By: Kelly D'Souza
Mindfulness has a well-known effect on adaptive psychological functioning. On one hand, it reduces psychological symptoms and emotional reactivity, and on the other hand, it enhances regulation of behaviour (Keng et al, 2011). The foundation of mindfulness lies in accepting the moment-to-moment experience from a non-judgmental stance. The state of awareness that is developed through mindfulness techniques works against suppressing or repressing one’s emotions. This process reduces psychological distress (Hayes & Feldman, 2004; Kabat-Zinn, 1990).
Research indicates a negative correlation between mindfulness and depression and social anxiety. It also indicates a positive correlation with self-autonomy, agreeableness, optimism, competence, and pleasant affect (Brown & Ryan, 2003). People who have subscribed to mindfulness have also reported an increase in self compassion and overall well-being (Baer et al., 2008).
While mindfulness emphasizes acceptance of an experience, it does not promote excessive preoccupation with an experience. It enables an individual to have control over which experience the person attends to (Cardaciotto, Herbert, Forman, Moitra, & Farrow, 2008). It is known to reduce stress because it gives the mind a break from overly attending to an experience from the past or future.
There are many additional benefits to mindfulness. Speak to our mindfulness instructor to learn more!
Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., Lykins, E., Button, D., Krietemeyer, J., Sauer, S., et al. (2008). Construct validity of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire in meditating and nonmeditating samples.
Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 822–848.
Cardaciotto, L., Herbert, J. D., Forman, E. M., Moitra, E., & Farrow, V. (2008). The assessment of present-moment awareness and acceptance: The Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale. Assessment, 15, 204–223.
Keng, S.L., et al. (2011). Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: A review of empirical studies, Clinical Psychology Review.