Can Mindfulness Affect Your Happiness?

New studies look at the impact of mindfulness on pain, parenting, brain performance, happiness and more.

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Happiness in the present moment?

Living in the present moment is one thing, and accepting it is another. Happiness, a new study finds, may be tied to the latter. A team of researchers randomly assigned 153 adults to 8 weeks of training in monitoring and accepting their experience, or just monitoring without acceptance, or no instruction. Positive mood increased only in the group that learned acceptance skills, though groups who learned to monitor their experience also reported fewer negative moods.

Managing chronic disease

People with chronic illnesses like diabetes, asthma, cancer, and heart disease often experience anxiety and depression. Both can interfere with self-regulation, which makes managing medications and maintaining healthy habits challenging. Researchers in Boston asked 92 adults with a chronic illness combined with anxiety and depression to participate in an 8-week program that included mindfulness, self-compassion, mindfulness-oriented behavior skills, and developing a self-management action plan. At the end of 8 weeks participants showed significant improvements in disease management compared to a wait-list control group. Even better, the program was covered by health insurance. 

Mindful parenting pays off

For a study examining how mindful parenting affects teens, more than 400 families of 6th- and 7th-grade students either attended a…

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