What is Mindfulness?


y its simplest definition, mindfulness is a practice of remaining fully mental present “in the moment.” Mindfulness can be thought of as a form of meditation where the purpose is to guide one’s attention back to the immediate environment whenever it is distracted.

Mindfulness has been a part of spiritual practices around the world for thousands of years. It features prominently in world religions. However, mindfulness is not a religious practice. By fostering the ability to focus attention at will, it can produce mental health benefits.

What Conditions Can Mindfulness Treat or Cure?

Information about the benefits of mindfulness has been gathered for centuries. However, modern science has only explored the topic over the last few decades. Mindfulness is not known to treat or cure any condition, but it is associated with positive mental health results.

In particular, mindfulness changes the way the individual responds to stress. Stress is a contributor to a host of conditions affecting mind and body. When someone lacks healthy coping mechanisms for stress, many body systems must “work overtime” to manage it.

Of all the problems stress plays a role in, cardiovascular health may be the most visible. Chronic levels of high stress contribute to high blood pressure, which makes stroke and heart attack more likely. Heart disease, in turn, kills 1 in every 4 American adults.

Aside from stress reduction, these other benefits have been attributed to mindfulness:

  • Greater emotional resilience, leading to lower incidence of depression and anxiety
  • Increased levels of concentration, focus, and memory, both at work and at home
  • Improved sleep quality and reduction of most sleep disturbances, such as insomnia
  • Direct benefits for sufferers of chronic pain and chronic gastrointestinal problems

Mindfulness is effective alone and as part of therapy, but it cannot replace therapy for those who need it. Its mental health benefits are largely due to reduced rumination, repetitively “replaying” a negative thought without reaching any conclusion.

What Research Currently Exists Around Mindfulness?

Since literature about mindfulness stretches back centuries, many researchers are interested to discover which benefits can be proven. Many positive effects have been validated in mindfulness clinical trials and mindfulness studies in the lab.

Many mindfulness clinical studies have focused on measuring changes in emotional affect, or mood, in groups taught to practice mindfulness. Some studies have used advanced imaging to map practitioners’ brains during mindfulness practices.

One of the most interesting results in mindfulness research has to do with relationships. Studies in 2007 and 2008 suggested people who practice mindfulness tend to have higher relationship satisfaction. They discuss emotions and respond to relationship stress better.

There are also studies linking mindfulness-based lucid dreaming to reduced stress.

Why Are Further Mindfulness Clinical Trials Important?

Further studies are crucial in discovering how the benefits of mindfulness can reach more people and extend to more situations. For example, mindfulness studies on how children and teens can best learn about it are still in the early stages.

Mindfulness clinical trials may be used to help a variety of populations at risk of specific health concerns, including the elderly and pregnant women. It may also help people replace unhealthy emotional coping mechanisms, such as the use of alcohol.

Current Mindfulness Clinical Trials

These are the latest mindfulness clinical trials listed by ClinicalTrials.gov. To have a clinical trial added to our website, simply contact our team.

  • Project Activate: Mindfulness and Acceptance Based Behavioral Treatment for Weight Loss
    on April 7, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Obesity;   Weight LossInterventions:   Behavioral: Behavioral Treatment;   Behavioral: Mindful Acceptance;   Behavioral: Values;   Behavioral: Mindful AwarenessSponsor:   Drexel UniversityRecruiting

  • Effectiveness of Mindfulness-based Internet Intervention Still Me
    on April 3, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Post-traumatic Stress DisorderIntervention:   Behavioral: Intervention groupSponsors:   Vilnius University;   Linkoeping UniversityRecruiting

  • Mindfulness-based Intervention for Postnatal Depression
    on April 2, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Postnatal DepressionInterventions:   Behavioral: Mindfulness-based program (MBI-p-R);   Behavioral: Booklet-based psychoeducationSponsor:   The University of Hong KongRecruiting

  • Mindfulness-based "STOP (Stop, Take a Breath, Observe, Proceed) Touching Your Face" Intervention
    on April 1, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Face-touching BehaviorIntervention:   Behavioral: Mindfulness-based "STOP touching your face" practiceSponsor:   Sir Run Run Shaw HospitalRecruiting

  • Mindfulness During COVID-19
    on March 24, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Migraine Disorders;   Stress;   AnxietyIntervention:   Behavioral: Mindfulness session(s)Sponsor:   Wake Forest University Health SciencesRecruiting

  • Zentangle on Psychological Well-being
    on March 16, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   Mental Health WellnessIntervention:   Behavioral: ZentangleSponsor:   Chinese University of Hong KongRecruiting

