Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction of San Antonio
                                                 VitaLife Insight 

Mindfulness Research

On this page you will find:
  • An abbreviated list of some of the research findings on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness & Meditation 
  • A brief paragraph on a new, interesting research finding
  • Links to easy-to-read articles on mindfulness
  • A list of some of the research articles on mindfulness
  • Information on the impact of MBSR on Work
What does the Research on Mindfulness Say?

Recent research is documenting the truth behind these assertions and contemporary neuroscience shows that mindfulness practice changes the structure of our brains.  The benefits physical, emotional, cognitive, and relational (yes, even relationships can improve through mindfulness). 

The words medicine and meditation arise from the same Latin root word “mederi’ which means “to cure”.

Research has demonstrated improvements in the following areas:

  • Stress (health/financial/job/school/relationships)
  • Anxiety/Panic/Depression
  • Chronic Pain/Fatigue/Headaches
  • Sleep disturbances
  • High blood pressure
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms/cholesterol levels
  • Menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes
  • Immune response
  • Addiction relapse prevention
  • Age-related brain atrophy
  • Fibromyalgia/Psoriasis
  • Ability to Focus and Pay Attention
  • Creativity
  • Perception and Memory
  • Strength of Self-Concept
  • Productivity
  • Improved Relationships                                                                                                     

                                                                           Research demonstrates that MBSR helps to reduce stress                                                                                                                      and anxiety...but initially, it made be stressful to carve out                                                                                                             the time to meditate.                                                     

            Take your time, a little at a time, building up time                                                                 You'll be Glad you did!


With cancer patients, what type of person decides to participate in an MBSR program?

Individuals looking for (and interested in) meaning in their lives express interest in attending MBSR programs, irregardless of ethnic background, according to researchers 
Stainken, Garland, and Mao (2014).

However, not all facilities or localities offer MBSR and, even if they do, there is great variety in the background of the instructors. 

Additional questions might include:
- What resources are there for individuals interested in attending MBSR classes in a particular location?
- Is there a central registry where one can look for an instructor?
- How does one choose an MBSR program or instructor?
- Are all classes (and all instructors) equal in quality?
- What is the difference between MBSR and other forms of mindfulness training?

A few links to easy-to-read articles are provided below:


Mindfulness for Military

Mindfulness for Leaders


Meditation Replacing Detention in Elementary Schools

Mindfulness Reducing Back Pain

Meditation as Medicine

Healing Body and Mind!


Toward a Second Generation of Meditation Interventions

Brain and Immune Function Changed through Meditation

Meditative Moment for Depression and Anxiety

LovingKindness Meditations and Positive Emotions


Cover of Time Magazine - The Mindful Revolution

Meditation Benefits: Pain-Relieving Powers Of This Practice (VIDEO)

Mindfulness and Addiction

Mindfulness Study for Soldiers & Veterans to Manage Stress

Mindfulness for Depression may also reduce visits to the Doctor

Mindfulness at Work - Happier Employees

Mindfulness with Elite Athletes

Mindfulness and Attention Disorders


The Science of Meditation and Why It Makes You Feel Better

New York Times Address Mindfulness

Mindfulness and Compassion

Mindfulness and Learning (GRE Scores)

Mindfulness Arrives in the Workplace

Teaching Veterans Virtually


Marines studying mindfulness-based training

Mindfulness Meditation integration into a Military Community

Meditation may be more effective in warding off cold and flu than vitamins

Why Mindfulness Meditation Makes Us Healthier

Meditation isn’t just for hippies anymore

How to Best Help Alzheimer’s Caregivers? Teach Them Mindfulness


Neurological Basis of Meditation 

Rewiring the Brain to Ease Pain

Mindfulness: Potent Medicine for Easing Physical Suffering

2010 and older:

 Integrative Oncology: Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness or Medication: Who Will Beat Insomnia?

Meditation Found to Increase Brain Size


A few articles are provided below, but there are numerous peer review articles available, as well as a large number of texts -- far more than can be listed here.

Barnhofer, T., Chittka, T., Nightingale, H., Visser, and Crane, C.  (2010).  State Effects of Two Forms of Meditation on Prefrontal EEG Asymmetry in Previously Depressed Individuals.  US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.  Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2987525/

Bernhard, J., Kristeller, J. and Kabat-Zinn, J. 1988).  Effectiveness of relaxation and visualization techniques as a adjunct to phototherapy and photochemotherapy of psoriasis. J. Am. Acad. Dermatol, 19, 572-73.

Davidson, et al.  (2003).  Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by Mindfulness Meditation.  Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, 564-570.

Grossman, P., Niemann, L., Schmidt, S., and Walach, H.  (2004).  Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: A meta-analysis.  Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 57(1), 35-43.

Hofmann, S.G., Sawyer, A.T., Witt, A.A., Oh, D.  (2010).  The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology,78(2),169-183.

Conclusions: These results suggest that mindfulness-based therapy is a promising intervention for treating anxiety and mood problems in clinical populations.

