Mindfulness and savoring the moment both involve presently occurring experiences. However, these scientific constructs are distinct and may play complementary roles when predicting day-to-day positive emotions. Therefore, we examined the unique and interactive roles of dispositional mindfulness and perceived ability to savor the moment for predicting daily positive emotions as well as related psychological health benefits. Participants completed a 9-week longitudinal field study. At baseline, dispositional mindfulness and perceived ability to savor the moment were assessed, along with three indicators of psychological health: depressive symptoms, psychological well-being, and life satisfaction. Each day for the subsequent 9 weeks, participants reported on their emotions. At the end of the study, participants again completed the three psychological health measures. Results showed that baseline dispositional mindfulness and perceived ability to savor the moment interacted to predict mean positive emotion levels over the reporting period and, in turn, residualized changes in psychological health. Specifically, the relation between perceived ability to savor the moment and positive emotions and, in turn, residualized change in psychological health indicators was amplified at greater levels of mindfulness and fell to non-significance at lower levels of mindfulness. Dispositional mindfulness only predicted positive emotions and, in turn, residualized changes in psychological health, for those very high in perceived ability to savor the moment. This research provides preliminary evidence that dispositional mindfulness and perceived ability to savor the moment, though related constructs, may serve unique and synergistic roles in predicting benefits for and through positive emotions.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: testing and interpreting interactions. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Baer, R. A. (2011). Measuring mindfulness. Contemporary Buddhism, 12, 241–261.
Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., & Allen, K. B. (2004). Assessment of mindfulness by self-report: the Kentucky inventory of mindfulness skills. Assessment, 11, 191–206.
Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., Hopkins, J., Krietemeyer, J., & Toney, L. (2006). Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness. Assessment, 13, 27–45.
Beaumont, S. L. (2011). Identity styles and wisdom during emerging adulthood: relationships with mindfulness and savoring. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 11, 155–180.
Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 822–848.
Brown, K. W., Ryan, R. M., Loverich, T. M., Biegel, G. M., & West, A. M. (2011). Out of the armchair and into the streets: measuring mindfulness advances knowledge and improves interventions: reply to Grossman (2011). Psychological Assessment, 23, 1041–1046.
Bryant, F. (2003). Savoring Beliefs Inventory (SBI): a scale for measuring beliefs about savouring. Journal of Mental Health, 12, 175–196.
Bryant, F. B., & Smith, J. L. (2015). Appreciating life in the midst of adversity: savoring in relation to mindfulness, reappraisal, and meaning. Psychological Inquiry, 26, 315–321.
Bryant, F. B., & Veroff, J. (2007). Savoring: a new model of positive experience. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
Coffey, K. A., Hartman, M., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2010). Deconstructing mindfulness and constructing mental health: understanding mindfulness and its mechanisms of action. Mindfulness, 1, 235–253.
Diener, E. D., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75.
Diener, E., & Larsen, R. J. (1993). The experience of emotional well-being. In M. Lewis & J. M. Haviland (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (pp. 405–415). New York: Guilford.
Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2, 300–319.
Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56, 218–226.
Fredrickson, B. L. (2013). Positive emotions broaden and build. In E. Ashby Plant & P. G. Devine (Eds.), Advances on Experimental Social Psychology, 47 (pp. 1–53). Burlington: Academic Press.
Fredrickson, B. L., Cohn, M. A., Coffey, K. A., Pek, J., & Finkel, S. M. (2008). Open hearts build lives: positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1045.
Fredrickson, B. L., Tugade, M. M., Waugh, C. E., & Larkin, G. (2003). What good are positive emotions in crises? A prospective study of resilience and emotions following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11th, 2001. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 365–376.
Gable, S. L., Reis, H. T., Impett, E. A., & Asher, E. R. (2004). What do you do when things go right? The intrapersonal and interpersonal benefits of sharing positive events. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(2), 228.
Garland, E. L. (2013). Mindfulness-oriented recovery enhancement for addiction, stress, and pain. Washington DC: NASW Press.
Geschwind, N., Peeters, F., Drukker, M., van Os, J., & Wichers, M. (2011). Mindfulness training increases momentary positive emotions and reward experience in adults vulnerable to depression: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79, 618.
Grossman, P. (2011). Defining mindfulness by how poorly I think I pay attention during everyday awareness and other intractable problems for psychology’s (re)invention of mindfulness: comment on Brown et al. (2011). Psychological Assessment, 23, 1034–1040.
Grossman, P., & Van Dam, N. T. (2011). Mindfulness, by any other name…: trials and tribulations of sati in western psychology and science. Contemporary Buddhism, 12, 219–239.
Hanh, N., & Cheung, L. (2011). Savor: mindful eating, mindful life. San Francisco: HarperOne.
Hill, C. L., & Updegraff, J. A. (2012). Mindfulness and its relationship to emotional regulation. Emotion, 12, 81.
Hurley, D. B., & Kwon, P. (2012). Results of a study to increase savoring the moment: differential impact on positive and negative outcomes. Journal of Happiness Studies, 13, 579–588.
