mode of functioning is perceptual or “pre-reflexive,” operating on,rather than within, thought, feeling, and other contents of consciousness(Brown & Ryan, 2003). Rather than generating mental accounts about theself, mindfulness “offers a bare display of what is taking place” (Shear , 1999, p. 204). While some authors argue that mindfulness an attributeof consciousness; an inherent human capacity which varies between individuals(Brown & Ryan, 2003; Brown, Ryan, Loverich, Biegel, & West,2011), others contradict this arguing it is a naturally occurring trait (Cresswell,Eisenberger & Lieberman, 2010; Lakey, Campbell, Brown & Goody, 2007).Grossman and Van Dam (2011) contends that mindfulness is a multifacetedactivity which requires direct, long-term practice in order to be cultivated,involving a complexity of cognitive, emotional and social interplay.
Goldstein (2013)describes it as a quality of mind that notices what is present withoutjudgment, without interference. If mindfulness is an innate quality of the mind,therefore, it is suggested it can be refined through systematic practice. In adopting a positive psychology standpoint, andviewing mindfulness from the latter transitional perspective, it permits anunderstanding of mindfulness as a method to promote well-being and relievesymptoms of suffering. Garland, Gaylord and Fredrickson (2011) offer anoteworthy alternative, advocating mindfulness is a mode rather than a trait,with individuals differing in willingness to use this capacity.
MindfulnessInterventionsWilliam James (1911/1924) was not sanguine about theusual state of consciousness of the average person, stating “Compared to whatwe ought to be, we are only half awake” (p. 237). Jon Kabat-Zinn (1982, 1990)was first to introduce mindfulness practices into western culture, in order tomakes its benefits more readily accessible to those from non-Buddhistbackgrounds. Clinical psychologists and medical practitioners have turned to anumber of different forms of mindfulness-based psychological interventions inorder to treat an array of disorders.
These include Mindfulness-Based StressedReduction (MBSR; Kabat-Zinn, 1982) which was initially designed to treatmedical patients, Mindfulness based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT; Segal, Williams,& Teasdale, 2002) which integrates components of mindfulness meditation andcognitive behavioural therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT; Linehan,1993), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Hayes & Wilson, 1994). Thisline of research has led to promising data suggesting mindfulness-basedinterventions are effective for treatment of both psychological and physicalsymptoms (Shapiro, Carlson, Astin & Freedman, 2006). For example, MBCT has beenshown effective in reducing clinical symptoms and relapses in patients with psychiatricdisorders (Baer, 2003; Chiesa & Serretti, 2010). Several studies suggestingthat MBSR is an effective intervention for treatment of both psychological andphysical symptoms (Baer 2003; Bishop 2002; Grossman, Niemann, Schmidt, , 2004). Additionally, some researchers have examined MBI’s as a stressreduction technique in nonclinical populations (Chiesa & Serretti, 2010;Delmonte, 1990). Mental health benefits include decreased anxiety (e.
g., Biegel,Brown, Shapiro, & Schubert, 2009), depression (e.g., Foley, Baillie,Huxter, Price, & Sinclair, 2010), stress (e.g., Branstrom, Kvillemo,Brandberg, & Moskowitz, 2010), psychological distress (e.g.
, Foley et al.,2010), and overall psychological symptoms (e.g., Carmody & Baer, 2008).Mechanismsthrough which the Interventions WorkWhile the majority of mindfulness literature focuseson evaluating the effectiveness of mindfulness training and interventions, itis also crucial to understand the mechanisms through which these interventionswork. Ryan & Deci (2000) advocate that mindfulness may be important indisengaging individuals from automatic thoughts, habits, and unhealthybehaviour patterns and thus could play a key role in fostering informed andself-endorsed behavioural regulation, which has long been associated withwell-being development. Brown and Ryan (2003) suggest by adding clarity andvividness to experience, mindfulness may also contribute to well-being andhappiness in a direct way. Although there is considerable agreement thatmindfulness improves self-regulation (Glomb et al.
, 2011), the goal is to digmore deeply into the processes by which this occurs. Shapiro, Carlson, Astinand Freedman (2006), propose a model of mindfulness based on three axioms orcomponents; intention, attention and attitude (IAA). This model suggests thatintentionally (I) attending (A) with openness and in a non-judgmental way (A)leads to a significant shift in perspective, which authors termed re-perceiving(Shapiro et al., 2006). Re-perceiving is a meta-mechanism of action, whichoverarches additional direct mechanisms of (1) self-regulation, (2) valuesclarification, (3) cognitive, emotional, and behavioral flexibility, and (4) exposure(Shapiro et al., 2006). According to Grabovac, Lau and Willett (2011), beyondthis there are numerous models each positing one or more mechanism of change:cognitive mediators, such as metacognitive awareness (Teasdale et al. 2002),de-centering (Fresco et al.
