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Mindfulness and self-compassion are emerging as crucial constructs in mental health research. Recent studies have shown that both mindfulness and self-compassion skills may play important roles in well-being and positive emotions associated with mindfulness training. Studies are needed to explain this relationship and to determine what facets may be correlating and mediating the meditation–happiness relationship. The aim of this study was to explore the meditation–happiness relationship and examine which mindfulness and self-compassion facets are better predictors of happiness. A total of 365 participants completed an assessment protocol composed of: the Five Facets of Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), the Self-Compassion Scale-short form (SCS-SF), and the Pemberton Happiness Index (PHI). Hierarchical regression analysis showed that two FFMQ facets (Observing and Awareness) and two SCS components (Self-kindness and Common humanity) were significant predictors of happiness. Mediation results revealed a significant total indirect effect of Observing, Awareness, Self-kindness and Common humanity in the meditation frequency–happiness relationship. Significant indirect effects were found for observing, self-kindness and common humanity. The results supported the model of mindfulness and self-compassion facets as partial mediators of the meditation–happiness relationship. Findings are in line with other studies and provide evidence about the influence of mindfulness and self-compassion on happiness.
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Meditation and happiness: Mindfulness and self-compassion may mediate the
meditationhappiness relationship
Daniel Campos
a
,AusiàsCebolla
a,h,
, Soledad Quero
a,h
, Juana Bretón-López
a,h
, Cristina Botella
a,h
,
Joaquim Soler
b,c,d
, Javier García-Campayo
e
, Marcelo Demarzo
f
, Rosa María Baños
g,h
a
Department of Basic Psychology, Clinic and Psychobiology, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain
b
Department of Psychiatry, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain
c
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
d
Centre for Biomedical Research in Mental Health, CIBERSAM, Spain
e
Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
f
Universidad Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
g
Department of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain
h
CIBER de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición, CIBEROBN, Spain
abstractarticle info
Article history:
Received 1 April 2015
Accepted 20 August 2015
Available online xxxx
Keywords:
Mindfulness
Meditation
Self-compassion
Positive psychology
Happiness
Mindfulness and self-compassion are emerging as crucial constructs in mental health research. Recent studies
have shown that both mindfulness and self-compassion skills may play important roles in well-being and
positive emotions associated with mindfulness training. Studies are needed to explain this relationship and to
determine what facets may be correlating and mediating the meditationhappiness relationship. The aim of
this study was to explore the meditationhappiness relationship and examine which mindfulness and self-
compassionfacets are better predictors of happiness. A total of 365 participants completed an assessment proto-
col composed of: the Five Facets of Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), the Self-Compassion Scale-short form
(SCS-SF), and the Pemberton Happiness Index (PHI). Hierarchical regression analysis showed that two FFMQ
facets (Observing and Awareness) and two SCS components (Self-kindness and Common humanity)weresigni-
cant predictors of happiness. Mediation results revealed a signicant total indirect effect of Observing,Awareness,
Self-kindness and Common humanity in the meditation frequencyhappiness relationship. Signicant indirect
effects were found for observing,self-kindness and common humanity. The results supported the model of mind-
fulness and self-compassion facets as partial mediators of the meditationhappiness relationship. Findings are
in line with other studies and provide evidence about the inuence of mindfulness and self-compassion on
happiness.
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Mindfulness refers to the self-regulation of attention to one's experi-
ences in the present moment with curiosity, openness and acceptance
(Bishop et al., 2004). It can also be understood as a disposition, trait
or stable tendency to be mindful in everyday life (Brown & Ryan,
2003). Dispositional mindfulness has been shown to be related to less
perceived stress (Tran et al., 2014), fewer depressive and anxiety
symptoms (Tejedor et al., 2014) or acceptance of pain (Cebolla,
Luciano, Demarzo, Navarro-Gil & García-Campayo, 2013). Moreover,
the tendency to be mindful can be increased through different methods,
such as the practice of meditation and clinical treatments using
mindfulness-based interventions (MBI), which have been shown to be
efcient in the treatment of many psychological disorders (Khoury
et al., 2013).
Although numerous studies have analyzed the relationship between
mindfulness and psychological symptoms in several mental disorders,
the relationship between mindfulness and positive psychological vari-
ables has been researched less. So far, mindfulness has been related
to positive emotions (Fredrickson, Cohn, Coffey, Pek & Finkel, 2008),
positive reappraisal (Hanley & Garland, 2014), life satisfaction (Kong,
Wang & Zhao, 2014), psychological health (Keng, Smoski & Robins,
2011), and psychological well-being (Baer et al., 2008; Brown & Ryan,
2003). Mindfulness has been associated with self-compassion, which
has been dened as being touched by and open to one's own suffering,
not avoiding or disconnecting from it, generating the desire to alleviate
one's suffering and to heal oneself with kindness(Neff, 2003a, p. 87).
Personality and Individual Differences xxx (2015) xxxxxx
Corresponding author at: Universitat Jaume I, Labpsitec. Av. Sos Baynat s/n, 12071
Castellón, Spain.
E-mail addresses: camposd@uji.es (D. Campos), acebolla@uji.es (A. Cebolla),
squero@uji.es (S. Quero), breton@uji.es (J. Bretón-López), botella@uji.es (C. Botella),
jsolerri@santpau.cat (J. Soler), jgarcamp@gmail.com (J. García-Campayo),
demarzo@unifesp.br (M. Demarzo), banos@uv.es (R.M. Baños).
