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During the past decade, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) aiming at relapse prevention in depression has been developed and empirically tested. All exercises taught during MBCT are based on the development of a heightened awareness of one's body. The important role of the body is also stressed in a recently emerging interdisciplinary field of research termed ‘embodiment.’ This research program focuses on the interactions between bodily, cognitive, and emotional processes. Based on the obvious role of the body in MBCT and on the theoretical and empirical evidence highlighting the role of the body in emotional processes, we argue that considering embodied processes might be a useful perspective for research on the etiology of depression and for mechanisms of action in MBCT.

The present study examines the relationships between mindfulness and rumination, repetitive negative thinking, and depressive symptoms, employing a newly developed paradigm for the assessment of mindfulness. Derived from a central exercise of mindfulness-based interventions, 42 undergraduates were asked to observe their breath for about 18 min. Within this time period, they were prompted 22 times at irregular intervals to indicate whether they had lost mindful contact with their breath as a result of mind wandering. The results show negative correlations between the degree of the ability to stay mindfully in contact with the breath and measures of rumination, repetitive negative thinking, and depression. Moreover, positive associations with self-report data of mindfulness and a negative relationship to fear of bodily sensations support the construct validity of our new approach for the assessment of mindfulness. In summary, findings suggest the healthy quality of mindful breathing regarding depression-related processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)