MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia University neuroscientist says the movement to pursue mindfulness through meditation and other practices has grown more popular over the past two decades, but more precise definitions and research are needed concerning potential benefits.
Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, assistant professor in the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, is co-author of a recent paper in Perspectives on Psychological Science. The paper reviews early research into practices related to attention, awareness, memory, retention, acceptance and discernment.
Mindfulness is defined as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. However, the authors say its meanings vary while writings have “saturated” scientific research and media, including some exaggerated claims.
They note one analysis of studies shows mindfulness programs can be moderately effective for anxiety, depression and pain.
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