2007), defusion (Fletcher and Hayes 2005), anddecreased rumination (Deyo et al. 2009); attentional mediators, such asmodulation of attentional focus (Carmody 2009) through focused attention oropen monitoring (Lutz et al. 2008); and neurobiological mediators, such asneuro-functional changes (Fletcher et al. 2010; Lutz et al. 2008). Togetherthese models further our understanding of specific aspects of mindfulness-basedintervention (MBI), while highlighting the complexity of the individualizedchange process resulting from participation in MBIs.
Existing research haslacked a coherent theoretical framework that explains why and how mindfulnessmight impact employee performance and well-being. This study aims to fill thatvoid.MindfulnessIntervention in the WorkplacePerhaps most pertinent to this study, Glomb, Duffy,Bono and Yang (2011) present model linkingmindfulness to its outcomes, via a series of core and secondary mental andneurobiological processes. The authors identify two core mental processes andone core neurobiological process that are affected by mindfulness: (a) adecoupling of the self (i.e., ego) from events, experiences, thoughts, andemotions; (b) a decrease in automaticity of mental processes in which pastexperiences, schemas, and cognitive habits constrain thinking; and (c)increased awareness and regulation of physiological systems (Glomb et al.,2011).
Glomb et al., (2011) suggest mindfulness-based practiced are thought toenhance employee functioning through an additional seven secondary processes.These include decreased rumination, greater empathy, enhanced responseflexibility, greater affective regulation, improved self-determination andpersistence, greater accuracy in affective forecasting and finally, increasedworking memory.
The literature in the work environment is sparse,however initial research evaluating efficacy of interventions has gatherednotable findings. Studies have varied in the type of intervention theyadminister. The Shambhala Sun Foundation (2010) has initiated a mindfulnesstraining programme for leaders in General Mills, yielding significant findings,suggesting participants have experienced dramatic improvement of listeningattentiveness and decision-making quality (General Mills, 2010). Hulshegar(2013) examined the effects of two types of mindfulness intervention onemotional exhaustion and job satisfaction in the workplace.
Both a daily diarystudy and self-training mindfulness exercise significantly decreased emotionalexhaustion and increased job satisfaction, which subsequently relate to taskperformance, burnout, turnover and absenteeism. In a study by Aikens, Astin,Pelletier, Levanovich, Park and Bodner (2014), implementing an onlinemindfulness intervention of Dow Chemical Company employees, results indicatedthat the mindfulness intervention group had significant decreases in perceivedstress as well as increased mindfulness, resiliency, and vigor. Wolver et al.,(2012) found higher levels of engagement and less attrition in online versionsof mindful intervention in comparison to face-to-face mindfulness basedprogrammes. It is evident why these interventions are beginning to gainconsiderable interest from occupational psychologists as an easily accessiblemethod of improving well-being in a corporate setting.
Extant research hasshown that focusing on positive aspects of work, positive emotions related tothat work and the meaningfulness of the work being done, encourage cultivationof personal resources (Fredrickson, 2001; Garland et al., 2010; Seligman &Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).PositivePsychology Aims in MindfulnessWhat is the power of such practices to promotewell-being and human flourishing? In terms of integrating mindfulness intopositive psychology, very few studies have based mindfulness programsexplicitly on positive psychology aims of fostering well-being and striving forindividual flourishing. However, sparse existing studies suggest significantresults. Ivtzan et al., (2016) implemented an online Positive MindfulnessProgramme on a non-clinical sample, which included daily videos, activities andmeditation practices resulting in lasting improvement in all well-beingmeasures 1 month later. This included measures of self-compassion, positiveemotions, happiness, meaning and autonomy, leading the authors argue that PPI’sand mindfulness enrich one another in a cyclic process which enhance botheudemonic and hedonic well-being (Ivtzan et al., 2016).
In clinical populationswith heterogeneous diagnoses, mindfulness treatment has improved psychologicalwell-being (Branstrom et al., 2010; Carmody & Baer, 2008), overallwell-being (for review, see Chiesa & Serretti, 2010), sleep quality (Biegelet al., 2009; Roth & Robbins, 2004), and overall quality of life (Chiesa& Serretti, 2010; Foley et al., 2010; Ljotsson et al.
, 2010). Innonclinical populations, positive effects of mindfulness meditation includereduced negative affect (Sears & Kraus, 2009; cf. Delgado et al.
