Mindfulness Research

Learn more about mindfulness and see the proof that it works. This research is just a small handful of the research that was the inspiration for our product. We only included research that’s available without an academic license.

Being in the moment later? Testing the inverse relation between mindfulness and procrastination

“This study examined the longitudinal association between mindfulness and procrastination. A total of 339 Chinese college students participated for four time points, with each time point spanning six months apart. Initial findings based on a cross-lagged panel model suggested an inverse relation between mindfulness and procrastination over time. These findings inform practitioners the importance of cultivating mindfulness as a means to reduce procrastination. Likewise, reducing individuals’ tendency to procrastinate can also promote mindful behaviors.”


Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Anxiety and Depression

“This article reviews the ways in which mindfulness practices have contributed to cognitive and behavioral treatments for depression and anxiety. Research on mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) has increased rapidly in the past decade. The most common include mindfulness-based stress reduction and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. MBIs are effective in reducing anxiety and depression symptom severity in a range of individuals. MBIs consistently outperform non-evidence-based treatments and active control conditions, such as health education, relaxation training, and supportive psychotherapy. MBIs also perform comparably with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). The treatment principles of MBIs for anxiety and depression are compatible with standard CBT.”


The effect of mindfulness meditation on sleep quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

“To assess for relative efficacy, comparator groups were restricted to specific active controls (such as evidenced-based sleep treatments) and nonspecific active controls (such as time/attention-matched interventions to control for placebo effects), which were analyzed separately. From 3303 total records, 18 trials with 1654 participants were included. We determined the strength of evidence using four domains (risk of bias, directness of outcome measures, consistency of results, and precision of results). At posttreatment and follow-up, there was low strength of evidence that mindfulness meditation interventions had no effect on sleep quality compared with specific active controls (ES 0.03 (95% CI -0.43 to 0.49)) and (ES -0.14 (95% CI -0.62 to 0.34)), respectively. Additionally, there was moderate strength of evidence that mindfulness meditation interventions significantly improved sleep quality compared with nonspecific active controls at postintervention (ES 0.33 (95% CI 0.17-0.48)) and at follow-up (ES 0.54 (95% CI 0.24-0.84)).”


Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on employees’ mental health: A systematic review

“Based on our analysis, the strongest outcomes were reduced levels of emotional exhaustion (a dimension of burnout), stress, psychological distress, depression, anxiety, and occupational stress. Improvements were found in terms of mindfulness, personal accomplishment (a dimension of burnout), (occupational) self-compassion, quality of sleep, and relaxation.”


Mindfulness meditation for workplace wellness: An evidence map

“In total, 175 systematic reviews met inclusion criteria. Reviews included a variety of mindfulness-based interventions. The largest review included 109 randomized controlled trials. The majority of these addressed general health, psychological conditions, chronic illness, pain, and substance use. Twenty-six systematic reviews assessed studies conducted in workplace settings and with healthcare professionals, educators, and caregivers. The evidence map shows the prevalence of research by the primary area of focus. An outline of promising applications of mindfulness interventions is included.”


Mindfulness‐ and acceptance‐based interventions for anxiety disorders: A systematic review and meta‐analysis

“Nineteen eligible studies were found. Meta‐analysis of within‐group pre‐ to post‐treatment effects yielded overall Hedges’g effect sizes of 1.08 for anxiety symptoms and 0.85 for depression symptoms. For controlled studies, overall between‐group Hedges’g was 0.83 for anxiety symptoms and 0.72 for depression symptoms. Moderator analyses examined whether intervention type, design, treatment dosage, or patient sample was associated with systematic variation in effect sizes. No significant moderating effects were found on the variables examined, apart from an observed superiority in effect size for clinical trials on samples of patients with mixed anxiety disorders.”


Mindfulness and human occupation: A scoping review

“The qualitative thematic analysis identified an overarching theme of mindful occupation, with 5 sub-themes including occupational presence; occupational awareness; occupational engagement; occupational well-being; and occupational fulfillment. The findings have important implications for practice, education, theory and research. Future directions should focus on more depth and breadth of empirical research about mindful engagement in human occupation that can be used to implement and evaluate mindfulness in occupation-based theory and practice.”


