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How can mindfulness meditation help you?

I am a big believer in mindfulness. A large portion of my research focuses on mindfulness. I meditate daily. I use it in my work with my clients. This hasn't always been the case - I used to be a skeptic. I hated the idea of spending any time doing nothing. And then I gave mindfulness a fair shot and found that it improved my life - as Dan Harris put it, it made me (at least) 10% happier. It made me more focused, less anxious, allowed me to slept better than I ever had, improved my relationships. So much so that a large portion of my research now focuses on mindfulness-based treatment development.

So what is mindfulness? Mindfulness involves two pieces: (1) awareness and (2) acceptance. Mindfulness is about being fully aware of what is going on in the present moment - our thoughts, emotions, experiences. Mindfulness is also about being aware in a certain way – with acceptance. That is, we pay attention to our experiences with a sense of curiosity and openness.

How do we cultivate mindfulness? We cultivate mindfulness through meditation practice. I encourage you to commit to practicing 5-10 minutes a day. It is often easier if you do it at the same time every day to help you build a habit. Try it for 30 days. If, after a month, you find that it doesn't do much of anything for you - you can always stop.

Why meditate? Research has shown that mindfulness meditation training can:

  • Reduce stress

  • Reduce anxiety

  • Improve sleep and reduce insomnia

  • Prevent depression relapse

  • Help with recovery from alcohol abuse

  • Improve ADHD

  • Reduce psychological distress

  • Reduces pain and its inhibition of everyday life activities

  • Improves well-being (e.g., functional status, well-being, physical symptoms)

  • Improve creativity and productivity

  • Improve your relationships

  • Promote mental flexibility and emotional stability

What are some resources to help you get started? Some great resources to help you get started with meditation are:


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