What Facets of Mindfulness Contribute to Psychological Well-being and Depressive, Anxious, and Stress-related Symptomatology?
Since the 1980s, mindfulness techniques have been increasingly utilized in clinical psychology, often as an adjunct to cognitive or behavioral interventions and with a growing evidence base. According to a five-facet operationalization, mindfulness is a capacity to (a) observe, (b) describe, and (c) act with awareness of present moment experience, with a (d) nonjudgmental and (e) nonreactive attitude. The aim of this study was to identify which of the five facets of mindfulness predicts psychological well-being and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress in a community sample comprising nonmeditators and experienced meditators. Participants were recruited from meditation organizations (Vipassana and Zen) as well as undergraduate psychology students (N = 106). Participants completed a Web-based questionnaire assessing mindfulness, psychological symptoms, and well-being. A higher degree of the nonjudgmental aspect of mindfulness was found to predict lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress-related symptomatology. A higher degree of the act with awareness of present moment experience aspect of mindfulness was found to predict lower depressive symptomatology. Improved knowledge of the relationship between specific facets of mindfulness and specific psychological symptoms may improve intervention development and the clinical use of mindfulness.
KeywordsMindfulness Meditation Depression Anxiety
- Carmody, J., & Baer, R. (2008). Relationships between mindfulness practice and levels of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms and well-being in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 31, 23–33.Google Scholar
- Easterlin, B. L., & Cardena, E. (1998). Cognitive and emotional differences between short- and long-term Vipassana meditators. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 18(1), 69–81.Google Scholar
- Hayes, S. C. (1984). Making sense of spirituality. Behaviorism, 12, 99–109.Google Scholar
- Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. G. (1999). Acceptance and commitment therapy: An experiential approach to behavior change. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- International Wellbeing Group. (2006). Personal wellbeing index (Manual). Melbourne: Deakin University, Australian Centre on Quality of Life.Google Scholar
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living: Using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness. New York: Delacorte.Google Scholar
- Langer, E. J. (1991). Mindfulness: Choice and control in everyday life. London: Harvill.Google Scholar
- Linehan, M. M. (1993). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of borderline personality disorder. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Lovibond, S. H. (1983). The nature and measurement of anxiety, stress and depression. Paper presented at the 18th Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society.Google Scholar
- Lykins, E. L. B., & Baer, R. A. (2007). Psychological functioning in a sample of long-term practitioners of mindfulness meditation. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy. In Press.Google Scholar
- Thera, N. (1962). The heart of Buddhist meditation. London: Rider.Google Scholar