Home practice in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: A systematic review and meta-analysis of participants’ mindfulness practice and its association with outcomes

“For this systematic review and meta-analysis, searches were performed using Scopus and PubMed for studies published through to the end of 2015, reporting on formal home practice of mindfulness by MBSR or MBCT participants. Across 43 studies (N = 1427), the pooled estimate for participants’ home practice was 64% of the assigned amount, equating to about 30 minutes per day, six days per week [95% CI 60-69%]. There was substantial heterogeneity associated with this estimate. Across 28 studies (N = 898), there was a small but significant association between participants’ self-reported home practice and intervention outcomes (r = 0·26, 95% CI 0·19,-0·34). MBSR and MBCT participants report completing substantial formal mindfulness practice at home over the eight-week intervention, albeit less than assigned amounts. There is a small but significant association between the extent of formal practice and positive intervention outcomes for a wide range of participants.”


Efficacy of the Mindfulness Meditation Mobile App “Calm” to Reduce Stress Among College Students: Randomized Controlled Trial

“Calm is an effective modality to deliver mindfulness meditation in order to reduce stress and improve mindfulness and self-compassion in stressed college students. Our findings provide important information that can be applied to the design of future studies or mental health resources in university programs.”


The impact of mindfulness-based interventions on brain activity: A systematic review of functional magnetic resonance imaging studies

“The aim of this systematic review was to assess changes in brain functioning associated with manualised 8-session mindfulness interventions. Searches of PubMed and Scopus databases resulted in 39 papers, 7 of which were eligible for inclusion. The most consistent longitudinal effect observed was increased insular cortex activity following mindfulness-based interventions. In contrast to previous reviews, we did not find robust evidence for increased activity in specific prefrontal cortex sub-regions. These findings suggest that mindfulness interventions are associated with changes in functioning of the insula, plausibly impacting awareness of internal reactions ‘in-the-moment’.”


Effects of mindfulness meditation on mindfulness, mental well-being, and perceived stress

“Mindfulness meditation uniformly and independently improved the participants overall mental health. The data supports a feasible option for minimizing stress and maintaining mental well-being in a demanding professional program. This study encourages students in pharmacy schools to adopt these practices in their curriculum.”


The effects of mindfulness-based interventions on cognition and mental health in children and adolescents

“This meta-analysis reinforces the efficacy of using MBIs for improving the mental health and wellbeing of youth as assessed using the gold standard RCT methodology. Future RCT evaluations should incorporate scaled-up definitive trial designs to further evaluate the robustness of MBIs in youth, with an embedded focus on mechanisms of action.”


The Many Roads to Mindfulness: A Review of Nonmindfulness-Based Interventions that Increase Mindfulness

“Analysis of the characteristics of non-MBIs with significant increases in mindfulness levels suggested some commonalities between MBIs and non-MBIs, shedding light on a spectrum of mindfulness-related interventions and the possibility that there are many roads to developing mindfulness.”


Mindfulness in Motion (MIM): An Onsite Mindfulness Based Intervention (MBI) for Chronically High Stress Work Environments to Increase Resiliency and Work Engagement

“The intervention is well received with 97% retention rate. Work engagement and resiliency increase significantly in the intervention group, compared to the wait-list control group, while participant respiration rates decrease significantly pre-post in 6/8 of the weekly sessions. Participants value institutional support, relaxing music, and the instructor as pivotal to program success. This provides evidence that MIM is feasible, well accepted, and can be effectively implemented in a chronically high-stress work environment.”


Six-year positive effects of a mindfulness-based intervention on mindfulness, coping and well-being in medical and psychology students; Results from a randomized controlled trial

“At six-year follow-up, students receiving mindfulness training reported increased well-being. Furthermore, they reported greater increases in the trajectory of dispositional mindfulness and problem-focused coping along with greater decreases in the trajectory of avoidance-focused coping. Increases in problem-focused coping predicted increases in well-being. These effects were found despite relatively low levels of adherence to formal mindfulness practice. The findings demonstrate the viability of mindfulness training in the promotion of well-being and adaptive coping, which could contribute to the quality of care given, and to the resilience and persistence of health care professionals.”


The importance of workers who practice mindfulness and meditation

“The studies’ findings revealed that mindfulness had a positive effect on the relationship between age and subjective well-being in working adults, and by practicing mindfulness, workers can improve their well-being as they age. The authors also suggest that the positive correlation between age and well-being may be because as people age, their focus is more on the present and less on the future. In addition, the authors found positive relationships between age and vitality, work and family, psychological health, and satisfaction with life in people who were more mindful.”


Further Research & Resources

Mindfulness meditation tips from the Department of Homeland Security

CDC research on mindfulness practices in the United States

American Mindfulness Research Association (AMRA) – Includes all up-to-date research