, 2010),increased hope of goal achievement (Sears & Kraus, 2009), positive emotionsand life satisfaction (Fredrickson et al., 2008), overall well-being(Falkenstrom, 2010), and social connectedness (Hutcherson, Seppala, , 2008). When it comes to positive mindfulness intervention in theworkplace, the literature is almost non-existent. EmotionRegulationAs mentioned previously, there is considerableagreement that mindfulness improves self-regulation (Glomb et al., 2011). Itmay be suggested emotional regulation is pertinent in line with mindfulness andits relational positive outcomes.
Emotion regulation refers to a processwhereby “individuals modify their emotional experiences, expressions, andphysiology and the situations eliciting such emotions in order to produceappropriate responses to the ever-changing demands posed by the environment”(Aldao, 2013, p. 155). Gross (1998) advocates that it is based upon howindividuals influence their own emotions when they arise and how they learn toexpress and experience them. This may be especially true for those who have amindful state of conscious, as they are aware of the emotions being experiencedand observe them without judgment (Brown et al., 2007; Glomb et al., 2011; Rebet al.
, 2013)According to Gross & John (2003) individuals differ in their use of emotion regulationstrategies such as reappraisal and suppression, and these individualdifferences have implications for affect, well-being, and social relationships. Authors suggest reappraisers experience and expressgreater positive emotion and lesser negative emotion and those using suppressionand reappraisal is associated with better interpersonal functioning, and isrelated positively to well-being. According to Aldao, Nolen-Hoeksema andSchweizer (2010) although there are various emotion regulation strategies ofsuppression, acceptance, avoidance and rumination, reappraisal has beenconsistently identified as the most effective.
According to Gross (1998) processmodel of emotion regulation, emotion may be regulated at five points in theemotion generative process: (a) selection of the situation, (b) modification ofthe situation, (c) deployment of attention, (d) change of cognitions, and (e)modulation of responses. Reappraisal is an antecedent-focused strategy because oneintervenes before an emotion has been fully generated, and hence, canefficiently alter the entire subsequent emotional experience (Gross & John2003). Strategies that act early in the emotion-generative process have adifferent profile of consequences than strategies that act later on (Gross,2002). According to Gross (2002) reappraisal decreases emotion experience and behavioralexpression, and has no impact on memory, whereas suppression decreasesbehavioral expression, but fails to decrease emotion experience, and actuallyimpairs memory.The majority of literature on the topic has focused onimpaired emotion regulation capacities in clinical samples. For example,authors suggest thatindividual differences in emotion regulation may relate to vulnerability andresilience to anxiety and mood disorders (Campbell-Sills & Barlow, 2007).
However, there is escalating interest in the possibility of regulating positiveemotions and well-being in the workplace. Emotion can be seen as a deviationfrom what is seen as sensible, linked to the expressive arenas of life, not tothe instrumental goal orientation that drives organizations (Putnam and Mumby,1993). However, emotion pervades in organisations. Research in line withpositive organizational psychology is sparse, however suggests that regulationof emotions in response to organisational stressors as well as workplaceinteractions can result in positive functional outcomes when adoptingreappraisal strategies as opposed to other cognitive diminishing strategies(Lawrence et al., 2011).
By regulating emotions, ideal levels ofemotion dynamics are achieved in order for emotions to react to the variety ofenvironmental and work demands (Aldao, 2013). MindfulEmotion RegulationHow is emotion regulation linked to mindfulness?Research in both emotion regulation and mindfulness is quite new, however, eachof these concepts appear to have notable links with personal well-being. Tang,Holzel and Posner (2015)suggests some of the mainneurocognitive mechanisms implicated in mindfulness meditation includeattention control, emotion regulation, and self-awareness.Interestingly, for the MBIs clinical programs, thecentral aim is to target dysfunctional strategies of emotion regulation, whichare claimed to drive the maintenance and recurrence of these disorders (Guendelman,Medeiros & Rampes, 2017). In this sense, the claim is that mindfulnessmight re-establish emotion regulation capacities, which leads to symptomaticand clinical recovery (Guendelman, Medeiros & Rampes, 2017).
A limited number ofempirical studies have investigated the role of mindfulness in enhancingemotion regulation strategies. A path analysis by Coffey, Hartman andFredrickson (2010) supported the stance that mindfulness (including the factors”present-centered attention” and “acceptance of experience”), through clarityabout one’s own experience, improves the ability to deal with negativeemotions. The authors also found that clarity about experience was negativelycorrelated to rumination and psychological distress, and positively related toflourishing (Coffey etal., 2010). Chiesa, Anselmi and Serretti (2014) suggest mindfulness basedinterventions may increase self-compassion, while reducing ruminative thinkingand experiential avoidance through enhancing emotion regulation strategies. Authorssuggest these changes are, in turn, associated with several clinical benefitsincluding the reduction of stress and depression levels, as well as theenhancement of positive emotions (Chiesa, Anselmi & Serretti, 2014). Grecucci, Pappaianni, Siugzdaite Theuninck and Job (2015)attempt to explain this relationship in relation to the neurocognitiveprocesses behind mindful emotion regulation. The authors suggest thatmindfulness skills for beginners are formed through top-down cognitive emotionregulation mechanisms, thus its cultivation and benefits depend on practice.
