What Facets of Mindfulness Contribute to Psychological Well-being and Depressive, Anxious, and Stress-related Symptomatology?

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Koa Whittingham.

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Cash, M., Whittingham, K. What Facets of Mindfulness Contribute to Psychological Well-being and Depressive, Anxious, and Stress-related Symptomatology?. Mindfulness 1, 177–182 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-010-0023-4

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Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety