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Science: Mindfulness Makes a Measurable Difference — a Small One

Many mindfulness practitioners don’t take it seriously enough to change their lifestyle so as to gain the available benefit

Researcher Kevin Dickinson reminds us that there is science behind mindfulness meditation but that crazes are crazes — and the nearly $9 billion dollar market for mindfulness wares is no substitute for serious, regular practice. Here’s what he found that the science tells us: A systematic review and meta-analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine looked at 47 randomized clinical trials with active controls (totaling 3,515 participants). It found moderate evidence of mindfulness easing anxiety, depression, and pain; low evidence for assuaged stress; insufficient evidence of reduced substance abuse and poor eating habits; and no evidence that mindfulness was better than other treatment options. Similar results can be found across the scientific literature. Another meta-analysis found slightly larger but still moderate…