The Importance of Cultivating Mindfulness for Cognitive and Emotional Well-Being in Late Life

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Abstract

The cultivation of mindfulness has received increasing attention over the past 2 decades because of its association with increased psychological well-being and reduced stress-related health disorders. Given the robust positive association between perceived stress and cognitive impairment in late life, the current study evaluated the association between trait mindfulness, psychological well-being, and cognitive function in 73 healthy community-dwelling older adults. Controlling for a priori covariates, multivariate regression analyses showed a significant association between trait mindfulness and measures of psychological well-being, including self-reported depressive symptoms, quality of life, and stress profile. Analyses further showed a significant association between trait mindfulness and executive function, namely set shifting. No association was found for declarative memory. Mediation analyses showed that the association between mindfulness and cognitive function is mediated by perceived stress. This research supports the importance of cultivating mindfulness in late life to ensure cognitive and emotional well-being.

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