The advantages of mindfulness are both well-established and wide-ranging. Studies on subjects covering from college students to Marines have discovered this strategy reduces stress and result in increased levels of well-being.
The Mindful Mondays series provides ongoing coverage of the exploding field of mindfulness research.
But why should you, exactly, will be the capability to stay focused on the present moment in a non-judgmental way a powerful catalyst for contentedness? An investigation from India points to a partial answer: Mindfulness breeds resilience.
That’s the conclusion of researchers Badri Bajaj and Neerja Pande. Writing in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, they prove that psychological resilience is significantly more pronounced in mindful people. The scientists also provide evidence that this highly useful quality produces most of the practice’s much-touted benefits.
Bajaj and Pande describe research featuring 327 undergraduates (236 men and 91 women). People completed a series of surveys measuring their mindfulness, life satisfaction, emotional state, and grade of resilience—the capability to cope in stressful situations and get better from adversity.
Their responses to 15 assertions measured mindfulness—or absence thereof; for instance, “I will usually rush to get where I’m going without following the thing I experience along the way.” To gauge their resilience, participants were educated on ten self-descriptive statements, including “able to adapt to change,” “can stay focused under pressure,” and therefore are “not easily discouraged by failure.” They responded to each linked to a five-point scale (“not at all” to “true nearly all considering the time”).
As predicted, the scientists found “individuals with higher mindfulness have greater resilience, increasing their life satisfaction.” They note that resilience “can be considered as a key method to get subjective well-being,” and point out many ways mindfulness can promote this state of mind.
“Mindful people … can more comfortably handle difficult thoughts and emotions without becoming overwhelmed or disabling (emotionally),” they write. “Pausing and observing your mental state may (allow us) resist getting drawn into wallowing within a setback.”
Put a different way, mindfulness “weakens the chain of associations that keep people obsessing about” their problems or failures, which increases the likelihood they could try again.
This isn’t the only reason mindfulness promotes the well-being, naturally. Another new study provides evidence that the practice also encourages self-compassion, which ends up in increased levels of happiness. But increased resilience plays a severe part of this beneficial equation.
“The findings provide support for universities to develop tips that promote mindfulness,” Bajaj and Pande conclude. “Mindfulness training could provide a functional way of enhancing resilience and personality characteristics like optimism, zest, and patience.”
Perhaps this same notion will catch on as studies similar to this continue to increase. If you want to help students thrive (and increase the possibility they could stay in school), it could be smart to improve the overall curriculum a required remedial course: Mindfulness 101.
Author Resource Box:
Evidence Mounts That Mindfulness Breeds Resilience. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/evidence_mounts_that_mindfulness_breeds_resilience