Finally, Garland,Gaylord & Fredrickson (2011) suggest that positive reappraisal andmindfulness serially and mutually enhance one another in stress-reductionthrough an upward spiral mechanism. Scholars suggest that mindfulnessnot only facilitates positive reappraisal, but a positive feedback spiralbetween the two processes should result in reciprocal enhancement of bothstrategies (Pogrebtsova, Craig, Chris, O’Shea and Gonzalez-Morales,2017).Although the current literature provides a frameworkof how mindfulness influences emotion regulation, there isvery sparse research to date that combines these two concepts in well-beinginterventions. A recent pilot study by Pogrebtsova, et al., (2017) evaluated a5-day Mindful Positive Reappraisal diary intervention in a sample of universitystudents.
This was one of the first published studies of its kind in combining mindfulnessand reappraisal strategies. Comparedto reappraisal-only, the mindful-reappraisal group reported overall lower dailynegative affect and marginally higher daily positive affect over the 5-dayintervention (Pogrebtsova, 2017). According to Pogrebtsova (2017) brief dailypractice combining mindfulness and positive reappraisal can be trained as aself-regulatory resource to promote positive affect and buffer negative affectabove and beyond reappraisal practice alone. PsychologicalDetachment Grecucci et al., (2015) suggest whilst cognitivereappraisal plays a significant role in mindfulness, we have highlightedevidence that shows that it is the stance of intimate distancing that is uniqueto mindfulness in enabling emotional regulation and that it is this uniquemethod that is especially enhanced in experienced meditators. Psychologicaldetachment is described as an “individual’s sense of being away from the worksituation” (Etzion, Eden & Lapidot, 1998, p.579). Sonnentag & Fritz(2007) explore this concept of being mentally disengaged from work, notoccupied by work related duties or taking work related phone-calls.
While thereis burgeoning interest in the concept of work engagement, it is equallyimperative to maintain the power to disengage. Employees who report the abilityto psychologically detach during leisure time have been found to experiencesuperior well-being in terms of better mood (Sonnentag & Bayer, 2005) andreduced levels of burnout (Etzion et al., 1998).Hulsheger et al.
, (2014) discovered a positiverelationship between mindfulness and psychological detachment after work,suggesting mindfulness interventions may assist the maintenance of a healthyworkforce and support sustainable employment. The extant research in this areafocuses on reducing stress and burnout, thus, research in terms of aidingrecovery remains limited. RuminationRuminationas a mediator between borderline features and mindfulness deficits, indicatingthe maladaptive role of rumination as a regulatory strategy (Selby et al.,2016). Glomb et al (2011)Controllingfor Job Strain and Psychological CapitalAlthough the evidence for mindfulness is compelling,we also recognize that much of the existing literature has been conductedoutside the work environment, with little attention to the contextual featuresof work (Glomb et al., 2011). Thus, the generalizability of current researchfindings to employees in organizations is uncertain.
Authors suspect thatmindfulness may be easier to cultivate in certain occupations or organizationalcontexts (Glomb et al., 2011). For these reasons, it is thought imperative to controlfor job strain. One might argue that mindfulness is diametrically opposed toorganizational cultures that value working fast, multitasking, and being hyperbusy.
There are a number of interesting questions to ask. What would anorganizational culture that promotes mindfulness look like? How do people enterinto mindful states at work? Do certain conditions in the work environment makea mindful state more likely? Accordingto the stressor–detachment model, “emotional and quantitative demands should beassociated with decreased psychological detachment after work, which in turn isassociated with decreased well-being (i.e., low positive affect and highnegative affect) at bedtime” (Haun, Nubold and Bauer, 2018, p.)It may also be that optimal practices for each ofthese outcomes vary for different individuals (Glomb et al., 2011).
A study byMalinowski and Jia Lim, results confirm that self-reported mindfulness predictswork engagement and general well-being. Furthermore, these relationships aremediated by positive job-related affect and psychological capital (hope,optimism, resiliency, and self-efficacy). (Malinowski & Jia Lim, 2015).Extant literature suggests levels of psychological capital mediate the effectsof intervention (). CHAMBERS?ThePresent Study