Mindfulness Integrative Model (MIM): Cultivating positive states of mind towards oneself and the others through mindfulness and self-compassion

  • Raquel Rodríguez-Carvajal Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Carlos García-Rubio Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • David Paniagua Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Gustavo García-Diex Nirakara Mindfulness Institute, Madrid
  • Sara de Rivas Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Keywords: mindfulness, self-compassion, well-being, compassion, Mindfulness-based Intervention (MBI), mediators, meditation.


There are more and more studies showing the effectiveness of Mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) in well-being. However, there are few studies that explore the mechanisms underlying this effect. The aim of this study is to present and validate the Integrative Model of Mindfulness (MIM). MIM main hypothesis is that mindfulness practice leads to an increment in mindfulness trait, which leads to an increase of self-compassion, and these in turn, lead to increase positive mental states towards others and oneself. A MBI intensive three-week with non-randomized controlled group was designed. Participants (N = 87) were differentiated by meditation experience as well. The results show large effect sizes regarding the effect of MBI on mindfulness trait, self-compassion and positive mental states to oneself and to others. The data support the MIM, indicating that the practice of mindfulness meditation leads in a sequentially way to the cultivation of mindfulness and self-compassion, which subsequently appears to lead to the development of positive mental states towards others and oneself.


Alda, M., Puebla-Guedea, M., Rodero, B., Demarzo, M., Montero-Marin, J., Roca, M.,

& Garcia-Campayo, J. (2016). Zen meditation, Length of Telomeres, and the

Role of Experiential Avoidance and Compassion.Mindfulness, 7(3), 651-659.

Barlow, D. H., & Durand, V. M. (2005). Abnormal psychology: An integrative approach (4th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Baer, R. A. Smith, G. T., Lykins, E., Button, D., Krietemeyer, J., Sauer, S.&Williams, J. M. G. (2008).Construct validity of the five facet mindfulness questionnaire in meditating and non meditating samples. Assessment, 15, 329–342. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/ 1073191107313003.

Baer, R. A. (2003). Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: A conceptual and empirical review. Clinical psychology: Science and practice, 10(2), 125-143.

Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., Hopkins, J., Krietemeyer, J., & Toney, L. (2006).Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness.Assessment, 13(1), 27-45.

Barnard, L. K., & Curry, J. F. (2011). Self-compassion: Conceptualizations, correlates, y interventions. Review of general psychology, 15(4),289.

Bhikkhu, T. (2010).SatipatthanaSutta: Frames of reference (MN10). Retrieved July, 3, 2013.

Bishop, S. R., Lau, M., Shapiro, S., Carlson, L., Anderson, N. D., Carmody, J., et al. (2004).Mindfulness: A proposed operational definition.Clinical Psychology:Science& Practice, 11, 230– 241.

Birnie, K., Speca, M., & Carlson, L. E. (2010). Exploring self-compassion and empathy in the context of mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR). Stress and Health, 26(5), 359-371.

Bränström, R., Kvillemo, P., Brandberg, Y. &Moskowitz, J. T. (2010). Self-report mindfulness as a mediator of psychological well-being in a stress reduction intervention for cancer patients—a randomized study. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 39(2), 151-161.

Brown, K. W., Ryan, R. M., & Creswell, J. D. (2007). Mindfulness: Theoretical foundations and evidence for its salutary effects. Psychologicalinquiry, 18(4), 211-237.

Campos, D., Cebolla, A., Quero, S., Bretón-López, J., Botella, C., Soler, J. & Baños, R. M. (2015). Meditation and happiness: Mindfulness and self-compassion may mediate the meditation–happiness relationship. Personality and Individual Differences, 93,80-85.

Carmody, J., & Baer, R. A. (2008).Relationships between mindfulness practice and levels of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms and well-being in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Journal of behavioral medicine, 31(1), 23-33.

Cebolla A, García-Palacios A, Soler J, Guillen V, Baños R, et al. (2012) Psychometric properties of the Spanish validation of the Five Facets of Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). The European Journal of Psychiatry 26(2), 118–126. doi: 10.4321/s0213-61632012000200005.

