There are 1000's of research papers available evidencing the benefits that mindfulness practice brings and many of those are Randomised Control Trials (RCT) - considered the gold-standard of research. So, I think it is fair to answer that mindfulness is not hippy dippy idealism but scientifically proven to improve our physical and mental well-being at home, school and in the workplace.
Read on for some powerful research statistics, quotes and links to the scientific papers and other interesting info.
Did you know that Mindful Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is the only mindfulness programme approved by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) to be used within the NHS?
In a 2 year MBCT randomised control trial (RCT), 17% of participants lowered their dose of antidepressants and 71% stopped taking them completely. Research does suggest that mindfulness can benefit all of us, not just people with a history of severe depression.
In this study, Mindful Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was shown to be as effective, but not superior to, anti-depressants. Please always consult your GP before reducing medication. Read more about this gold-standard RCT study on the NHS website here: https://www.nhs.uk/news/mental-health/mindfulness-as-good-as-drugs-for-preventing-depression-relapse/
If Mindful Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is practised regularly, depression relapse rates may be reduced by up to 43% for people who have had 3 or more depressive episodes.
Read more about this gold-standard RCT study here: http://oxfordmindfulness.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Download-here-8.pdf
A recent study at Unilever showed a significant reduction of 45.8% to 16.4% in stress-related drop-out rates of employees who completed an 8-session mindfulness course.
Read more about the study here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328409527_The_Unilever_Study_Positive_Effects_on_Stress_and_Risk_for_Dropout_from_Work_after_the_Finding_Peace_in_a_Frantic_World_Training
After mindfulness training stress decreased, mindfulness, resilience, work engagement and vigour and employee well-being increased. Key improvements included: 30 % reduction in perceived stress 50 % decrease in number of high stress episodes 50% decrease in employee burnout
Read more about this gold standard RCT study at Dow Chemicals here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263712117_Mindfulness_Goes_to_Work_Impact_of_an_Online_Workplace_Intervention
A study involving over 1000 leaders in a range of roles in organisations across New Zealand concluded "The findings of this study attest to the positive impact that mindfulness seems to have in combating a number of dysfunctional outcomes affecting today's leaders."
"Research studies in workplaces have primarily emphasised the role of mindfulness programmes on staff wellbeing, mental health and stress-reduction - tackling problems of sickness absence, presenteeism, high staff turnover, depression and anxiety. Research and commentary has also explored the business role of mindfulness in terms of improving employee performance, resilience and social relationships in the workplace, work engagement and in reducing emotional exhaustion and improving job satisfaction".
"Compared with the people in the sleep education group, those in the mindfulness group had less insomnia, fatigue, and depression at the end of the six sessions."
Read the full report here: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-helps-fight-insomnia-improves-sleep-201502187726
Children who participated in the intervention reported fewer depressive symptoms, lower stress and greater well-being. The degree to which students in the intervention group practised the mindfulness skills was associated with better well-being and less stress. Conclusions: The findings provide promising evidence of the programme’s acceptability and efficacy.
Read the full report regarding the .b Mindfulness in Schools programme here: http://oxfordmindfulness.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Download-here-6.pdf
There are too many amazing individual studies to share on this page but please find below links to useful websites for some more insight into mindfulness:
A report about the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group and what they are hoping to achieve. - http://themindfulnessinitiative.org.uk/images/reports/Mindfulness-APPG-Report_Mindful-Nation-UK_Oct2015.pdf
Oxford Mindfulness Centre - http://www.oxfordmindfulness.org/mbct/publications/
Center for Healthy Minds - http://centerhealthyminds.org/about/founder-richard-davidson
University of Massachusetts - http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/