Meditations on Mindfulness

Mindfulness in Brain

How It Works: The Science of Meditation

There is a lot of talk these days about mindfulness meditation and its role in depression and anxiety. But what is it, really? And does it actually work? Let’s see what people are saying:

Is Mindfulness Good Medicine? (information from: Scientific American Mind; September/October 2014)

Mindfulness meditation can be defined as “maintaining attention on present experiences and adopting an attitude toward them characterized by curiosity, openness, and acceptance” (Scott Bishop; University of Toronto). Mindfulness has shown to be effective in relieving negative thoughts and anxieties instead of obsessing over them. A study in 2010, performed by Stefan Hofmann from Boston University showed that regular mindfulness meditation sessions helped to improve the symptoms of both anxiety disorders and major depressive disorders. However, other studies have shown that mindfulness meditation in people with anxiety is not significantly successful.

Presently, the evidence for mindfulness meditation as a treatment for mental illness shows the most promise toward reducing depression and preventing depression relapse. Studies have shown that mindfulness is particularly productive in individuals who have experienced three or more depressive relapses. It seems that mindfulness meditation has some serious potential, but that further investigation into the topic is needed to fully understand what that potential may be.

Update: Men’s Health pointed out the negative effects that can result from meditation. This is an article discussing contrasting views of meditation as a treatment for mental illness.
mental health meditation

Some information on the topic:

National Alliance on Mental Health:

Reasons Why Mindfulness Meditation is Good for Your Mental and Physical Health (Huffington Post):

Video: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life; Jon Kabat Zin

Mindfulness As A Career Strategy


Meditation Videos:

CALM Space: Mindfulness


4 thoughts on “Meditations on Mindfulness

  1. Mindfulness can also make depression worse. It is far too worshipped these days as a panacea. Any new therapy or coping strategy always makes people excited and hopeful that it will solve everyone’s problems.

    Unfortunately there is no silver bullet.

    Read my negative view on mindfulness:

    I know you are aware of the negative side too which is why i follow your blog. Most people can’t see that there’s another side.

    Mindfulness feels more special than it is because it comes from the mysterious East with it’s rich history of spirituality. It isn’t magical, it’s just a very basic technique. I’ve been practising mindfulness for quite a few years now and I’ve researched it a lot. I’ve also just finished a year long mindfulness course. I’ve come away thinking that it’s not all that great. Ok but not great.

    Just like a lot of people worship CBT when it isn’t as efficacious as people make out. The Dodo Bird Verdict is the elephant in the room.


    • So true! There are benefits and risks for every treatment. It depends on the individual and with every new process of treatment one needs to check in with oneself and ask “how is this affecting me?” Because nothing works for everyone. Just because a doctor or an article says something SHOULD work doesn’t mean it WILL. and that is perfectly okay! Thanks for sharing that contrasting view. It’s really important to see every side.

      Liked by 1 person

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