The Evidence Portal

Mindfulness and self-regulation

Flexible activity

The practice of mindfulness involves mental training that develops self-awareness, an ability to modulate one’s behaviour (self-regulation), and a positive relationship between self and others that transcends self-focused needs and increases prosocial characteristics. Mindfulness-based practice can be delivered in a variety of ways, however most commonly, the mental training that characterises mindfulness and self-regulation comprises a style of meditation practice that hones a person’s capacity to focus their attention. That is, generally mindfulness is described as a form of attention that is non-reactive, purposeful and in the present moment.

The goal of mindfulness-based practice is to reduce suffering and create a sustainably healthy mind. Mindfulness and self-regulation are consequently key tenets to socioemotional wellbeing programs. Mindfulness practice can increase self-awareness and capacity to regulate mental processes that contribute to emotional distress and maladaptive behaviours.

How can it be implemented?

Trained facilitators can deliver mindfulness-based and self-regulation practice in-person or remotely and during one-on-one or group sessions.

Who is the target group?

This flexible activity has been implemented with a number of different target groups. Key characteristics include:

  • Students attending an alternative education school because of concerns regarding presence of one or more risk factors for academic failure including poor grades, truancy, disruptive behaviour, repeated suspension or expulsion
  • Young adults aged 14-20
  • 18-19 year-old college students
  • University students who do not have a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia or Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or endorsed clinically significant levels of symptoms of anxiety, depression or eating disorders
  • School students
  • High school students from a recovery high school that requires students to have a minimum of 30 days abstinence prior to enrolment

What programs conduct this activity?

  • During the Transformative Life Skills (TLS) program, lessons focus on self-regulation and body and emotional awareness.
  • No program name: yoga intervention consists of 42 standard yoga sessions which involve guided meditation techniques as a constituent component.
  • Just Breathe introduces simple mindfulness techniques so that students may better manage stressful situations. Facilitators also provide participants with audio recordings of guided meditations and instruct participants to practice these skills at home.
  • In No program name: Coping skills, mindful acceptance and cognitive reappraisal skills are taught as a key way in which to manage controllable and uncontrollable stress.
  • The Mindfulness-based stress reduction (adapted version) program comprises three components relating to mindfulness-based practice: didactic material relating to mindfulness and meditation; experiential practice of various mindfulness meditations and mindful yoga; and group discussion focused on the application of mindfulness to everyday situations and problem-solving.
  • Promoting Resilience in Self-Management (PRISM) includes an adapted set of dialectical behaviour therapy mindfulness activities, and a mindfulness and coping skills set of activities.

What else should I consider?

Mindfulness-based practice and self-regulation should be delivered by a trained facilitator.

Further resources

Last updated:

24 Nov 2022

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