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What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness meditation is a traditional Buddhist practice. It is now commonly taught as a practice helpful in the management of a variety of mental health conditions. This information handout describes the key principles mindfulness.

What Is Mindfulness? is an information sheet describing the key principles of the practice of mindfulness meditation practice (‘mindfulness’). Mindfulness meditation is a practice that psychologists have borrowed from the Buddhist tradition. Mindfulness exercises can help people to experience themselves differently, and to experience a different relationship to their thoughts. Mindfulness is an important component of therapeutic models such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Mindfulness has been demonstrated to help a wide variety of conditions including feeling-states such as anxiety and depression, and physical conditions such as chronic pain or illness. This information sheet contains a simple introduction to mindfuless further illustrated by a number of helpful quotations.

This is a Psychology Tools information handout. Suggested uses include:

  • Client handout – use as a psychoeducation resource
  • Discussion point – use to provoke a discussion and explore client beliefs
  • Therapist learning tool – improve your familiarity with a psychological construct
  • Teaching resource – use as a learning tool during training
  • Baer, R. A. (2003). Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: A conceptual and empirical review. Clinical psychology: Science and practice, 10(2), 125-143.
  • 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(4), 822.
  • Gu, J., Strauss, C., Bond, R., & Cavanagh, K. (2015). How do mindfulness-based cognitive Therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction improve mental health and wellbeing? A systematic review and meta-analysis of mediation studies. Clinical psychology review, 37, 1-12.
  • van der Velden, A. M., Kuyken, W., Wattar, U., Crane, C., Pallesen, K. J., Dahlgaard, J., … & Piet, J. (2015). A systematic review of mechanisms of change in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in the treatment of recurrent major depressive disorder. Clinical psychology review, 37, 26-39.

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