Mindfulness: Theoretical foundations and evidence for its salutary effects

Kirk Warren Brown, Richard M. Ryan, J. David Creswell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2176 Scopus citations


Interest in mindfulness and its enhancement has burgeoned in recent years. In this article, we discuss in detail the nature of mindfulness and its relation to other, established theories of attention and awareness in day-to-day life. We then examine theory and evidence for the role of mindfulness in curtailing negative functioning and enhancing positive outcomes in several important life domains, including mental health, physical health, behavioral regulation, and interpersonal relationships. The processes through which mindfulness is theorized to have its beneficial effects are then discussed, along with proposed directions for theoretical development and empirical research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-237
Number of pages27
JournalPsychological Inquiry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Preparation of this article was supported in part by NIH grant R01 AG025474-02 to the first author, NIH/NCI grant R01-CA 106668 to the second author, and a NIMH National Research Service Award to the third author. We thank Guy Armstrong, Jeremy Gray, Hector Myers and his research group, Shinzen Young, and Lidia Zylowska for helpful comments and suggestions on previous drafts of this article.


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