Mindfulness and Health Behaviors

Abstract

Mindfulness involves nonjudgmental awareness of one's present experience. It has been incorporated into the treatment of many psychological and physical disorders. Little is currently known about the extent to which mindful awareness is related to healthy diet and physical activity. In the current study, we examined the extent to which degree of mindfulness in everyday life predicts diet, physical activity, and self-efficacy. Participants (n = 269) were volunteers from a mid-sized Western university. They completed measures of mindfulness, physical activity, diet, and self-efficacy. Degree of mindfulness in everyday life predicted physical activity, fruit and vegetable intake, fat intake (males only), and self-efficacy. Important gender differences emerged, with the ability to step back and observe experience predicting healthier behaviors for males, and the ability to mindfully describe experiences with words predicting healthier behaviors for females.

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Correspondence to Desleigh Gilbert.

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Gilbert, D., Waltz, J. Mindfulness and Health Behaviors. Mindfulness 1, 227–234 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-010-0032-3

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Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • diet
  • physical activity
  • self-efficacy
  • gender differences