Mindfulness in contemporary psychology has been adopted as an approach for increasing awareness and responding skillfully to mental processes that contribute to emotional distress and maladaptive behavior. The operational working definition of mindfulness is "the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment" (Kabat-Zinn, 2003, Bishop et.al, 2004).
Mindfulness-based interventions were developed for people with chronic physical problems and prevention mental health problems. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been used since 1979 as a training vehicle for the relief of pain and distress in people with chronic health problems. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) integrates MBSR with cognitive science and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It was initially developed as a relapse prevention treatment for those with a high risk of recurring depression, but has since been adapted to benefit a range of different populations and demographics (Alsubaie, 2017).
There is much academic literature evidence that supports the method mindful meditation, leading to functional and structural improvement of the brain. For example, in a study conducted by researchers in 2003, 2011 and 2016, mindfulness training increased the activity of left brain, reduced the intensity of amygdala activity and the gray matter density, and thickened the hippocampus (Davidson et al., 2003, Doll et al., 2016, Hölzel et al., 2011).