Chiesa, A. &Serretti, A. (2009). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for stress management in healthy people: A review and meta-analysis. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 15, 593– 600.

Coe R. (2002). It's the effect size, stupid: what “effect size” is and why it is important. Paper presented at the 2002 Annual Conference of the British Educational Research Association, University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon, England, September 12–14, 2002. http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/documents/00002182.htm. Accessed October 23, 2015.

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Edition. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Cullen, M. (2011). Mindfulness-based interventions: An emerging phenomenon. Mindfulness, 2(3), 186-193.

Cullen, M., & Pons, G. B. (2015).The Mindfulness-Based Emotional Balance Workbook: An Eight-Week Program for Improved Emotion Regulation and Resilience.New Harbinger Publications.

Ekman, P., Davidson, R. J., Ricard, M., & Wallace, B. A. (2005).Buddhist and psychological perspectives on emotions and well-being. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(2), 59-63.

Ferguson, C. J. (2009). An effect size primer: A guide for clinicians and researchers. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 40(5), 532.

Fredrickson, B. L., Cohn, M. A., Coffey, K. A., Pek, J., &Finkel, S. M. (2008). Open hearts builds lives: Positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1045–1062. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0013262.

Galante, J., Galante, I., Bekkers, M. J.,&Gallacher, J. (2014). Effect of kindness-based meditation on health and well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 82(6), 1101.

Garcia-Campayo, J., Navarro-Gil, M., Andrés, E., Montero-Marin, J., López-Artal, L.,&Demarzo, M. M. P. (2014).Validation of the Spanish versions of the long (26 items) and short (12 items) forms of the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS).Health and Quality of LifeOutcomes, 12(4),1-9.

Garland, E. L., Gaylord, S. A.,& Fredrickson, B. L. (2011). Positive reappraisal mediates the stress-reductive effects of mindfulness: An upward spiral process. Mindfulness, 2(1), 59-67.

Garland, E. L., Geschwind, N., Peeters, F. &Wichers, M. (2015). Mindfulness training promotes upward spirals of positive affect and cognition: multilevel and autoregressive latent trajectory modeling analyses. Frontiers in psychology, 6(15),1-13.

Germer,C. K. (2009). The mindful path to self-compassion: Freeing yourself from destructive thoughts and emotions. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Goldstein, J.,&Kornfield, J. (2001).Seeking the heart of wisdom: The path of insight meditation (reprint ed.). Boston, MA: Shambhala Classics.

Goleman, D. (1988). The meditative mind: The varieties of meditative experience. Los Angeles: J. P. Tarcher.

Gu, J., Strauss, C., Bond, R.,& Cavanagh, K. (2015). How do mindfulness-based cognitive Therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction improve mental health and wellbeing? A systematic review and meta-analysis of mediation studies. Clinical psychology review, 37, 1-12.

Hayes, A. F. (2009). Beyond Baron and Kenny: Statistical mediation analysis in the new millenium.Communication Monographs, 76, 408–420

Hofmann, S. G., Grossman, P.,& Hinton, D. E. (2011). Loving-kindness and compassion meditation: Potential for psychological interventions. Clinical psychology review, 31(7), 1126-1132.

Hollis-Walker, L.,&Colosimo, K. (2011). Mindfulness, self-compassion, and happiness in non-meditators: A theoretical and empirical examination.Personality and Individual Differences, 50(2), 222-227.

Hölzel, B. K., Lazar, S. W., Gard, T., Schuman-Olivier, Z., Vago, D. R., &Ott, U. (2011).How does mindfulness meditation work? Proposing mechanisms of action from a conceptual and neural perspective. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6(6), 537-559.

Jain, S., Shapiro, S. L., Swanick, S., Roesch, S. C., Mills, P. J., Bell, I., & Schwartz, G. E. (2007). A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation versus relaxation training: effects on distress, positive states of mind, rumination, and distraction. Annals of behavioral medicine, 33(1), 11-21.

