First Advisor

Frodo Okulam

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology and University Honors




Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, Meditation -- Therapeutic use




Popular opinion holds that meditation and mindfulness render positive effects. However, minimal empirical evidence has been submitted except in the last seven years that it has gained attention. This study uses data from these recent years to gather a concise view of the effects of meditation and mindfulness practices in combatting anxiety, depression, and poor self-esteem as well as the increase in positives such as confidence and general well-being.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. has been promoting meditation and mindfulness as treatment for stress since the 1980s. He has applied the practice to physical ailments as well as mental maladies (Kabat-Zinn, 2014b). Some researchers apply the foundation of his work to their own in order to discover if the practices minimize the effects of stress, anxiety and depression. Recently, investigation into increasing positive mindsets has gained attention. These last two areas are the ones that I was interested in.

Data from various studies prove there is a marked reduction in anxiety attacks and depression. Participants report increased feelings of confidence, capability, and well-being. The samples vary in size as well as demographics, but the results suggest an overall benefit in favor of the practice of meditation and mindfulness. To gather more empirical data and contribute to expanding the limited conversation on this matter, I designed and executed a study of my own, interviewing many people from a variety demographics and walks of life to determine the validity of meditation and mindfulness practices in combatting negative mindsets and mental illnesses as well as promoting positivities.


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