Mindfulness-based behavioral activation interventions may protect from the negative effects of stress and depression among people with fibromyalgia, a study reports. The research, published in the Journal of Mental Health, was based on the idea that stressful life events, such as the development of chronic pain in fibromyalgia, triggers depression through its impact on daily living activities. The interference with daily activities causes a downward spiral with unsatisfying experiences and negative self-appraisal, which set the context for depressive episodes. Mindfulness is defined as the process of bringing one's attention to what is happening in the present moment. As mindfulness practice has been shown to protect against the negative effects of psychological stress, researchers at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, and their colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, figured that interventions employing mindfulness methods may be effective in limiting the impact of depression in fibromyalgia. To explore this premise, in the study “Mindfulness as a protective factor against depressive symptoms in people with fibromyalgia,” the team surveyed 117 patients with fibromyalgia using a range of validated tools measuring pain, stress, depression, and related factors. Based on data from this group of patients, the team built a statistical model to explore the relationships between these factors. Mindful behavior was measured using the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised — a tool that assesses everyday mindfulness practice with regard to thoughts and feelings. Analyses showed that depression was linked to disability, perceived stress, pain catastrophizing, overall patient health, as well as to the level of mindful behavior.