hero image

University of Cambridge researchers have indicated that mindfulness courses can reduce depression, anxiety, and stress and increase mental wellbeing within certain non-clinical settings, but not all. The team established that mindfulness is similar to other practices for improving wellbeing and mental health.

Researchers establish that mindfulness can improve wellbeing

Usually, mindfulness is considered as awareness that comes from paying attention to resolve and non-judgemental to the telling moment by moment experience. In recent years it has increasingly become popular as a means of reducing stress levels and increasing wellbeing. For instance, in the UK, the National Health Service has been offering services based on mindfulness to treat mental health issues, including suicidal thoughts and depression. However, most people practicing mindfulness tend to learn their skills in community setups such as workplaces, universities, or private courses. It is important to note that there has been the frequent promotion of mindfulness-based programs as the go-to universal tool for reducing stress and increasing wellbeing that is available anywhere to everyone.

Several randomized trials have been conducted globally to assess whether mindfulness training can improve wellbeing and mental health, but findings have been varied. Research published in PLOS Medicine by the University of Cambridge Psychiatry Department researchers examined data from the randomized controlled trials. The systematic review allowed the team to bring together current and contradictory or underpowered trials to offer robust conclusions. Researchers identified 136 randomized trials on mindfulness training in the promotion of mental health. The studies included around 11,605 participants between 18 and 73 years across 29 countries, with 77% of them being women.

Practicing mindfulness reduces stress, depression, and anxiety

The research team established that mindfulness played a role in reducing depression, stress, and anxiety in most community settings compared to doing nothing. Equally, it increased the wellbeing of individuals. But, the findings show that in over 20 trial settings, mindfulness-based programs didn’t improve depression and wellbeing.

The report’s first author Julieta Galante said that mindfulness seems to be a better option than doing nothing for an average person and set up.