Kabat-Zinn, J.  An out-patient program in Behavioral Medicine for chronic pain patients based on the practice of mindfulness meditation:  Theoretical considerations and preliminary results. Gen. Hosp. Psychiatry (1982) 4:33-47.

Kabat-Zinn, J., Lipworth, L. and Burney, R. The clinical use of mindfulness meditation for the self-regulation of chronic pain. J. Behav. Med. (1985) 8:163-190.

Kabat-Zinn, J., Lipworth, L., Burney, R. and Sellers, W.  Four year follow-up of a meditation-based program for the self-regulation of chronic pain:  Treatment outcomes and compliance. Clin.J.Pain (1986) 2:159-173.

Kabat-Zinn, J. and Chapman-Waldrop, A.  Compliance with an outpatient stress reduction program: rates and predictors of completion.   J.Behav. Med. (1988) 11:333-352.

Kabat-Zinn, J., Massion, A.O., Kristeller, J., Peterson, L.G., Fletcher, K., Pbert, L., Linderking, W., Santorelli, S.F.  Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Am. J Psychiatry (1992) 149:936-943.

Massion, A.O., Teas, J., Hebert, J.R., Wertheimer, M.D., and Kabat-Zinn, J. Meditation, melatonin, and breast/prostate cancer: Hypothesis and preliminary data. Medical Hypotheses (1995) 44:39-46.

Miller, J., Fletcher, K. and Kabat-Zinn, J. Three-year follow-up and clinical implications of a mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Gen. Hosp. Psychiatry (1995) 17:192-200.

Massion, A.O., Teas, J., Hebert, J.R., Wertheimer, M.D., and Kabat-Zinn, J. Meditation, melatonin, and breast/prostate cancer: Hypothesis and preliminary data. Medical Hypotheses (1995) 44:39-46.

Miller, J., Fletcher, K. and Kabat-Zinn, J. Three-year follow-up and clinical implications of a mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Gen. Hosp. Psychiatry (1995) 17:192-200.

Ockene, J., Sorensen, G., Kabat-Zinn, J., Ockene, I.S., and Donnelly, G.  Benefits and costs of lifestyle change to reduce risk of chronic disease.  Preventive Medicine, (1988) 17:224-234.

Ockene, J.K., Ockene, I.S., Kabat-Zinn, J., Greene, H.L., and Frid, D. Teaching risk-factor counseling skills to medical students, house staff, and fellows. Am. J. Prevent. Med. (1990) 6 (#2): 35-42.

Saxe, G., Hebert, J., Carmody, J., Kabat-Zinn, J., Rosenzweig, P., Jarzobski, D., Reed, G., and Blute, R.  Can Diet, in conjunction with Stress Reduction, Affect the Rate of Increase in Prostate-specific Antigen After Biochemical Recurrence of Prostate Cancer?  J. of Urology, In Press, 2001.

Teasdale, et al., (2000).  Prevention of Relapse/Recurrence of Major Depression by Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 4, 615-623.


MBSR and Work

    - Increases in mindfulness are associated with increases in creativity and decreases in burnout (Langer, Heffernan,            and Kiester, 1988).
    - An increase in mindfulness has been associated with increased productivity in businessmen (Park, 1990).
    - Individuals who 'self-studied' mindfulness experienced less emotional exhaustion and more job satisfaction                      (Hülsheger, et al., 2013).
    - Individuals with higher ratings in mindfulness also report a better work-family balance, better sleep, and more                   vitality (Allen & Kuburz, 2012).
- An abbreviated mindfulness-based stress reduction program reduced stress and heightened mindfulness (Klatt et                                                al., 2009).

 Zivnuska and colleagues research "results supported the full research model, suggesting that mindfulness at work is an important antecedent to resource accrual, well-being, and organizational attitudes. Mindfulness at work exerted direct and indirect effects on turnover intentions and affective commitment." 

Suzanne Zivnuska K. Michele Kacmar Merideth Ferguson Dawn S. Carlson , (2016) "Mindfulness at work: resource accumulation, well-being, and attitudes", Career Development International, Vol. 21 Iss: 2, pp.106 - 124.

2. Hülsheger and colleagues (2013) demonstrated that individuals who studied mindfulness experienced significantly less emotional exhaustion and more job satisfaction than those in a control group (who did not study mindfs). 

2. Individuals who 'self-studied' mindfulness experienced less emotional exhaustion and more job satisfaction 

Hülsheger, Ute R.; Alberts, Hugo J. E. M.; Feinholdt, Alina; Lang, Jonas W. B. (2013). 
Benefits of mindfulness at work: The role of mindfulness in emotion regulation, emotional exhaustion, and job satisfaction. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 98(2), Mar 2013, 310-325.