Jazaieri, H., McGonigal, K., Jinpa, T., Doty, J. R., Gross, J. J., &Goldin, P. R. (2014). A randomized controlled trial of compassion cultivation training: Effects on mindfulness, affect, and emotion regulation. Motivation and Emotion, 38(1), 23-35.

Jinpa, T., Rosenberg, E., McGonigal, K., Cullen, M., Goldin, P., &Ramel, W. (2009).Compassion cultivation training (CCT): An eight-week course on cultivating compassionate heart and mind. Unpublished manuscript, Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

Kazdin, A. E. (2007). Mediators and mechanisms of change in psychotherapy research.Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 3, 1-27.

Kraemer, H. C., Wilson, G. T., Fairburn, C. G., &Agras, W. S. (2002).Mediators and moderators of treatment effects in randomized clinical trials.Archives of general psychiatry, 59(10), 877-883.

Kraus, S., & Sears, S. (2009). Measuring the immeasurables: Development and initial validation of the Self-Other Four Immeasurables (SOFI) scale based on Buddhist teachings on loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.Social Indicators Research, 92(1),169-181.

Keng, S. L., Smoski, M. J., & Robins, C. J. (2011). Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: A review of empirical studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 1041–1056.

Kemeny, M. E., Foltz, C., Cavanagh, J. F., Cullen, M., Giese-Davis, J., Jennings, P.,&Ekman, P. (2012).Contemplative/emotion training reduces negative emotional behavior and promotes prosocial responses. Emotion, 12(2), 338.

Kong, F., Wang, X., & Zhao, J. (2014). Dispositional mindfulness and life satisfaction: The role of core self-evaluations. Personality and Individual Differences, 56, 165–169.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2013.09.002.

Kuyken, W., Watkins, E., Holden, E., White, K., Taylor, R. S., Byford, S.,&Dalgleish, T. (2010). How does mindfulness-based cognitive therapy work? Behaviour research and therapy, 48(11), 1105-1112.

Leary, M. R., Tate, E. B., Adams, C. E., Batts Allen, A., & Hancock, J. (2007). Self-compassion and reactions to unpleasant self-relevant events: the implications of treating oneself kindly. Journal of personality and social psychology, 92(5), 887.

MacBeth, A., &Gumley, A. (2012).Exploring compassion: A meta-analysis of the association between self-compassion and psychopathology. Clinical Psychology Review, 32(6), 545-552.

MacKinnon, D. P., Krull, J. L., & Lockwood, C. M. (2000).Equivalence of the mediation, confounding, and suppression effect.Prevention Science ,1,173–181.

Malinowski, P. (2013). Neural mechanisms of attentional control in mindfulness meditation.Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7, 1–11.

Mascaro, J.S., Darcher, A., Negi, L.T.& Raison, C.L. (2015) The neural mediators of kindness-based meditation: a theoretical model. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(109), 1-12.doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00109

Neff, K. D. (2003). The development and validation of a scale to measure self-compassion. Self and identity, 2(3), 223-250.

Neff, K. D. (2003). Self-compassion: An alternative conceptualization of a healthy attitude towards oneself. Self and Identity, 2, 85–101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15298860309032.

Nyklíček, I., &Kuijpers, K. F. (2008). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention on psychological well-being and quality of life: is increased mindfulness indeed the mechanism? Annals of Behavioral Medicine,35(3), 331-340.

Olendzki, A. (2005). The roots of mindfulness. In Germer, C. K., Siegel, R. D., y Fulton, P. R. (Eds.), Mindfulness and psychotherapy (pp. 241–261). New York: Guilford.

Olejnik, S., &Algina, J. (2000). Measures of effect size for comparative studies: Applications, interpretations, and limitations. Contemporary educational psychology, 25(3),241-286.

Orzech, K. M., Shapiro, S. L., Brown, K. W., & McKay, M. (2009). Intensive mindfulness training-related changes in cognitive and emotional experience. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(3), 212-222.

