Why Do People Practice Mindfulness? (78675)

Session Information: Mental Health & Therapy
Session Chair: Garima Rajan

Thursday, 28 March 2024 13:30
Session: Session 3
Room: Room 605
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Considering the established range of positive outcomes, both in terms of psychological and physiological variables for those practicing mindfulness, it is surprising how limited our knowledge is of why individuals engage in mindful practice. This paper will consider the reasons individuals have for starting and continuing with mindful practice.
One-hundred and ninety adult participants engaged in an online questionnaire asking two main questions:
• “Why did you first choose to start practising mindfulness meditation”?
• For those who had continued their practice, a follow-up question was “What are your reasons for continuing to practice mindfulness meditation”?
Data was analysed firstly though an inductive thematic analysis used to code and analyse qualitative responses. Four themes were revealed: most commonly cited reason was reduction of negative experiences (94.74% of respondents); increase in well-being (31.05% of respondents); recommendation by someone else to try the practice (28.42%), and a small number of participants (6.32%) began practice for religious / spiritual reasons.
Quantitative results confirmed the top 4 reasons for both beginning and continuing mindfulness practice were to reduce anxiety, feel calmer, increase relaxation and to more effectively regulate their emotions. The only significant differences between more and less experienced meditators were that the former group used meditation more commonly to reduce physical pain. Future studies need to consider engagement in mindfulness practice longitudinally to further explore reasons for practice. Also, the sample was relatively homogeneous, and different groups of meditators may well have different reasons than those in the current study.

Analise O'Donovan, Griffith University, Australia
Chris Pepping, Griffith University, Australia
Benjamin Walters, Griffith University, Australia

About the Presenter(s)
Professor Analise O'Donovan is a University Professor/Principal Lecturer at Griffith University in Australia

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00