3. Allen and Kiburtz () investigated mindfulness and individuals work-family balance finding that those with greater mindfulness also  reported a greater work–family balance, better sleep quality, and greater vitality (p<.05). As stated by the authors: This finding provides initial support for our contention that the enhanced self-regulation that comes with mindfulness may enable individuals to experience satisfaction and effectiveness within each role. Another unique contribution of our study is that we demonstrate that the process by which trait mindfulness relates to workfamily balance is through enhanced sleep quality and vitality. Individuals more predisposed to mindfulness tend to experience greater sleep quality and vitality, which in turn relate to greater workfamily balance. 

Allen, T.D. and Kiburz, K.M. (2012).Trait mindfulness and work–family balance among working parents: The mediating effects of vitality and sleep quality. Journal of Vocational Behavior 80, 372–379.

4. A study by Klatt and colleagues examined an abbreviated program designed after Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR). While an MBSR class consists of a 2 1/2 hr class, once a week for 8 weeks, with an all day silent retreat and 45 min of daily meditation homework, their training consisted of a 1 hr class, once a week for 6 wks, with 20 min of daily meditation homework. Research volunteers were faculty and administration from a university, who were randomized into the abbreviated program and wait-list control groups. Their results demonstrated significant reductions in perceived stress (p = .0025) and increases in mindfulness (p = .0149) for those attending the abbreviated mindfulness group (22 volunteers), but not for the control group. No significant improvements for the mindfulness group vs. the control group were seen for sleep quality or salivary cortisol. The portions of the training that participants deemed the most helpful were the 20 minute CD, the weekly sessions, and breathing awareness. The authors concluded that this abbreviated training was helpful for decreasing stress and "present-centered awareness".

BOTTOM LINE: Self-reported perceived stress and self-reported mindfulness decreased as a result of the mindfulness stress reduction program. Since mindfulness was being taught, it would be expected that this would change over time. Stress was also reduced.  It is unclear which portions of the training (meditation, mindful movement - hatha yoga, group discussion, or traditional stress management instruction) contributed to the reduction of perceived stress.

Klatt, M.D., Buckworth, J., and Malarkey, W.B. (2009). Effects of low-dose mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR-ld) on working adults. Health Educ Behav , 36 (3), 601-614.

5.  The goal of this research was to explore the usefulness of Samarpan meditation with individuals who worked for, or were associated with Ashridge. This research had three groups: Gp 1 meditated daily for 45 days, Gp 2 undertook an activity they were not used to doing, but one that required little higher cognitive activity (walking, knitting, etc.) for 30 minutes/day for 45 days and Gp 3 served as a control and did not change their daily schedule in any meaningful way for 45 days. Participants completed surveys on general health, sleep, personality, completed a life satisfaction wheel, and kept a journal. Although 53% of those in Gp 1 had meditated previously, 90% voiced benefits after 45 days compared with 52% from Gp 2 (authors did not include such a measure for Gp 3). Gp 1 listed the following benefits: 61% - ‘feeling of calm’, 30% - ‘enjoyed leaving everything and having time to themselves’. 22% - related to improved sleep, and 22%cited ‘having a different perspective’. No such listing was provided for Gp 2 or Gp 3. Journal entries were analyzed, as were life wheel reports, but again, only Gp 1 was included in the report. Journal word analysis for Gp 1 showed participants reporting feeling calmer (71%), more relaxed (64%), peaceful (42%), and having clearer thoughts (26%) (although not mentioned by the authors, one might assume these comparisons were with pre-participation feelings).  The majority of participants also felt their meditation experience was stronger when meditation in a group (with each other) (68%). Gp 1 demonstrated a significant increase in their life satisfaction wheel with contentment, self-esteem, home, health, finances, relationship with their partner, friends, and family when comparing their pre/post information (no statistics were presented and no information on Gp 2 or Gp3 were shown). Finally, Gp 1 participants reported more incidences of family members noting changes in them, particularly in terms of their being more calm. While this study left a lot to be desired in terms of scientific rigor and reporting, it does hint at the positive results that may be obtained in individuals, and potentially in organizations, by virtue of the positive reports of the participants.

BOTTOM LINE: While lacking scientific rigor, this pseudo-study demonstrated that individuals who practiced Samarpan meditation for 45 days reported feeling benefits in terms of feeling calm, having time for themselves, improved sleep, and having a different perspective. Their journals showed them feeling (pre/post) calmer, more relaxed and peaceful, and having clearer thoughts. Their self ratings pre/post showed they were more satisfied with their lives. In addition, friends and family members found them ‘calmer’. No clear comparisons with other groups were provided.

Dolman, E. and Bond, D. (2011). Mindful leadership: Exploring the value of a meditation practice. Ashridge Journal, available at http://www.ashridge.org.uk/website/IC.nsf/966EA4406D050D388025784C00544774/$file/MindfulLeadership.pdf

Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake.

William James (1911/1924)

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) of San Antonio

-- VitaLife Insight -- 
      Mindfulness and Meditation
                                                                        Valerie J. Berg Rice

 Contact us through VitaLifeInsight@gmail.com or call 210-391-8000

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