Mindful Research News: More Kindness, Less Judgment

Do mindful people feel better in their own bodies? Does mindfulness make you kinder? Researchers are diving into these questions and uncovering the benefits of mindfulness.

Andrii Zastrozhnov/Adobe Stock

Research gathered from Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, Center for Healthy Minds at University of Wisconsin–Madison, Center for Mindfulness at UMass Medical School, and American Mindfulness Research Association.

Feeling good in your own skin

Do mindful people feel better about their bodies? Researchers asked 115 female college students about their level of mindfulness, body responsiveness, body shame, and overall health. Women who reported greater awareness and who tended to be nonjudgmental and nonreactive—key mindfulness skills—had less body shame, were more attuned to their bodies, and were healthier overall. The researchers say it’s not yet clear whether mindfulness increases body satisfaction, or vice versa. 

Building your meditation muscle 

In a comparison of adults who listened to either a guided meditation or a podcast daily for 13 minutes, researchers found that meditators reaped more benefits. For instance, after eight weeks meditators felt less anxiety and reported fewer negative mood states. And their performance on a set of computerized tests showed that they’d developed better attention and memory skills than podcast listeners. 

The brain networks that work to keep us in the present moment and remember information are like mental muscles: They need exercise to keep them sharp and well-functioning, and…

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