Mindfulness-based therapies were originally developed to help people with chronic health conditions cope with their pain. However, there has been a recent surge in the popularity of mindfulness practice due to its positive impact on mental health and general well-being. Mindfulness involves a kind of meditation that encourages us to be more aware of our present experience, while at the same time being non-judgemental and accepting of this experience.
In my work, I often use Mindfulness meditation as one part of a treatment program that can also include CBT, social skills or other approaches. However, Mindfulness is quite an effective intervention on its own.
Research has shown a wide variety of benefits from regular practice of this kind of meditation, including mood management, increase in attention and memory, reduction in stress and even an improvement in immune functioning. Specific research on Mindfulness for children and youth has found that it can have the following effects: