Mindfulness meditation

What it is

Mindfulness meditation means paying attention to the present moment by focusing on the breath and observing each rise and fall. There are several different types. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a 6–8 week course designed to help you cope better and be at ease in your life

Why use it

People practise mindfulness to change the way they think about experiences.

What to expect

Lying or sitting in a comfortable position, a counsellor or psychologist will lead you through a series of exercises that focus on breath work and calming the mind.


There is good evidence to show that MBSR lowers the levels of stress hormones in your body, which can assist in healing, and improves immune function. Studies on mindfulness meditation show it helps improve the quality of life of people with cancer, increases coping, and can reduce pain, anxiety, depression and nausea.

This information was last reviewed in May 2018
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