Recently, a lot of people, experiencing anxiety and/or depression, prefer non-pharmacologic and conventional practices, which are easy to reach and apply and have no severe side effects, such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi. In addition, there is increased attention to the effectiveness of those practices in the scientific area (3). Meditation-based practices are taken into consideration as helpful ways to reduce anxiety and distress in people (4).
Mindfulness is based on to increase one’s attention to his or her internal and external experiences at the moment without judging them, and accept them as they are (5). When it is practiced correctly, it can lead to the development of cognitive skills, such as acceptance, meta-cognition, and objectivity (6,7). In addition, dysfunctional and negative self-referential thinking plays an important role in the etiology of anxiety and mood disorders so mindfulness practices are intended to develop experiential self-reference, thereby, reduce self-referential ruminations that lead to a decrease in depressive, anxiety and pain symptoms (8).
One of the mostly used meditation practices is mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). It is ‘a standardized practice, which aims to increase mindfulness through meditation by systematically focusing attention on each part of the body in sequence, practicing gentle Hatha yoga, and participating in group discussion’ (3).
- Saeed, S. Y. A., Antonacci, D. J., & Bloch, R. M. (2010). exercise, yoga, and meditation for depressive and anxiety disorders. Am Fam Physician, 81(8), 981-986, 987.
- Bazzan, A. J., Zabrecky, G., Monti, D. A., & Newberg, A. B. (2014). Current evidence regarding the management of mood and anxiety disorders using complementary and alternative medicine. Expert Rev. Neurother, 14(4), 411–423.
- Schreiner, I., & Malcolm, J. P. (2008). The benefits of mindfulness meditation: Changes in emotional states of depression, anxiety, and stress. Behaviour Change, 25, 156-168.
- Baer, R. A. (2003). Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: A conceptual and empirical review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 125–143.
- Hayes, S. C. W., & Kelly, G. (2003). Mindfulness: Method and process. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 161–165.
- Marchand, W. R. (2012). Mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and zen meditation for depression, anxiety, pain, and psychological distress. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 18(4), 233-252.