The science behind Mindfulness

For those who remain unconvinced or sceptical of the benefits of mindfulness, here’s Professor Mark Williams, director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, explaining the scientific studies that prove unequivocally how it can help with depression. Quite why they interviewed him in a storage-cupboard is unclear, but it’s great to be part of research that results in such positive findings and can potentially take the treatment of mental illness in a new direction.

Visit these posts on my participation in the Toronto study: Mindfulness in Depression Relapse Prevention, for more information.

Research into the prevention of depression relapse
Mindfulness in depression relapse prevention – Autopilot & raisins
Mindfulness in depression relapse prevention – The body scan
Mindfulness in depression relapse prevention – The breath
Mindfulness in depression relapse prevention – Exploring the landscape of depression
Mindfulness in depression relapse prevention – Facing difficulties
Mindfulness in depression relapse prevention – Thoughts are not facts

Whitby Shores, Whitby, Ontario

By Aisha Ashraf

An autistic Irish immigrant in a cross-cultural marriage, Aisha Ashraf is the archetypal outlander, writing to root herself through place and perspective. Published in The Rumpus, The Maine Review, River Teeth, HuffPost and elsewhere, her work explores the legacy of trauma, the nature of being an outsider and the narrow confines of belonging. She currently lives in Canada.


  1. What I find so helpful about mindfulness is that while it is certainly effective in interrupting and defusing depressive or anxious thoughts, for those of us not prone to either it remains incredibly useful for dealing with typical stresses and negative thoughts. Regardless of the reason why you seek it out, it provides benefits. Definitely win-win!

    1. With successful experience of paying attention to breathing one often transcends doubt of mindfulness and continues benefitting from from the freedom available in the present moment. Of course many other conditions such as skillful instruction, enviroment, mental illness… affect outcomes. But this life is one short opportunity of personal experimentation, isn’t it?

  2. I only recently discovered mindfulness about three years ago, probably after I read The Power of Now, then I dabbled in it, slowly began to understand it on different levels and told others how good it is. But I hit a new level with it this year, almost like a door opened that I didn’t even know I had been keeping closed, and I have been able to really experience it fully for the first time. Not ALL the time 😉 but often. And when I do, life is so very very different: I am more efficient, more content, more at peace, even more energetic. I am teaching my 14 year old daughter about it now.

    1. I read an article the other day about a school that’s made mindful meditation a part of the school day. I can’t remember now where it was, but the idea of children of four and above being taught the importance of awareness and listening to the self was just amazing. I’ve been having conversations with my 7-y-o daughter about concentration and recognising when you get distracted – maybe it’s time to introduce her to mindulness…
      Thanks for commenting, I’m always interested in other peoples experience of this; can you tell me how you incorporated it into your day, first thing in the morning or after the kids go to school? That’s the hardest part, I find – it’s ridiculous how as soon as my workload gets too heavy, I neglect the one thing that will help me deal with the situation!

Fewer than 1% of visitors leave a comment - be different, be heard, be someone with an opinion.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.