43. A Mindful Approach to Chronic Illness

  1. Amanda Ie,
  2. Christelle T. Ngnoumen and
  3. Ellen J. Langer
  1. Deborah Phillips and
  2. Francesco Pagnini

Published Online: 21 MAR 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118294895.ch43

The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness

The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness

How to Cite

Phillips, D. and Pagnini, F. (2014) A Mindful Approach to Chronic Illness, in The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness (eds A. Ie, C. T. Ngnoumen and E. J. Langer), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118294895.ch43

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2014
  2. Published Print: 21 MAR 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118294871

Online ISBN: 9781118294895

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Keywords:

  • chronic illness;
  • mind/body relationship;
  • mindlessness;
  • sociocognitive mindfulness;
  • stress;
  • well-being

Summary

A diagnosis of a chronic disorder can be psychologically devastating. The distinction between mindfulness and mindlessness can help us understand the genesis of and provide the foundation for moderating the psychological distress experienced by people who receive such a diagnosis. A mindless view of the symptoms and of the diagnosis increases the suffering experienced, while improving the mindfulness of individuals with chronic illness will help to increase psychological well-being and quality of life. In this chapter, we discuss the theoretical framework of mindfulness and the relation between mind and body developed by Dr. Ellen Langer, and how mindsets influence the experience of a chronic illness. We provide practical suggestions and exercises to improve mindfulness with a specific focus on chronic disorders.