The 4 Types of Mindfulness You Should Know

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The 4 Types of Mindfulness and Their Characteristics

There is no single way to practice Mindfulness, but several strategies to achieve well-being.

Mindfulness or Full Attention is an ancestral practice that has gained popularity in recent years in the West, mainly due to the benefits it provides for people's emotional health and for their performance in the workplace, education, or sports.

Currently, Mindfulness is used for different purposes and, despite being more of a philosophy of life, behavioral science professionals have adapted it to this discipline to help people deal with some problematic situations that arise present in their lives, such as stress, depression, or anxiety.

However, as we will see, there is not just one way to practice this, but several: that is why we talk about types of Mindfulness and not just Mindfulness.

MBSR or Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program

Jon Kabat-Zinn created the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center (United States) in 1979.

As the name suggests, MBSR aims to reduce the practitioner's stress level, and, consequently, their psychological well-being.

The investigations carried out to verify the effects of this program on the emotional health of people show that it is one of the most effective treatments for reducing stress. This 8-session program has also been shown to be effective in treating pain.

MBCT or Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

MBCT is a mindfulness program that is used to treat different disorders such as depression or anxiety. Like the previous one (MBSR), this is an 8-session program.

It was created by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale, who decided to establish a treatment for emotional stress, anxiety, and relapse in patients with depression.

Therefore, it is a psychotherapeutic program that combines mindfulness meditation with the acquisition of practical skills typical of cognitive therapy, such as the detection of thought patterns that lead to depressive or anxious states.

Full Emotional Intelligence (FEI)

FEI is a program to improve the psychological health of people thanks to the combination of Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence practices.

Thanks to this program, the participants become more conscious and emotionally intelligent people, capable of managing their emotions in the different situations of their daily lives.

The objective is to increase personal well-being and the ability to positively assess oneself and the environment.

FEI practitioners improve their interpersonal relationships, reach a higher level of empathy, increase their concentration, and become stronger when it comes to facing their problems and facing life, they manage to clarify their vital objectives and enjoy greater emotional balance.

Mindfulness meditation

Meditation is an important part of mindfulness practice. These are the most common types:

Meditation focused on breathing

One of the simplest and most useful meditations is breath-focused meditation, which refers to focusing attention on how the air enters through the nostrils.

This is the object of attention that, thanks to its simplicity, can be used anywhere and at any time. For example, if we are at work and we want to be in the here and now, we can practice breathing for a minute.

Body scanner

The body scan or exploration of the body is a type of meditation in which the object of attention is the body itself, from head to toe.

Loving Kindness Meditation

A meditative practice that fosters positive feelings of love, compassion, and care, both for oneself and for others.

Vipassana Meditation

This type of meditation is also called mental observation. Its purpose is to label the thoughts, emotions, and feelings that arise in the mind while meditating.

Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is not a passing fad, and much research has provided data on how this practice helps us live better.

These are some of the benefits of this practice:

  • Reduces stress
  • Improve self-awareness
  • Improves emotional balance
  • Helps sleep better
  • Improves mood
  • Increases concentration
  • Helps you develop your creativity
  • Prevents depression
  • Helps control anxiety
  • Develop Emotional Intelligence
  • Improve interpersonal relationships

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