Mindfulness

The most widely used definition of mindfulness comes from Jon Kabat-Zinn:
"Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally."
(From Wherever You Go, There You Are – Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life, page 4, Hyperion, 2005)

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 Mindfulness and different forms of mindfulness-based interventions has been investigated scientifically since the late 1970's. Research has shown a number of positive effects, including:

• Reduced stress
• Increased immune function
• Decreased pain
• More positive emotions
• Reduced risk of depression relapse
• Less anxiety
• Increased social connection and emotional intelligence
• Changes in the brain's structure and function
• Increased grey matter
• Increased volume in areas related to emotion regulation, positive emotions and self-control
• Improved ability to regulate emotions
• Improved memory
• Increased focus and attention
(Source where you can find links to each study: Psychology Today 2013-09-11)
Between 1980 and 1990, there were just a few studies on mindfulness. Around the millennium shift both the funding for and the research on mindfulness-based interventions started to grow exponential. In 2015 alone 674 studies were undertaken.

 goAMRA Publications by year 2015

Mindfulness journal publications by year, 1980-2015. The blue lines show results from a search of the term “mindfulness” in the ISI Web of Science Database. The figure is published with kind permission by David S Black at the American Mindfulness Research Association (goAMRA.org).