Mindfulness promotes health and wellbeing- a review

Health and wellbeing are necessary elements to increase and maintain person’s productivity and satisfaction with life. Wellbeing is not just an absence of illness. It contains different factors of an individual’s physical, psychological and social health. Pollard and Davidson (2001) define wellbeing as “a state of successful performance across the life course integrating physical, cognitive and social emotional function” and health is defined by the WHO (1978): “Health is the state of complete physical, mental, social and spiritual well- being, and not merely an absence of disease or infirmity”. Practicing mindfulness serves the best way of dealing with stress, low mood, depression, anxiety that can sometimes disturb our health, performance, and quality of life. Mindfulness is just about paying attention to what’s happening here and now with a non-judgemental attitude. Jon Kobat Zinn (1979) defines mindfulness as paying attention in the present momentand nonjudgmentally. Mindfulness helps interrupt habits of getting lost in thoughts, about the future or past, which creates stress and disturbs everyday life. Research evidence shows that mindfulness can be an effective tool in the dealing many mental and physical health issues, as well as generally improving our performance, relationships, and well-being. Mindfulness training has tremendous power in improving our health.  The present research is an attempt to review different studies related to mindfulness and its impact on health and wellbeing. Review revealed that mindfulness meditation offers powerful health and wellbeing benefits.


Mindfulness is described as non-judgmental, present-centred consciousness about thought, sensation, and feeling and accepting as it is. Langer and Moldoveanu (2000) define mindfulness as an increased or heightened state of awareness about the individual’s surroundings. Mindfulness is a meditation practice, where a person learns to perceive both internal state and external environments without attachment. Mindfulness meditation originated from the Eastern Buddhist meditation practice. Techniques included in mindfulness trainingare body scan, awareness of breath, eating, walking meditation. Mindfulness meditation uses relaxation practice and mental training for improving physical and psychological health. Different mindfulness interventions techniques like mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) purpose is not to modify  person’s  thought as cognitive therapy does , but to help people become more aware about thoughts (Shapiro, Astin, Bishop, & Cordova, 2005).

 MINDFULNESS AND HEALTH

Mindfulness-based stress reduction shows positive results for women with breast cancer in reducing individual warning sign of tiredness and mood disorder (Carlson and Garland, 2005), and worry, sadness, anger, and misperception (Speca, Carlson, Goodey, &Angen, 2000). Carlson, Speca, Patel, & Goodey, (2003) in their study results indicated that the Mindfulness-based stress reduction program has progressive effects on the sleep quality of cancer patients. A study demonstrated the efficiency of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction with minor modifications as a smoking intervention. The result demonstrated that intervention was positively related with smoking abstinence and decreases in stress Davis, Fleming, Bonus, & Baker, (2007). Shapiro & Biegel, (2007) proven that mindfulness-based stress reduction technique reduces stress and improve attention. Roberts and Danoff-Burg (2010) studied how mindfulness and health behaviours related to college students, as well as studied how stress mediating these effects. The resultof the study proven that mindfulness practicing helps in a decreasing stress, which contributes to increase positive health perceptions and health behaviors for example binge eating, sleep quality, and physical activity. Mindfulness was positively influencing the psychological well-being of people (Carmody & Baer, 2008). Kumar, Feldman, & Hayes (2008) pointed out that it helps in decreasing avoidance and thoughts processes. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program improves the health and well-being of individuals with diabetes. Whitebird, Kreitzer,& O’Connor.(2009). Cordon, Brown, and Gibson (2009) provided evidence that mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention helps in a decrease in perceived stress for persons. Broderick and Metz (2009) the mindfulness therapy improves the attention, emotional regulation and reduces stress and cultivate the feeling of self-assurance in the phase of uncomfortable feelings. Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) for breast cancer survivors are powerful for decreasing person signs of despair, apprehension, and improvement in quality of life (QOL) (Lengacher et al., 2009, 2010).Goodman & Schorling (2012) Mindfulness-based interventions have the ability to function in lowering stress and burnout. Mindfulness-based stress reduction associated with significant enhancements in burnout scores and mental well-being for a vast variety of healthcare companies. A study conducted by Keyworth et al., (2014) to learn about the adequacy and efficiency of a meditation and mindfulness based intervention using patients of diabetes and chronic heart disease (CHD). After a six-week intervention course there is significant reduction in worries and thought suppression in diabetes and CHD patients. Day et al., (2014) Study was conducted to investigate feasibility, tolerability, acceptability, and preliminary estimates of the efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for headache. End result demonstrated that (MBCT) group sufferers pronounced extensively more development in self-efficacy and pain acceptance for headache. A study on Chinese breast cancer survivors demonstrated that mindfulness based stress reduction improve post-traumatic growth and reduction in pressure and anxiety (Zhang, Zhou, Feng, Fan, Zeng, & Wei, 2017). A  study of young breast cancer survivors proven that females who’re skilled in  mindfulness techniques have been more likely to experience improved self-kindness, decreased pressure (Boyle, Stanton, Ganz, Crespi, & Bower, 2017). A study on mindfulness training and physical health: mechanisms and outcomes conducted to know-how relationships among mindfulness interventions and bodily fitness The result of the study suggested that mindfulness interventions can improve pain management (Creswell, Lindsay, Villalba, & Chin 2019).

