SMART is a structured program scientifically proven to decrease symptoms of stress and anxiety, and increase well-being, resilience, self-regulation, mindfulness, happiness, and positive health behavior. SMART addresses two aspects of human experience – attention and interpretation.
Research shows human attention instinctively focuses on threats and imperfections. Since a considerable amount of threat exists within the domains of the past and the future, attention inordinately gets engaged in the ruminative mind. The human brain has a default mode (dominated by default network) that hosts mind wandering. Scientists have recently uncovered that we spend half our day with a wandering mind. Excessive ‘dwell time’ in the default mode correlates with symptoms of anxiety, depression and attention deficit.
Human interpretations are guided by prejudices and principles. Invariant rigid biases that one is unwilling to renegotiate despite evidence to the contrary disengage the mind from the novelty of the present moment and increases reward (happiness) threshold. These biases prevent the individual from fully engaging with ‘what is.’
Instinctive functions of the brain and the mind thus lead to excessive thinking, ineffective efforts toward thought suppression, and avoidant response, all predisposing to stress and anxiety.