Mindfulness refers to the practice of purposely bringing one’s attention in the present moment without judgment.



Mindfulness is a skill developed through meditation or other training.


Mindfulness derives from sati Buddhist traditions, and is based on Zen, and Tibetan meditation techniques.


Mindfulness practice used for: depression, stress reduction, anxiety, and in the treatment of drug addiction.


Programs widely used in schools, prisons, hospitals, veterans’ centers, aging, weight management, athletic performance, helping children with special needs, and as an intervention during the perinatal period.


Mindfulness techniques  are employed in psychology to alleviate mental and physical conditions, such as reducing depression, stress, and anxiety, and treatment of drug addiction.


Clinical studies have documented both physical- and mental-health benefits of mindfulness in healthy adults and children.


The mindfulness trait has been associated with higher levels of life satisfaction, agreeableness, conscientiousness, vitality, self esteem, empathy, sense of autonomy, competence, optimism, and pleasant affect. 


There is a positive relationship between mindfulness that is cultivated through practice of mindfulness-based interventions and psychological health.


The practice of mindfulness provides therapeutic benefits to people with psychiatric disorders, including moderate benefits to those with psychosis.


Studies indicate that rumination and worry contribute to a variety of mental disorders: mindfulness-based interventions can reduce both rumination and worry.


Mindfulness may be a preventive strategy to halt the development of mental-health problems.


Too much mindfulness can produce harmful effects: worsening anxiety in people with high levels of self-focus or awareness of their bodies or emotions.


Meditation may influence physical health, as the psychological habit of repeatedly dwelling on stressful thoughts increases the physiological activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, with the potential to lead to physical health related clinical manifestations.


Mindfulness meditation, which reduce  rumination, may alter these biological clinical pathways.


 Mindfulness may favorably influence the immune system/inflammation, which can impact physical health.


Mindfulness lowers activity of the default mode network of the brain, and contributes towards a lowered risk of developing conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


Mindfulness involves the process of developing the skill of bringing one’s attention to whatever is happening in the present moment.


Exercises designed to develop mindfulness meditation, include  self-observation and interoception, increasing  awareness of the body.


Mindfulness is usually beneficial to people with low self-awareness or low awareness of their bodies or emotional state.


Mindfulness can also be viewed as a means to develop self-knowledge.


Mindfulness involves the self-regulation of attention so that it is maintained on immediate experience, thereby allowing for increased recognition of mental events in the present moment. 


It also involves an orientation that is characterized by curiosity, openness, and acceptance.


Mindfulness includes understanding the present moment, how thoughts originate arise following input from the senses, the conditioned nature of thoughts, and other realizations.


Mindfulness attempts to gain wisdom, insight and to see things as they are.


It aims to stop the arising of disturbing thoughts and emotions, which arise from sense-contact.


In clinical psychology, mindfulness is defined as moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, characterized mainly by attention to thoughts and feelings without judging whether they are right or wrong. 


Mindfulness focuses the human brain on sensation experienced  at each moment, instead of on its normal rumination on the past or the future.


Therapy programs of mindfulness include: 


Mindfulness-based stress reduction


Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy


Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a psychological therapy designed to aid in preventing the relapse of depression, specifically in individuals with Major depressive disorder (MDD).


Mindfulness and meditation focus on becoming aware of all incoming thoughts and feelings and accepting them, but not attaching or reacting to them.


Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy suggests when a depressed person  become distressed, they return to automatic cognitive processes that can trigger a depressive episode.


Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy interrupts these automatic processes and alters to focus less on reacting to incoming stimuli, and instead accepting and observing them without judgment

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in persons depressed three or more times can reduce relapse rates by 50%.

Mindfulness-based pain management (MBPM) provides  specific applications for people living with chronic pain and illness.

Mindfulness is used in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a psychosocial treatment for treating people with borderline personality disorder. 


Mindfulness techniques include breathing exercises to increase awareness and non-judgmental acceptance of unpleasant and distressing thoughts and feelings as they occur in the present moment.


Mindfulness-based therapies are efficacious for a number of medical and psychiatric conditions, notably chronic pain, stress, anxiety and depression, substance abuse, and recurrent suicidal behavior


Mindfulness breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.

The use of mindfulness training, exercise or combination of both for significantly improving cognitive function in older adults is not supported by the evidence.

