The 4 types of Mindfulness and their characteristics

The 4 types of Mindfulness and their characteristics

Mindfulness is an ancestral practice that has gained popularity in recent years in the West , mainly due to the benefits it provides for the emotional health of people and for their performance in the work, educational or sports environment.

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

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

  • If you want to know more about Mindfulness, you can visit this article: “What is Mindfulness? The 7 answers to your questions”

The Need for Full Care Today

In such a fast-paced world, where new technologies are advancing rapidly, mindfulness becomes as necessary as the air we breathe. Many people live on autopilot, stressed, anxious and not even knowing who they are. They live far from the present, far from themselves. Their mind jumps around continuously, spreading their thoughts and emotions.

There are many individuals who have serious difficulties in connecting with themselves because they live immersed in a culture that encourages individualism and materialism , and in which talking about emotions such as sadness, fear or uncertainty is practically forbidden and frowned upon. One must be happy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year… something that is impossible.

Fortunately, Mindfulness brings us back to the present (to our present), far from our unrealistic expectations , those that cause us so much suffering. Full attention helps us to stop, to focus, to meet again the person we are and the one we often forget.

Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is not a fleeting fad, and much research has provided data on how this practice helps us live better. Among the benefits of this practice we can find :

  • Reduces stress
  • Improves self-knowledge
  • Improves emotional balance
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Improves mood
  • Increases concentration
  • Encourages creativity
  • Prevents depression
  • Helps control anxiety
  • Develops Emotional Intelligence
  • Improves interpersonal relationships

If you want to go deeper into these benefits, in our article “Mindfulness: 8 benefits of mindfulness” we go deeper into the benefits of this experience.

Types of Mindfulness

Over the years, specific Mindfulness programs have been created to address particular issues. But, what types of Mindfulness are there? What are its characteristics? In the following lines we discover them:

Different types of programs

Although mindfulness is a philosophy of life, a methodology to face life situations in a more adaptive way, it is possible to classify it according to the objective.

1. MBSR or Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program

The Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Program was created by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center (USA) in 1979. As its name suggests, MBSR aims to reduce the practitioner’s level of stress and, as a consequence, their psychological well-being .

Research that has been done to test the effects of this program on people’s emotional health shows 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.

2. MBCT (or Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy.

MBCT (Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy) is a full care program used for the treatment of various disorders, such as depression or anxiety. Like the previous one, 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 relapses in patients with depression . It is therefore a psychotherapeutic program that combines Mindfulness meditation with the acquisition of practical skills that characterize cognitive therapy, such as the detection of thought patterns that lead to depressive or anxious states.

3. Full Emotional Intelligence (PINEP)

PINEP is a program to improve people’s psychological health by combining the practices of Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence. Thanks to this program, participants become more aware and emotionally intelligent, able to manage their emotions in the different situations of their daily lives.

The aim is to increase personal well-being and increase the capacity for positive appreciation of oneself and one’s environment . PINEP practitioners improve their interpersonal relationships, achieve a higher level of empathy, increase their concentration, empower themselves in the face of their problems and life, manage to clarify their life goals and enjoy greater emotional balance.

Types of Mindfulness Meditation

Meditation is an important part of Mindfulness practice. Primarily, Mindfulness uses these types of meditation

1. Breath-centered meditation

One of the simplest and most useful meditations is breath-centered meditation, which refers to focusing attention on how air enters 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 want to be in the here and now, we can practice one minute’s breathing.

2. Body scanner

The Body Scanner is a type of meditation in which the object of attention is the body itself, from head to toe .

3. Benevolent Love Meditation

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

4. Vipassana Meditation

This type of meditation is also called mental observation. It aims to label the thoughts, emotions and feelings that appear in the mind while we meditate.

  • You can learn more about this type of meditation in this article: “The 8 types of meditation and their characteristics”

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