Keune, P. M., & Forintos, D. P. (2011). Mindfulness Meditation: A Preliminary Study on Meditation Practice During Everyday Life Activities and its Association with Well-Being. Psychological Topics, 19 (2). Full text epublished.
Past research has shown that mindfulness meditation is useful for the attenuation of psychological and physical suffering in clinical populations. In structured mindfulness-based interventions, patients engage in meditation exercises to refine their attentional skills and to learn to purposefully relate to the present moment experience in a non-judgemental manner. Following the development of such interventions, mindfulness has also received considerable attention in academic psychology, where it has been incorporated in the self-determination theory (SDT). According to SDT, the cultivation of mindfulness may warrant effective need gratification and consequently yield enhanced well-being in healthy individuals.
In this context, in the current study, we examined the association between mindfulness meditation, self-reported trait mindfulness and their predictive value for psychological well-being in a non-clinical sample. Individuals who engaged in mindfulness meditation regularly (N = 30) were compared to individuals without meditation experience (N = 30) on various scales which assessed trait mindfulness and psychological well-being.
Meditators reported higher emotional well-being, which was predicted by frequency and duration of practice. Especially those practitioners, who made efforts to implement mindfulness practice in activities of everyday life showed enhanced emotional adjustment. In an explorative analysis, mindfulness was identified as a putative partial mediator of the relationship between meditation practice and well-being. Despite methodological constraints, results of the current study suggest that mindfulness meditation, in a non-clinical context, is associated with increased psychological well-being, and as such worth to be explored in more detail by future research.
The study and its results might be relevant for the clinical sector as well, since they provide some information on how individuals with e.g., subclinical residual symptoms can protect themselves complementarily to CBT, but without participating in a completely structured mindfulness-based intervention.