This practice of bringing ourselves back from the mess in our heads to the present moment is known in psychology as mindful awareness, or mindfulness meditation.  Mindfulness is the focusing of attention or awareness on ourselves, our bodies, and our surroundings. Mindfulness meditation has also been scientifically proven to improve the body’s immune response to disease, reduce pain and stress hormones, and increase attention.  People who practice mindfulness have a higher quality of life and even appear to be physically healthier! The most important element of mindfulness meditation is not to get down on yourself for “doing it wrong.”  Just dive in and give it a try! This is a discussion with the objective of analyzing the literal and hypothetical use of mindfulness based interventions (MBIs), such as mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT), for the treatment of anxiety disorders. During this section mindfulness based interventions as a whole, as well as the specific mindfulness based interventions mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) will be introduced. As previously mentioned, the facets of mindfulness listed by Desrosiers, Klemanski and Nolen-Hoeksema (2013) are describing, observing, acting with awareness, non-judging and non-reactivity. An Overview of Psychological Considerations: Based on the above evidence, it is reasonable to assume that mindfulness based interventions (MBIs) may be successful treatment options for many struggling with anxiety disorders. With biophysical, psychological and social dimensions in mind, anxiety disorders and their relationship to mindfulness, mindfulness practice and mindfulness based interventions are examined.
Additionally, the specific facets of mindfulness described by Desrosiers, Klemanski, and Hoeksema-Nolen (2013) will be assessed.
Desrosiers, Klemanski and Nolen-Hoeksema (2013) investigated the associations between the aforementioned specific facets of mindfulness and specific dimensions of anxiety (and depression) symptoms in order to gain a better understanding of how mindfulness is associated with anxiety and depression. Describing, along with all other facets of mindfulness except observing, were found by Baer et al. Acting with awareness, along with all other facets of mindfulness except observing, were found by Baer et al. Non-judging, along with all other facets of mindfulness except observing, were found by Baer et al. Non-reactivity, along with all other facets of mindfulness except observing, were found by Baer et al.
However it makes sense that the realm of treating anxiety disorders using MBIs such as mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) remains relatively under-researched when considering the fact that both these interventions were both originally established with treating depression in mind. Firstly, it is reasonable to assume that more research will be conducted on the use of mindfulness based interventions for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Keywords: mindfulness based interventions (MBIs), mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT), anxiety disorder, mindfulness, mindfulness practice. With this in mind, the biophysical aspects of anxiety disorders must be examined further before one can effectively understand how mindfulness based interventions work in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
The following analysis seeks to reveal a better understanding of how the facets of mindfulness discussed by Desrosiers, Klemanski and Nolen-Hoeksema (2013) relate to the experience and treatment of anxiety disorders. According to the aforementioned study by Desrosiers, Klemanski and Nolen-Hoeksema (2013) observing was not found to be related to general distress-anxiety or anxious arousal; however, when shared variance among the variables was considered in an additional analysis, it was shown that high levels of observing were associated with high levels of anxious arousal, indicating that observing may catalyze certain symptoms without the other facets of mindfulness being co-emphasized. Furthermore, Vollestad, Siversten and Nielsen (2011) discussed how MBIs may be more practical because of the fact that they are group based, which brings up a discussion the social considerations associated with the used of mindfulness based interventions for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Lastly, whether for the treatment of anxiety disorders or other psychological issues, it seems likely that mindfulness based interventions will likely continue to make gains in popularity amongst clinicians, researchers and self-help enthusiasts alike.


