39 Mindfulness Statistics and Facts to Inspire Your Practice in 2024

  • By: Ryan Kane
  • Updated: February 21, 2024
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Mindfulness is associated with an extensive list of benefits and studies.

But which benefits are backed by research–and which aren’t? The below list of facts about mindfulness links out to recent studies on each topic.

If your mindfulness practice has stagnated, this impressive list of benefits and statistics about mindfulness will get you moving again!

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39 Mindfulness Facts
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Here's what you'll find in this article: Show table of contents

1. Mindfulness can make you happier

Does meditation make you happy
Mindfulness and meditation have been shown to help people feel happier and less stressed

A 2018 study showed that mindfulness does make you happier, but only if you’re able to make space for any feelings that arise without judging them. (Psychology Today)

Research shows that participants in meditation programs report feeling happier, less anxious, and less stressed. However, meditation can take a long time to feel like it’s “working”.

2. Mindfulness can make you less stressed

Mindfulness influences two stress pathways in the brain, changing brain structures over time and reducing stress. (APA)

3. Mindfulness can make your heart healthier

One study showed improved cardiovascular capacity among those who practiced mindfulness.

4. Mindfulness can improve your immune system

A 2012 study of elderly participants found higher immune system function (as marked by higher levels of the protein interleukin-8) after an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course

5. Mindfulness can decrease cognitive decline

Mindfulness decreases cognitive decline
Mindfulness training can decrease, and even improve, cognitive decline

A 2016 study showed significant improvements on cognitive scores after mindfulness intervention.

6. Mindfulness can reduce inflammation

A 2007 study showed people with rheumatoid arthritis had reduced C-reactive protein levels (which are correlated with inflammation) after taking an 8-week mindfulness course.

7. Mindfulness can make you more empathetic

Participants who received mindfulness training reported feeling more empathetic concern, compassion and warmth in a 2018 study.

8. Mindfulness can help you lose weight

According to a review of scientific literature on weight loss, all studies that included a mindfulness component resulted in the subjects losing weight successfully.

Mindfulness techniques help you control your eating, which is a key component in a weight loss plan.

9. Mindfulness can reduce pain

Mindfulness reduces pain
Mindfulness meditation can help reduce pain

A 2015 study found that meditators respond differently to pain, and that mindfulness meditation reduces pain more effectively than a placebo. (Wake Forest University)

10. Mindfulness can lower high blood pressure

In one study, participants with pre-hypertension were given mindfulness training.

Compared with the control group, they experienced a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

11. Mindfulness can change the structure of your brain

Mindfulness has been shown to boost frontal brain activity, increase gray matter, increase oxytocin and promote growth in the hippocampus.

12. Mindfulness can improve decision making

A 2014 study found that one 15-minute focused breath meditation can help people make smarter, more rational choices and avoid the sunk-cost bias.

13. Mindfulness can boost creativity

Mindfulness is correlated with a person’s ability to concentrate, reduces their fear of being judged, and enhances open-minded thinking.

A mindfulness meditation practice can positively effect creativity.

14. Mindfulness can improve problem solving

One study found that mindfulness improves insight problem solving, which are those “aha!” solutions to complex problems.

15. Mindfulness can reduce anxiety

One study found that mindfulness-based therapy was effective at reducing anxiety and improving mood.

16. Mindfulness can improve body image

Mindfulness and body image
A 2019 study found that mindfulness leads to a more positive body image

As people become aware of their breathing and heart rates and become more in tune with their body, they are more likely to have a positive body image, according to a 2019 study.

17. Mindfulness can improve attention

A 2017 study of participants 55 to 75 years old found significantly improved attention and more activation of the brain in the area associated with attention.

18. Mindfulness can make you smarter

Multiple studies have shown improvements in IQ and EQ among meditators, as well as increases in brain size and grey matter.

19. Mindfulness can improve your relationship

Mindfulness and relationships

Couples who practice mindfulness see improvements in relationship happiness, as well as healthier levels of relationship stress and overall stress, according to a 2004 study at the University of North Carolina.

20. Mindfulness improves self-acceptance

One of the simplest ways to reduce self-judgment and replace it with acceptance is mindfulness, according to a 2006 Harvard University review of scientific literature.

21. Mindfulness can help treat substance abuse

In fact, one study showed mindfulness intervention to be more effective than standard relapse-prevention programs or 12-step programs.

22. Mindfulness can reduce bias

Mindfulness meditation can reduce implicit bias, and the associated negative behaviors, according to a 2014 study.

23. Mindfulness improves your focus

People who meditate perform better on tasks that require them to shut out distractions and maintain focus, according to a 2011 review of mindfulness literature.

24. Mindfulness helps you from becoming lost in thought

Our minds are lost in thought 47% of the time, but mindfulness can improve this.

25. Mindfulness can improve sleep

Mindfulness and sleep

Mindfulness-based training for insomnia can help you fall asleep more quickly and spend less time lying awake, according to a 2020 study. (But meditation can’t replace sleep entirely).

26. Mindfulness isn’t religious

Although mindfulness has its roots in religious tradition, mindfulness as practiced today is a secular set of tools that can help reduce stress and improve well-being.

27. There are hundreds of types of mindfulness practices

With dozens of mindfulness exercises and hundreds of types of meditation practices, mindfulness is incredibly diverse.

28. Google offers daily mindfulness sessions to its employees.

The program, called Search Inside Yourself, is intended to help employees be happier and less stressed.

29. There are more than 1,000 mindfulness apps available

Calm is the most popular mindfulness app by downloads and revenue. It’s followed closely by Headspace. (TechCrunch)

30. Mindfulness is over 2,500 years old

Group of monks walking through rice paddies in Asia

Originating in India, it was popularized in the 20th century by Thich Nhat Hanh and Jon Kabat-Zinn.

31. Mindful coloring books are a big thing

They generated 25 million dollars in revenue in 2015, in the UK alone.

32. The world’s most mindful city is Melbourne, Australia

According to our in-depth review of global Google search data across multiple languages and countries since 2004, Melbourne has the highest relative interest in meditation.

33. The most mindful city in the US is Minneapolis

This is based on a review of wellness spaces and green spaces among other factors. (source)

34. 275 million people practice meditation around the world

According to our in-depth review of all available data, we concluded that 275 million people practice meditation around the world. Since mindfulness includes other techniques besides meditation, even more people practice mindfulness.

35. Mindfulness is not meditation

Meditation is a technique to train your awareness. Mindfulness can refer to any activity you do throughout your day that involves focusing your attention and being present.

The goal of meditation is not to become better at meditation, but to become more mindful in your daily life.

36. Most people learn mindfulness through an app, a book or a course.

15% of UK adults learned mindfulness through one of these methods, according to a 2018 survey.

37. 35% of mindfulness practitioners aim to reduce stress.

It’s one of the most common reasons to pursue mindfulness, according to surveys. (2019)

38. More and more kids are practicing mindfulness

Around 5% of kids in the United States were meditating and practicing mindfulness as of 2017. (NCHS)

39. The most popular mindfulness book is The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

It has 5 million+ sales (source). Other popular mindfulness books are A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza, and Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn.