ACES Too High News takes an in-depth look at new findings by Temple University researchers showing that mindfulness techniques can help children who have poorer physical and mental health due to experiences of abuse and neglect.
A psychiatrist tells ACES Too High News that the study was important “because the results provide hope that people who have experienced abuse, neglect and other trauma in their childhoods and don’t have mindfulness can learn a technique that can be easily taught at low cost.”
“Many people think of mindfulness as sitting around and saying ‘Ommmm,’ writes ACES Too High News. “There’s actually more to it, and it’s worth explaining. People who aren’t mindful don’t regulate their own emotions very well. Situations that trigger traumatic memories may cause people who aren’t mindful to lose focus on what’s happening currently, and lead them to make snap judgments and have knee-jerk reactions of anger, frustration, or fear, which can further the spread of stress and trauma. They also ruminate on situations they can’t control, and can’t let go. And they may not even be conscious that they’re doing any of this. They just think it’s part of their personality.”
“My perspective as a neuroscientist is on how brain function can be altered,” one neuroscientist tells ACES Too High News. “That’s why I’m so excited about the research. Now I want to know if we can reactivate plasticity in someone who has had a significant number of [adverse childhood experiences], and increase compensatory mechanisms to live a better life and be more mindful.”
Mindfulness protects adults from physical, mental health consequences of childhood abuse, neglect (ACES Too High News, September 15, 2014)