Allows self-regulation of behavior and mindfully engages focused concentration required for academic success.

The applications of mindfulness in schools are aimed at calming and relaxation of students and  to build compassion and empathy for others.


The application of mindfulness practices shows an improvement of students’ attention and focus, emotional regulation, creativity, and problem solving skills.


It is gaining popularity for its potential to improve students social, emotional, behavioral, and learning-related cognitive control, thereby improving academic outcomes.


Mindfulness can reduce hostility and mood disturbance, and improve self-esteem, reductions in anger, reductions in substance use, increased relaxation capacity, self-regulation and optimism, weight management, psychiatric conditions, heart disease, sleep disorders, cancer care, adult autism treatment, and other health-related conditions.

A mindfulness-based intervention is more effective for reducing chronic pain and opioid misuse than psychotherapy.

A Mindfulness intervention is as effective as first line medication for patients with anxiety disorders.

A meta-analysis on meditation research published in JAMA in 2014, found insufficient evidence of any effect of meditation programs on positive mood, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep, and weight, but found that there is moderate evidence that meditation reduces anxiety, depression, and pain. 


This study did not focus exclusively on mindfulness meditation, which is a significant limitation of this study.



Mindfulness has also been used to improve athletic performance, for children with special needs and their caregivers, insomnia, intervention for healthy aging, for managing dermatological conditions and intervention during pregnancy and the perinatal period.



Mindfulness meditation significantly attenuates physical pain.



Meditation also may allow modulation of pain, as functional magnetic resonance imaging shows their brains notice the pain, but does not get converted to a perceived pain signal: experiencing  up to 40�50% less pain.



Mindfulness meditation also appears to lead to increased telomere length.



Mindfulness meditation may work its effects in components of attention regulation, body awareness and emotional regulation.



Mindfulness meditation contributes to a more coherent and healthy sense of self and identity.



Neuroimaging techniques find mindfulness meditation are associated with changes in the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, temporo-parietal junction, fronto-limbic network and default mode network structures.



These functional and structural changes in the brain correlate with mindfulness-induced emotional and behavioral patterns.



Mindfulness meditation may prevent or delay the onset of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.



Mindfulness could influence genetic expression leading to a reduced risk of inflammation-related diseases and favorable changes in biomarkers.



Mindfulness changes grey matter density concentrations in brain regions that regulate emotion, self-referential processing, learning and memory processes.



Mindfulness-based stress reduction has been associated with improvement of the immune system, based on the correlation between stress reduction and increased quality of life.



Mindfulness-based stress reduction changes are a result of the thickening of the prefrontal cortex providing executive functioning, and hippocampus with learning and memorization ability, the shrinking of the amygdala altering emotion and stress response and the strengthening of the connections between brain cells.


Long-term meditators have larger foldings of the brain cortex, which may allow the brain to process information faster than people who do not meditate. 


There is a direct correlation  found between the amount of brain gyrification and the number of meditation years, suggesting the brain neuroplasticity, or its ability to adapt to environmental changes.


Long-term meditators have larger foldings of the brain cortex, which may allow the brain to process information faster than people who do not meditate. I


Feeling good increases mindfulness, and mindfulness increases feeling good.


Mindfulness can influence emotions such as disgust and promote abstract decision-making.


Risks of mindfulness have been attributed to effects of increasing fear and anxiety, panic and meltdowns after practicing, which could expose bipolar vulnerability or repressed PTSD symptoms.


Such negative effects of meditation are rare for mindfulness meditation, and occur due to a poor understanding of what actually constitutes mindfulness/meditation practices.


Mindfulness positive effects include, mood, quality-of-life, cognition, with mixed findings among older adults.



Mindfulness has promising improvement in mood and cognition in Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, depression, and anxiety.


It provides emotional regulation and enhances psychological health by improved attention awareness and control, reduced rumination, increased tolerance of affective distress,and builds cognitive reserve.

Mindfulness helps in the developmental abilities of the brain, acquired through education/occupation, life long learning and engagement in leisure activities, that allow individuals to cope with accumulating brain pathology and optimize daily functioning.


Mindfulness promotes structural and functional changes in brain regions implicated in intentional and emotional regulation.


Mindfulness interventions over weeks to months improves cognitive abilities in mild cognitive impairment, such as attention, cycle motor function, and aspects of memory.



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