Jislin-Goldberg, T., Tanay, G., & Bernstein, A. (2012). Mindfulness and positive affect: cross-sectional, prospective intervention, and real-time relations. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 7, 349–361.
Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living: using the wisdom of your mind to face stress, pain and illness. New York: Dell.
Keng, S. L., Smoski, M. J., & Robins, C. J. (2011). Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: a review of empirical studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 1041–1056.
Kiken, L. G., Garland, E. L., Bluth, K., Palsson, O. S., & Gaylord, S. A. (2015). From a state to a trait: trajectories of state mindfulness in meditation during intervention predict changes in trait mindfulness. Personality and Individual Differences, 81, 41–46.
Kiken, L. G., & Shook, N. J. (2011). Looking up: mindfulness increases positive judgments and reduces negativity bias. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2, 425–431.
Kok, B. E., Coffey, K. A., Cohn, M. A., Catalino, L. I., Vacharkulksemsuk, T., Algoe, S. B., et al. (2013). How positive emotions build physical health: perceived positive social connections account for the upward spiral between positive emotions and vagal tone. Psychological Science, 24, 1123–1132.
Lalot, F., Delplanque, S., & Sander, D. (2014). Mindful regulation of positive emotions: a comparison with reappraisal and expressive suppression. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 243.
Lau, M. A., Bishop, S. R., Segal, Z. V., Buis, T., Anderson, N. D., Carlson, L., et al. (2006). The Toronto mindfulness scale: development and validation. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62, 1445–1467.
Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K. M., & Schkade, D. (2005). Pursuing happiness: the architecture of sustainable change. Review of General Psychology, 9(2), 111.
MacLean, K. A., Ferrer, E., Aichele, S. R., Bridwell, D. A., Zanesco, A. P., Jacobs, T. L., et al. (2010). Intensive meditation training improves perceptual discrimination and sustained attention. Psychological Science, 21, 829–839.
Moskowitz, J. T. (2003). Positive affect predicts lower risk of AIDS mortality. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, 620–626.
Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (2015). Mplus user’s guide (7th ed.). Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén.
Ostir, G. V., Markides, K. S., Black, S. A., & Goodwin, J. S. (2000). Emotional well-being predicts subsequent functional independence and survival. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 48, 473–478.
Preacher, K. J., Curran, P. J., & Bauer, D. J. (2006). Computational tools for probing interactions in multiple linear regression, multilevel modeling, and latent curve analysis. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 31, 437–448.
Preacher, K. J., Zhang, Z., & Zyphur, M. J. (2011). Alternative methods for assessing mediation in multilevel data: the advantages of multilevel SEM. Structural Equation Modeling, 18, 161–182.
Preacher, K. J., Zyphur, M. J., & Zhang, Z. (2010). A general multilevel SEM framework for assessing multilevel mediation. Psychological Methods, 15, 209–233.
Quaglia, J. T., Braun, S. E., Freeman, S. P., McDaniel, M. A., & Brown, K. W. (2016). Meta-analytic evidence for effects of mindfulness training on dimensions of self-reported dispositional mindfulness. Psychological Assessment, 28, 803–818.
Quoidbach, J., Berry, E. V., Hansenne, M., & Mikolajczak, M. (2010). Positive emotion regulation and well-being: comparing the impact of eight savoring and dampening strategies. Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 368–373.
Radloff, L. S. (1977). The CES-D scale: a self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1, 385–401.
Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: applications and data analysis methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Ritchie, T. D., & Bryant, F. B. (2012). Positive state mindfulness: a multidimensional model of mindfulness in relation to positive experience. International Journal of Wellbeing, 2(3), 150–181.
Ryff, C. D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 1069.
Ryff, C. D., & Keyes, C. L. M. (1995). The structure of psychological well-being revisited. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 719.
Sahdra, B., Ciarrochi, J., & Parker, P. (2016). Nonattachment and mindfulness: related but distinct constructs. Psychological Assessment, 28, 819–829.
Sahdra, B. K., Shaver, P. R., & Brown, K. W. (2010). A scale to measure nonattachment: a Buddhist complement to western research on attachment and adaptive functioning. Journal of Personality Assessment, 92, 116–127.
Salzberg, S. (2011). Real happiness: the power of meditation. New York: Workman Publishing.
Seear, K. H., & Vella-Brodrick, D. A. (2013). Efficacy of positive psychology interventions to increase well-being: examining the role of dispositional mindfulness. Social Indicators Research, 114, 1125–1141.
This work was partially supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health. For the lead author, these include T32AT003378 and R01HL119977. For the third author, these include R01MH59615; R01NR012899, R01CA170128, and R01AT007884. R01NR012899 is supported by the NIH Common Fund, which is managed by the NIH Office of the Director/Office of Strategic Communication. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Electronic supplementary material
About this article
Cite this article
Kiken, L.G., Lundberg, K.B. & Fredrickson, B.L. Being Present and Enjoying It: Dispositional Mindfulness and Savoring the Moment Are Distinct, Interactive Predictors of Positive Emotions and Psychological Health. Mindfulness 8, 1280–1290 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-017-0704-3