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Immersive Mental Wellbeing

The Science of Mindway

At its core, mindfulness is a practice in which the individual learns to focus their attention on the present moment and approach their day-to-day experiences with judgement-free acceptance.

Regular mindfulness practice has been shown to be an effective strategy to regulate difficult emotions2,6,8 and improve attention4,18; reduce stress18, loneliness7, and ruminating thoughts4; and even reduce physical inflammation. 3,7,17

Given the abundance of evidence touting the benefits of mindfulness, why doesn’t everybody practise it? And why is it that so many of us have started — and subsequently stopped — practising it? Mindfulness courses have significant drop out rates1, even when conducted using audio mobile apps that explicitly aim to make the practice easier. 14,19

Mindfulness can be difficult.

It's tough to remain be fully present in meditation16. To carve out the space, time and privacy for regular practice1 which only compounds the difficulties experienced by novices15. Put together, learning to live mindfully can feel high-effort and frustrating1. In fact, in a review of the benefits and drawbacks of mindfulness training, Anderson and colleagues (2019) reported that the top two reasons people quit mindfulness programs were time demands of regular practice, and the challenging learning curve.

That's where we come in.

1. Mindway eases the mindfulness learning curve

We've specifically created environments for you to rehearse mindfulness skills with reduced distractions: a safe space, a mindful sand box5, 16. 


Virtual Reality uses up a lot of attentional resources11 which makes it a particularly effective approach to managing physical and mental distractions. For this reason, VR is becoming a promising tool to manage chronic pain. This feature of VR also makes it a great tool to practise mindfulness with minimal distractions12.


VR makes it less likely that your attention will be grabbed by your real-world surroundings, your anxieties, your to-do list; your roommates, your children or the neighbour’s lawn mower. To this point, studies have found that practising mindfulness in VR makes it easier to anchor your attention12 — a skill that we will be practising a lot over the next few weeks. In fact, studies have found that VR mindfulness is more effective than traditional Mindfulness practice at encouraging the shift in attention away from the external environment and instead inwards5. In short, VR helps us to build a world that supports you in your mindfulness practice.

2. Mindway makes meditation interactive and visual.

Our goal is to aid you in your journey to mindful living and provide the best support that we can for you to learn these skills.


Our meditations prioritise interactive & visual elements, shaping the environment around you. Sometimes we’ll show you your breath, other times we’ll use visuals to help you externalise your own thoughts. We use these interactive elements to create a mindful experience tailored to you and your needs.

3. Mindway creates getaways conducive to mindfulness.

You are not independent of the world around you: your physical surroundings have a significant impact on your stress and wellbeing. In an ideal world, we would be able to step out of our office and into a relaxing natural vista whenever we need to take a few breaths — but that is unfortunately not the case.


That’s where VR can come in: virtual reality is designed to create the feeling of presence; as if you are inhabiting another space10,21. In our meditations, we recreate natural environments that are known to be refreshing and rejuvenating13 to give you the rejuvenating and calming spaces that you may not always have access to. And importantly, our approach is rooted firmly in science: research shows that immersive virtual nature is an effective way to relax20 and restore your depleted attentional resources9.

  1. Witmer BG, Singer MJ. Measuring presence in virtual environments: a presence questionnaire. Presence 1998;7(3):225-240.


  1. Anderson, T., Sursh, M., & Farb, N. A. (2019). Meditation benefits and drawbacks: empirical codebook and implications for teaching. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, 3(2), 207-220.

  2. Arch, J. J., & Landy, L. N. (2015). Emotional benefits of mindfulness.

  3. Black, D. S., & Slavich, G. M. (2016). Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1373(1), 13-24.

  4. Chambers, R., Lo, B. C. Y., & Allen, N. B. (2008). The impact of intensive mindfulness training on attentional control, cognitive style, and affect. Cognitive therapy and research, 32(3), 303-322.

  5. Chandrasiri, A., Collett, J., Fassbender, E., & De Foe, A. (2020). A virtual reality approach to mindfulness skills training. Virtual Reality, 24(1), 143-149.

  6. Chiesa, A., Serretti, A., & Jakobsen, J. C. (2013). Mindfulness: Top–down or bottom–up emotion regulation strategy?. Clinical psychology review, 33(1), 82-96.

  7. Creswell, J. D., Irwin, M. R., Burklund, L. J., Lieberman, M. D., Arevalo, J. M., Ma, J., ... & Cole, S. W. (2012). Mindfulness-based stress reduction training reduces loneliness and pro-inflammatory gene expression in older adults: a small randomized controlled trial. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 26(7), 1095-1101.

  8. Davis, D. M., & Hayes, J. A. (2011). What are the benefits of mindfulness? A practice review of psychotherapy-related research. Psychotherapy, 48(2), 198.

  9. de Kort, Y. A., Meijnders, A. L., Sponselee, A. A., & IJsselsteijn, W. A. (2006). What's wrong with virtual trees? Restoring from stress in a mediated environment. Journal of environmental psychology, 26(4), 309-320.

  10. Diemer, J., Alpers, G. W., Peperkorn, H. M., Shiban, Y., & Mühlberger, A. (2015). The impact of perception and presence on emotional reactions: a review of research in virtual reality. Frontiers in psychology, 6, 26.

  11. Hoffman HG, Garcia-Palacios A, Kapa V, Beecher J, Sharar SR. Immersive Virtual Reality for Reducing Experimental Ischemic Pain. Int J Hum Comput Interact [Internet]. 2003 Jun;15(3):469–86. 

  12. Seabrook, E., Kelly, R., Foley, F., Theiler, S., Thomas, N., Wadley, G., & Nedeljkovic, M. (2020). Understanding how virtual reality can support mindfulness practice: mixed methods study. Journal of medical Internet research, 22(3), e16106.

  13. Kaplan, S. (1995). The restorative benefits of nature: Toward an integrative framework. Journal of environmental psychology, 15(3), 169-182.

  14. Kvillemo, P., Brandberg, Y., & Bränström, R. (2016). Feasibility and outcomes of an internet-based mindfulness training program: a pilot randomized controlled trial. JMIR mental health, 3(3), e5457.

  15. Lymeus, F., Lundgren, T., & Hartig, T. (2017). Attentional effort of beginning mindfulness training is offset with practice directed toward images of natural scenery. Environment and Behavior, 49(5), 536-559.

  16. Navarro-Haro, M. V., López-del-Hoyo, Y., Campos, D., Linehan, M. M., Hoffman, H. G., García-Palacios, A., ... & García-Campayo, J. (2017). Meditation experts try Virtual Reality Mindfulness: A pilot study evaluation of the feasibility and acceptability of Virtual Reality to facilitate mindfulness practice in people attending a Mindfulness conference. PloS one, 12(11), e0187777.

  17. Rosenkranz, M. A., Davidson, R. J., MacCoon, D. G., Sheridan, J. F., Kalin, N. H., & Lutz, A. (2013). A comparison of mindfulness-based stress reduction and an active control in modulation of neurogenic inflammation. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 27, 174-184.

  18. Tang, Y. Y., Hölzel, B. K., & Posner, M. I. (2015). The neuroscience of mindfulness meditation. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 16(4), 213-225.

  19. Toivonen KI, Zernicke K, Carlson LE. Web-based mindfulness interventions for people with physical health conditions: systematic review. J Med Internet Res 2017 Aug 31;19(8):e303

  20. Valtchanov, D., Barton, K. R., & Ellard, C. (2010). Restorative effects of virtual nature settings. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 13(5), 503-512.



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