We hear a lot about the notion of “mindfulness” these days. We’re told mindfulness is a learnable technique and that regular practice can help us alleviate depression and anxiety, or reduce chronic pain and stress. Mindfulness, it’s said, can be beneficial in pretty much most parts of our lives — from the workplace to our personal relationships, and even when we find ourselves alone. It can enhance our ability to concentrate, and even perhaps our capacity to empathise.
But can everyone truly benefit from a dose of mindfulness? Can teaching mindfulness to school children lead to a happier and healthier society? And how do we go about empirically testing how effective mindfulness is at improving wellbeing?
For the latest Up Close podcast, I was joined by Professor Felicia Huppert, an expert in the science of both well-being and mindfulness. Professor Huppert is Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Director of the Well-being Institute at Cambridge University.