Ohio, U.S. –New research has revealed significant benefits of trait, or dispositional, mindfulness for health, sleep, and other aspects of wellbeing.
Mindfulness is the state of being consciously aware in the present moment.
There are two forms of mindfulness. The first is the traditional Buddhist meditation called mindfulness, which is a technical form of meditation. This method is also called “State mindfulness”.
Dispositional mindfulness, or “trait” mindfulness, is the general quality of being consciously aware and without judgment. It is not a specific exercise but rather the mental characteristic of mindfulness.
To compare dispositional mindfulness VS state mindfulness, we can say that one is the quality and the other the practice.
To improve state mindfulness we practice the formal act of meditating. This is generally done by sitting for twenty minutes and focusing on the breath. We may then label our thoughts and feelings, which has been shown to improve emotional control as well as to aid with relaxation.
Trait mindfulness, on the other hand, does not necessarily require formal training. It is more about taking the time to be mindful of your environment and of yourself. There are various ways to do this. One of the best ways is to focus on your senses, so you become more aware of the present moment. Another method is to simply slow down and focus on one thing at a time. You may also like to practice some of our mindfulness exercises.
Interestingly, there may be different benefits of dispositional mindfulness compared to state mindfulness. In other words, the quality of being mindful may lead to different results than a formal meditation practice (although the enlightened among us will likely do both anyway).
The benefits of meditation are well known. But this new research reveals significant benefits of dispositional mindfulness for health, exercise, sleep, and general wellbeing.
Research on the benefits of dispositional mindfulness for health
Researchers from the Department of Psychology, Ohio University, studied the relationship between dispositional mindfulness and health behaviours such as sleep, eating, and exercise. The researchers gave 441 college women training in dispositional mindfulness and asked them to complete a self-report survey at the being and end of the 10-week academic quarter.
The researchers found that higher levels if dispositional mindfulness were related to better sleep, improved physical health, improved eating practices, and better overall wellbeing. Dispositional mindfulness contributed to better physical health even after controlling for traditional health habits. The researchers also discovered that eating better and sleeping better make people more mindful, as well as the other way around.
The researchers suggest that including mindfulness training in college may be beneficial to results and to the wellbeing of college students.