In a pilot study looking at brief, peer-directed mindfulness training with adolescents it was found by Jennings and Jennings (2013) that mindfulness training resulted in adolescent participants reporting lower levels of anxiety, and greater comfort in groups. Vollestad, Sivertsen and Nielsen (2011) advocate for the possibility of using mindfulness based interventions for the treatment of anxiety disorders. For example, Vollestad, Siversten and Nielsen (2011) found in their study that for certain patients with deeply ingrained maladaptive thought patterns further training in mindfulness, perhaps in individual therapy, may be needed for success with mindfulness. They again cite Roemer, Erisman and Orsillo (2008) saying that the deliberate development of mindfulness that takes place in mindfulness based interventions can decrease maladaptive attempts to control or remove anxiety.
Additionally, non-reactivity is one of the facets of mindfulness listed by Desrosiers, Klemanski, and Hoeksema-Nolen (2013). Jennings and Jennings (2013) mention that one limit to their study was the fact that the peer-facilitator already knew the other adolescent participants, so they may have been motivated by his friendship to cooperate more, felt more relaxed, and drawn more benefits from the mindfulness training.
Mindfulness Based Interventions: In addition to the above definition from Kabat-Zinn (1994), Miller, Fletcher and Kabat Zinn (1995, p.
Furthermore, this growing collection of research on mindfulness indicates that the integration of a mindfulness approach into counseling consistently produces positive outcomes with clients (Brown, Marquis, & Guiffrida, 2013).
According to Teasdale (1999b) mindfulness has been utilized as a tool for easing psychological suffering in human beings for at least 2,500 years (Brown, Marquis & Guiffrida, 2013).
The two main mindfulness based interventions, mindfulness based stress reduction (MSRB) and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) will now be described and then assessed for their effectiveness in treating various anxiety disorders. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR): MBSR was first developed and explained by Kabat-Zinn (1990).
So far, typical group based MBIs and peer-directed MBIs have been examined; one important aspect of online mindfulness based interventions is that they are essentially self directed. The historical and cultural roots of mindfulness practice will be discussed later on as well. The findings of a study on “mindfulness and heart rate variability in individuals with high and low generalized anxiety symptoms” conducted by Mankus, Aldao, Kerns, Mayville and Mennin (2013) suggests that for people with more severe generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), mindfulness may encourage parasympathetic influences on hearts rate. It consists of three key parts: first, instructional material discussing the meaning of mindfulness, the psychology and physiology of stress and anxiety, and strategies for practicing mindfulness in everyday life to allow for more adaptive reactions to stresses (Vollestad, Siversten and Nielsen, 2011). Secondly, group meetings and homework between meetings take place surrounding mindfulness exercises, and lastly participants work in pairs and within the larger group discussing their experiences (Vollestad, Siversten and Nielsen, 2011).
Mindfulness based interventions are not only used with adults, they are used with adolescents and children too.
MBSR takes place over the course of eight weeks in the form of two and a half hour weekly meetings, a meditation retreat for a half day after the sixth meeting, daily at-home practice with the help of instructional CDs, and daily journaling of mindfulness exercises (Vollestad, Siversten and Nielsen, 2011). Specifically, the mindfulness training manual designed for youth (Apsche & Jennings, 2013) will be discussed. Structured mindfulness exercises include body scan, mindful-movement, and sitting meditation coupled with awareness of one’s breath (Vollestad, Siversten and Nielsen, 2011).
The use of online MBIs demonstrates how the practice of mindfulness has remained relevant from its ancient roots, to today’s technologically based culture. Furthermore, the implications of using mindfulness based interventions in online settings will be looked at.


This paper seeks to further the understanding of the use of mindfulness based interventions for the treatment of anxiety disorders from a multidimensional perspective, i.e.
Interestingly, according to Teasdale (1999b) mindfulness has been utilized as a tool for easing psychological suffering in human beings for at least 2,500 years (Brown, Marquis & Guiffrida, 2013). Mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT): Brown, Marquis and Guiffrida (2013) point out that MBCT was first established by Segal, Williams and Teasdale (2002) to thwart depressive relapses in patients with recurring depression.
Miller, Fletcher, and Kabat-Zinn (1995) discuss how mindfulness practice integrally related the teachings of Buddha, although the origins of mindfulness practice are in ancient yogic practices, which predate the Buddha by thousands of years (Brown, Marquis & Guiffrida, 2013). However, Falb and Pargament (2012) point out that mindfulness is oftentimes separated from its spiritual roots, perhaps in part because of the non-theism associated with Buddhism or because western, secular mindfulness based interventions have removed references to the Buddha in their programs. However, one cannot understand the use of mindfulness based interventions for treating anxiety disorders until one first understand more about anxiety disorders. Perhaps modern western MBIs should integrate more of the spiritual aspects of mindfulness for clients who wish to embrace such spirituality.
Now that a better understanding of anxiety disorders from a biophysical perspective has been attained, the treatment of anxiety disorders using mindfulness based interventions will be examined from a psychological perspective. An Overview of Social Considerations: Mindfulness Based interventions can be administered in a variety of ways, including traditional group based MBIs, peer-directed MBIs for adolescents, or self-directed online based MBIs. Perhaps the versatility of MBIs and mindfulness practice is one reason they have proven to be helpful for a culturally diverse group of people.
Nevertheless, for the time being, an examination of how mindfulness based interventions relate to cognitive therapy may provide some insight onto the use of MBCT for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Now that the social considerations of mindfulness have been explored, it is time for conclusions to be drawn regarding the use of mindfulness based interventions for the treatment of anxiety disorders.
Altogether, the integration of mindfulness is the main difference between MBI’s and cognitive therapy. In order to better understand MBIs certain specific facets of mindfulness will now be examined. Mindfulness and heart rate variability in individuals with high and low generalized anxiety symptoms.
Three year follow-up and clinical implications of mindfulness meditation based stress reduction intervention for the treatment of anxiety disorders.
Mindfulness and emotion regulation difficulties for generalized anxiety disorder: preliminary evidence for independent and overlapping contributions. Mindfulness-based stress reduction for patients with anxiety disorders: Evaluation in a randomized controlled trial.



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