  • Guided Meditation During Radiotherapy.
    on March 10, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Quality of Life;   Relaxation During Radiation Therapy;   Cancer;   Radiation ToxicityInterventions:   Behavioral: Meditation;   Other: Standard of CareSponsor:   Mayo ClinicRecruiting

  • Efficacy of Multicomponent Treatment for Fibromyalgia (FISIOFM)
    on February 26, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Condition:   FibromyalgiaInterventions:   Behavioral: TAU + multicomponent treatment FISIOFM;   Behavioral: Treatment as Usual (TAU)Sponsors:   Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron Research Institute;   Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu;   Universitat Autonoma de BarcelonaRecruiting

  • Mindfulness Rounds Initiative - A Short Mindfulness-Based Program for A Busy Workplace
    on February 25, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Conditions:   Healthcare Practitioner Stress;   Patient SatisfactionIntervention:   Behavioral: Mindfulness RoundsSponsor:   Icahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiRecruiting

  • MINDFUL-PC for Portuguese Speakers Pilot Study 2020
    on February 13, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Conditions:   Depression;   Anxiety Disorders;   Stress Related Disorder;   Adjustment Disorders;   Chronic IllnessIntervention:   Behavioral: Mindfulness Training for Primary CareSponsors:   Cambridge Health Alliance;   National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)Recruiting

  • Group Therapy for Fibromyalgia:the Effectiveness of Mindfulness -Based VS Cognitive-behavioral Therapy
    on February 11, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Conditions:   Fibromyalgia;   PTSD;   Depression;   Stress;   Sleep DisturbanceInterventions:   Other: cognitive behavioral group therapy;   Other: Mindfulness-based group therapySponsor:   Bar-Ilan University, IsraelRecruiting

  • CALM Pregnancy: Feasibility of Calm for Pregnant Women
    on February 11, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Condition:   Pregnant WomenIntervention:   Behavioral: Calm AppSponsors:   Arizona State University;   Valley Perinatal ServicesRecruiting

  • Mindfulness and Shared Decision Making
    on February 5, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Condition:   Liver DiseasesIntervention:   Other: assess the impact of mindfulness-based interventions on inpatients' and outpatients' stress, patient-provider communication, and other measures of SDM at MDMC.Sponsor:   Methodist Health SystemRecruiting

  • Telehealth Pain Self-Management for Employed Adults
    on January 30, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Conditions:   Chronic Pain;   Brain Injuries, Traumatic;   Multiple Sclerosis;   Spinal Cord Injuries;   AmputationIntervention:   Behavioral: E-TIPSSponsors:   University of Washington;   National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation ResearchRecruiting

  • Sustainable Mindfulness and Resilience Training (SMART)
    on January 28, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Conditions:   Caregiver Stress;   Autism Spectrum DisorderIntervention:   Behavioral: Mindfulness trainingSponsor:   University of California, San FranciscoRecruiting

  • Minds and Mentors Program (MiMP)- R61
    on January 18, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Conditions:   Opioid-use Disorder;   Medication Assisted Treatment;   Substance Use DisordersIntervention:   Behavioral: Mindfulness based relapse prevention and peer mentoringSponsors:   University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa;   University of Alabama at Birmingham;   Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical CenterRecruiting

  • Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Associated With Mindfulness in Chronic Migraine
    on January 7, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Condition:   MigraineIntervention:   Device: Transcranial direct current stimulationSponsor:   Federal University of ParaíbaRecruiting

  • Mindfulness and Self-compassion Focussed Walking
    on December 10, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Conditions:   Breast Cancer;   FatigueInterventions:   Behavioral: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion focussed exercises during walking training;   Behavioral: Walking trainingSponsors:   Charite University, Berlin, Germany;   Sana-Klinikum LichtenbergRecruiting

  • Efficacy of NAT-FM Treatment for Fibromyalgia
    on December 9, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Condition:   FibromyalgiaInterventions:   Behavioral: TAU + multicomponent treatment NAT-FM;   Behavioral: Treatment as Usual (TAU)Sponsors:   Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron Research Institute;   Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu;   Universitat Autonoma de BarcelonaRecruiting

  • Virginia Commonwealth University Stress Reduction Study
    on December 9, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Condition:   StressInterventions:   Behavioral: mindfulness training;   Behavioral: cognitive reappraisal trainingSponsors:   Virginia Commonwealth University;   Mind & Life FoundationRecruiting


Mindfulness has been known for centuries, but its benefits are only starting to be understood. Doctors and patients can work together to lift the veil on this intriguing practice and learn how to use its lessons to promote mental and physical wellness.