Pons, G. B. (2014). Cultivating healthy minds and open hearts: A mixed-method controlled study on the psychological and relational effects of Compassion Cultivation Training in Chile (Doctoral dissertation, Institute Transpersonal Psychology)

Raes, F., Dewulf, D., Van Heeringen, C., & Williams, J. M. G. (2009). Mindfulness and reduced cognitive reactivity to sad mood: Evidence from a correlational study and a non-randomized waiting list controlled study. Behaviour research and therapy, 47(7), 623-627.

Reddy, S. D., Negi, L. T., Dodson-Lavelle, B., Ozawa-de Silva, B., Pace, T. W., Cole, S. P.,&Craighead, L. W. (2013).Cognitive-Based Compassion Training: a promising prevention strategy for at-risk adolescents. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 22(2),219-230.

Ricard, M., (2008).L'art de la Méditation.Nil éditions, Paris, France

Robins, C. J., Keng, S. L., Ekblad, A. G., & Brantley, J. G. (2012). Effects of mindfulness based stress reduction on emotional experience and expression: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of clinical psychology, 68(1), 117-131.

Sedlmeier, P., Eberth, J., Schwarz, M., Zimmermann, D., Haarig, F., Jaeger, S., &Kunze, S. (2012). The psychological effects of meditation: a meta analysis. Psychological bulletin, 138(6), 1139.

Seligman, M. E. P., &Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55, 5-14

Seligman, M. E., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: empirical validation of interventions. American psychologist, 60(5), 410.

Shapiro, S. L., Astin, J. A., Bishop, S. R., & Cordova, M. (2005). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for health care professionals: results from a randomized trial. International Journal of Stress Management, 12(2), 164.

Shapiro, S. L., Carlson, L. E., Astin, J. A., & Freedman, B. (2006).Mechanisms of mindfulness. Journal of clinical psychology, 62(3), 373-386.

Shapiro, S. L., Oman, D., Thoresen, C. E., Plante, T. G., & Flinders, T. (2008). Cultivating mindfulness: effects on well-being. Journal of clinical psychology, 64(7), 840-862.

Sheldon, K. M., & King, L. (2001). Why positive psychology is necessary. American Psychologist, 56, 216 – 217.

Shrout, P. E., & Bolger, N. (2002). Mediation in experimental and nonexperimental studies: New procedures and recommendations. Psychological Methods ,7, 422–445.

Sin, N. L., &Lyubomirsky, S. (2009). Enhancing well-being and alleviating depressive symptoms with positive psychology interventions: A practice-friendly meta-analysis. Journal of clinical psychology, 65(5), 467-487.

Smith, G. T., Fischer, S., &Fister, S. M. (2003).Incremental validity principles in test construction.Psychological assessment, 15(4), 467-477.

Stone-Romero, E. F., &Rosopa, P. J. (2008).The relative validity of inferences about mediation as a function of research design characteristics.Organizational Research Methods, 11(2), 326-352.

Walsh, R., & Shapiro, S. L. (2006). The meeting of meditative disciplines and Western psychology: a mutually enriching dialogue. American Psychologist,61(3), 227.

Williams, J. M. G., &Kabat-Zinn, J. (2011). Mindfulness: diverse perspectives on its meaning, origins, and multiple applications at the intersection of science and dharma. Contemporary Buddhism, 12(01), 1-18.

Zhao, X., Lynch, J. G., Jr, & Chen, Q. (2010).Reconsidering Baron and Kenny: Myths and truths about mediation analysis.Journal of Consumer Research, 37, 197–206.

How to Cite
Rodríguez-Carvajal, R., García-Rubio, C., Paniagua, D., García-Diex, G., & de Rivas, S. (2016). Mindfulness Integrative Model (MIM): Cultivating positive states of mind towards oneself and the others through mindfulness and self-compassion. Anales De Psicología / Annals of Psychology, 32(3), 749-760. https://doi.org/10.6018/analesps.32.3.261681
Monographic theme: Positive Psychology in Spain