Mindfulness and physical disease: a concise review

Curr Opin Psychol. 2019 Aug;28:204-210. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2018.12.014. Epub 2018 Dec 27.


Many of today's most common, chronic, and costly diseases-from high blood pressure, to chronic pain-are related to stress. Mindfulness, considered a state, a trait, and a training, might help treat or prevent stress-related physical symptoms. A concise review of current scientific evidence shows that both higher levels of trait mindfulness as well as mindfulness training are associated with better psychological well-being, coping, and quality of life. Effects on objective measures of disease, however, are often non-significant or await replication. Larger trials with active control groups, clear diagnostic criteria, objective outcome measures, and longer-term follow-up are needed to generate better quality evidence. Yet, many studies do support integrating mindfulness into health care as part of self-care and disease management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Disease Management*
  • Humans
  • Mindfulness*
  • Noncommunicable Diseases*
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*