Brief mindfulness meditation: Can it make a real difference?

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Current Psychology: developmental - learning - personality - social, 2022
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This study investigated the effects of a brief mindfulness meditation induction on trait mindfulness, and its components, mind-wandering, and negative affect, in comparison to control conditions. Fifty-five non-meditators (M = 48 years, SD = 16 years; 62% female) completed pre- and post-intervention measures of trait mindfulness, negative affect, and both state and trait mind-wandering. Participants were randomly allocated to one of three 15 min intervention conditions: brief mindfulness meditation (MM) induction, progressive muscle relaxation (PMR; active control), or viewing a Ted Talk video (passive control). There were non-significant increases in trait mindfulness and its components, non-significant decreases in mind-wandering and negative affect, and the groups did not differ significantly from each other. However, medium and large within-group effect sizes were found for attention and non-judging, respectively with other effect sizes being either small or negligible. Time x condition interaction effect sizes were medium for trait mindfulness, acceptance, and non-judging, and small or negligible for all others. The 15-min brief mindfulness meditation induction was insufficient to produce statistically significant changes in trait mindfulness, attention, non-judging, mind-wandering or negative affect. Although the time x condition interaction for acceptance was significant, this relates to increases in the MM group in comparison to decreases in the control conditions, which needs further investigation. The medium within-group effect size for attention suggests that longer mindfulness meditation inductions may result in larger increased levels of attention. Larger samples are recommended for future studies, with longitudinal designs to determine any lasting beneficial impacts.
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