Sure, “mindfulness” sounds like a nice enough thing. But are its benefits real? We’ve compiled some of the latest scientific findings. For instance, did you know that office workers who practiced Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for twenty minutes a day reported an average 11% reduction in perceived stress.
Good stuff. And there’s more after the jump.
More recent findings about mindfulness practice’s efficacy:
- University of New Mexico researchers found that participation in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course decreased anxiety and binge eating.
- Eight weeks of MBSR resulted in an improvement in the immune profiles of people with breast or prostate cancer, which corresponded with decreased depressive symptoms.
- A prison offering Vipassana meditation training for inmates found that those who completed the course showed lower levels of drug use, greater optimism, and better self-control, which could reduce recidivism.
- Fifth-grade girls who did a ten-week program of yoga and other mindfulness practices were more satisfied with their bodies and less preoccupied with weight.
- A mix of cancer patients who tried MBSR showed significant improvement in mood and reduced stress. These results were maintained at a checkup six months later.
- The likelihood of recurrence for patients who had experienced three or more bouts of depression was reduced by half through Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and offshoot of MBSR.
- After fifteen weeks of practicing MBSR, counseling students reported improved physical and emotional well-being, and a positive effect on their counseling skills and therapeutic relationships.
You’ll find these factoids on page 69 of our current “Guide to Mindful Living” issue, where they appear as a sidebar to Dan Siegel, MD’s feature article “The Science of Mindfulness.”
For more on how to apply mindfulness to every aspect of your life, visit our special new page, The Mindful Society.