MINDFULNESS AND WELLBEING

A study conducted to understand the relationship between mindfulness, self-compassion, meditation experience, and psychological well-being. The findings proposed that mindfulness and self-compassion have significant effects on meditation experience and well-being (Baer, Lykins, & Peters, 2012).Brow& Ryan (2003) Study shows that both dispositional and state mindfulness anticipate self-managed conduct and positive passionate states. Bishop et al. (2004) proposed that mindfulness meditation practice has a constructive impact on working memory and focused attention tasks. Study on the effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Therapy demonstrate that MBSR is compelling  for decreasing  pain and improving well-being of people with a variety of medicinal and psychological issues (Baer,2003; Bishop, 2002; Grossman, Niemann, Schmidt, & Walach, 2004). Mindfulness training positively effects the physical and mental health of the adult such as reducing mood and anxiety disorders, distress, and blood pressure (Ospina 2007). Raes,  Dewulf, Van Heeringen, & Williams, (2009) noted that mindfulness training significantly linked with psychological benefits and reduced cognitive reactivity. Research conducted by Hargus et al., 2010;  Williams, Teasdale, Segal, & Soulsby, 2000 proven that Mindfulness exercise diminishes over-preferred factual memory, which related to expanded severity of despair (Kuyken & Brewin, 1995). The result of another study indicated that mindfulness-based therapy has a positive impact while used to treat stress, anxiety, depression (Khoury et al., 2013). Mindfulness-based interventions are helpful to improve disturbing symptoms and develop emotional control (Chiesa &  Serretti, 2009; Grossman, Niemann, Schmidt, & Walach, 2004; Lutz et al., 2014).Another mindfulness-based intervention learns to breathe the program was administered to a group of first-year students in college to help them better cope and improve emotional well-being. The study discovers that there was a progressive impact on the students’ life satisfaction and reduction in their levels of anxiety and depression as well (Dvorakova et al., 2017).

CONCLUSION

The present study compiles the research review related to the mindfulness promotes health and wellbeing. In mindfulness, attention is needed for the awareness of inner experiences that occur at each instance, by considering an approach of non-judgemental attitude (Hart, 1987; Kabat-Zinn, 2003). Wellbeing is related to the happiness level of a person and how a person satisfied with his/her life. Proper practices lead to the improvement of emotional regulation and self-regulation of attention (Hart, 1980. Lazar, Kerr, & Wasserman et al. (2005) stated that proper practice of meditation influenced structural modifications in a subset of cortical regions in areas of somatosensory processing and attention regulation. Mindfulness is an effective tool to manage your wellbeing and emotional health. A study conducted by Shapiro, Astin, Bishop, & Cordova (2005) provided evidence that mindfulness training course is able enough to lead an improved satisfaction with life. Improvement could happen because of enhanced self-management, acceptance of distressing experience, less worry about life situations and strengthened links to goals and values (Baer, 2003).The study conducted by Rosenzweig et. al (2003) to study the efficiency of the Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) intervention for medical students to enhance coping skills and decrease emotional misery. Data collected based on pre and post-testing. Results reveal that Mindfulness intervention is powerful stress reduction intervention.

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