Over the past four decades, research has shown that mindfulness brings substantial benefits for both mental and physical well-being. However, the mechanisms underlying these positive effects remain unclear and fragmented across different scientific domains. Psychologists study psychological processes impacted by mindfulness, neuroscientists explore brain changes, and molecular biologists focus on inflammation and genes. To truly comprehend the impact of mindfulness, it’s crucial to integrate these insights within a unified framework and gather comprehensive data.

The newly developed framework (INSPIRER theoretical framework) brings together proposed mechanisms of mindfulness on psychological, neural and immune levels. By applying it to various research designs at a large scale, we can unveil how mindfulness counteracts the effects of chronic stress and protects health.

In line with this mission, this project has three objectives: 1) to establish an international consortium of interdisciplinary mindfulness researchers (INSPIRER-MINDFULNESS consortium), 2) to create an open science database where researchers will share and pool data from their previous studies (INSPIRER-MINDFULNESS database), 3) to conduct an empirical study investigating long-term meditators that will statistically test the INSPIRER framework. This project will set the foundation for accelerating mindfulness research through interdisciplinary collaborations, open science and a common theoretical background.

Ivana Burić, PhD

University of Amsterdam