The protective effects of brief mindfulness meditation training

Conscious Cogn. 2015 May:33:277-85. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2015.01.016. Epub 2015 Feb 10.


Mindfulness meditation has gained a great deal of attention in recent years due to the variety of physical and psychological benefits, including improved working memory, decreased mind wandering and reduced impact of stress on working memory. The current study examined a 1-week at home mindfulness meditation intervention compared to an active control intervention. Results suggest that mindfulness meditation does not increase working memory or decrease mind wandering but does prevent stress related working memory impairments. Mindfulness meditation appears to alter the factors that impair working memory such that the negative impact of mind wandering on working memory was only evident at higher levels of negative affect. The use of cognitive mechanism words in narratives of stressful events did not differ by condition but predicted poorer working memory in the control condition. The results support the use of an at home mindfulness meditation intervention for reducing stress-related impairments.

Keywords: Mind wandering; Mindfulness meditation; Stress; Training; Working memory.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation / psychology*
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult