Social Rejection Hurts
Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps. Brain activation changes. Reduced Social Distress and Social Anxiety.
Social rejection can have a myriad of negative outcomes. Social rejection, exclusion, and isolation affects a person’s emotional, mental, and physical health as well as their interpersonal relationships.
Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MCBT)
Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MCBT) has been scientifically proven to have beneficial effects for many psychological, emotional, behavioral, and physiological illnesses.
Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioral Therapy offers effective emotion, cognitive, and behavioral strategies.
MCBT buffers against the distress and pain of social rejection.
A new scientific study finds a significant link between MCBT strategies and reduced social distress in the brain imaging of individuals who had MCBT.
Researchers found there was less activation in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex of the brain. This brain region is known to assist in the “top-down” inhibitory regulation of both physical and social forms of pain.
Individuals who were trained in MCBT strategies also had brain images that showed less functional communication between the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and two brain regions that help generate the experience of social distress—the amygdala and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex.
Individuals who have learned MCBT strategies are not as distressed or hurt by social rejection.
Functional brain image results suggest that MCBT individuals’ social adaptive responses to rejection is that they do not excessively recruit (i.e. overload) the “top-down” inhibitory brain regions to inhibit social distress. Rather, MCBT individuals use more “bottom-up” emotional-strategies that prevent social rejection from being distressing in the first place.
Interventions such as MCBT help socially isolated individuals, and individuals who feel rejected (e.g. social anxiety) or exclusion may benefit from this biological and mechanistic scientific information.
Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioral Therapy continues to demonstrate beneficial effects across the board for many psychological, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and physiological presentations.
Mindful individuals are not as distressed by social rejection. Mindful individuals appear to successfully regulate distressing emotions by not using effortful, inhibitory processes that suppress their feelings of social pain.
This is important because the use of “top-down” suppressive emotional regulation is known to backfire. Suppressive emotional regulation is linked with poor emotion related outcomes.
Mindful Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
MSCT includes training individuals to:
♦ explore the organic origins of their emotions,
♦ explore the organic origins of their cognitions,
♦ explore the organic origins of their behavioral responses,
♦ learn to cope with intra-personal stress triggers
♦ learn to cope with inter-personal stressors effectively
The study “When Less is More: Mindfulness Predicts Adaptive Affective Responding to Rejection via Reduced Prefrontal Recruitment” will be published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.