Over the last two decades, the concept of mindfulness has found a place in mainstream media and everyday conversations. Mindfulness has been associated with greater health and well-being, better relationships and even higher job satisfaction. However, some recent research questions whether mindfulness meditation impairs motivation.

Carleton University psychology master’s student Aidan Smyth, with his supervisor Marina Milyavskaya, recently published an article on the impact of mindfulness on an individual’s motivation to accomplish personal goals.

“This research provides preliminary evidence that a brief, 10-minute session of mindfulness mediation may enhance individuals’ motivation towards their personal goals by sustaining, or potentially increasing, their motivation,” said Smyth. “These benefits were only observed when individuals reported their motivation towards their personal goals and not when they were asked to report their motivation towards a random laboratory task. The motivational benefits of the meditation appear to depend, in part, on the degree to which individuals perceive their goals to be meaningful and engaging.”

While there is ongoing debate over the definition of mindfulness, a common conceptualization involves paying attention to the present moment, intentionally, in an open and non-judgmental manner. According to this perspective, mindfulness is characterized by qualities such as acceptance and awareness.

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Monday, July 26, 2021 in
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