PAID-07006; No of Pages 6
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.08.040
0191-8869/© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Personality and Individual Differences
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/paid
Please cite this article as: Campos, D., et al., Meditation and happiness: Mindfulness and self-compassion may mediate the meditationhappiness
relationship, Personality and Individual Differences (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.08.040
Neff (2003a,b), suggests a reciprocal relationship between mindfulness
and self-compassion where they facilitate and enhance each other.
According to this author, self-compassion entails three main compo-
nents that overlap and mutually interact: self-kindness versus self-
judgment, feelings of common humanity versus isolation, and mind-
fulness versus over-identication. Other authors also point out that
self-compassion is an essential skill in order to be mindful (Kabat-
Zinn, 2003; Shapiro, Astin, Bishop & Cordova, 2005). Compassion
could arise naturally with mindfulness; understanding the ubiquity of
suffering and the deep connection shared with other living beings
makes us inclined to feel others' pain and wish them well, just as we
wish to be well (Hollis-Walker & Colosimo, 2011). These attitudes
of gentleness in one's private and public behaviors are commonly pro-
moted in various MBI. Evidence suggests that self-compassion may be
an especially important component of the positive mental states associ-
ated with MBIs. Along these lines, Kuyken et al. (2010) report that
increases in mindfulness and self-compassion across treatment mediate
the effect of MBI on depressive symptoms.
Research shows that each of these two constructs seems to be inde-
pendently related to well-being (e.g., Baer et al., 2008; Chang, Huang &
Lin, 2014; Neff, 2011). The self-compassion trait has been related to
fewer symptoms of depression (Krieger, Altenstein, Baettig, Grosse &
Holtforth, 2013), anxiety (Neff, Kirkpatrick & Rude, 2007), burn-out
(Woo Kyeong, 2013), psychological distress and perceived stress
(Shapiro et al., 2005), severity of quality of life and worry (Van Dam,
Sheppard, Forsyth & Earleywine, 2011). Van Dam et al. (2011) found
that self-compassion is a better predictor than mindfulness of symp-
toms and quality of life in mixed anxiety and depression. However,
few studies have included measures of both mindfulness and self-
compassion and their relationship with well-being or happiness (Baer,
Lykins & Peters, 2012; Hollis-Walker & Colosimo, 2011).
Happiness has been conceptualized based on two general ap-
proaches: hedonic and eudaimonic. Hedonism refers to the importance
of life satisfaction and affective components like positive emotions,
whereas eudaimonic well-being is focused on optimal psychological
functioning, which depends on self-fulllment and includes the con-
cepts of personal growth, purpose in life, and a sense of autonomy,
among others (Hervás & Vázquez, 2013, Ryff & Keyes, 1995; Ryan &
Deci, 2001). Recent western literature and Buddhist philosophy further
emphasize the role of mindfulness and self-compassion in happiness
(Germer, 2009; Gilbert, 2010; Rahula, Rahula & Demieville, 2007).
Hollis-Walker and Colosimo (2011) found that mindfulness is related
to psychologically adaptive variables, and that self-compassion is a
crucial attitudinal factor in the mindfulnesshappiness relationship.
However, there is no literature about the way these two concepts are
related to happiness and how the practice of meditation interacts with
them.
Baer et al. (2012) found that both mindfulness and self-compassion
skills improved well-being associated with mindfulness training in
a sample of meditators,and both are important in predicting psycholog-
ical well-being. Mindfulness and self-compassion total scores mediated
the relationship between meditation experience and well-being. When
mindfulness and self-compassion facets were included, results showed
anal model composed of Common humanity/mindfulnessfrom
the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) and Describing and nonjudging/
nonreactivityfrom the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ;
Baer, Smith, Hopkins, Krietemeyer, & Toney, 2006)assignicant inde-
pendent predictors of well-being. However, in their study, Baer et al.
(2012) did not include the inuence of the frequency of mindfulness
practice, a relevant concept because the tendency to be mindful in
daily life is affected by how often one practices it (Soler, Cebolla et al.,
2014). In fact, according to Schoormans and Nyklíček (2011),the
frequency of meditation practice is a better predictor of well-being
than the type of meditation.
Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine whether medi-
tation frequency is related to happiness, and whether dispositional
mindfulness and self-compassion could be mediating this relationship.
The specic hypotheses are: a) both mindfulness and self-compassion
facets are signicantly correlated with meditation frequency and happi-
ness; b) participants with high meditation practice frequency have
higher levels of mindfulness, self-compassion and happiness, versus
non-meditators; and c) mindfulness and self-compassion facets medi-
ate the association between the frequency of meditation practice and
happiness scores.
2. Method
2.1. Participants and procedure
Participants completed an assessment protocol via a commercial
online survey system (www.surveymonkey.com). A link to this pro-
tocol was posted on several Spanish websites about mindfulness,
meditation and psychology (scientic associations, mindfulness associ-
ations, monasteries, etc.), as well as on non-professional social net-
works (i.e., Facebook). A total of 599 subjects accessed the website,
487 voluntarily agreed to participate, and 365 completed the survey
andmadeupthenal sample (183 meditators vs 182 non-meditators).
2.2. Measures
2.2.1. Socio-demographic and meditation frequency information
Socio-demographic data were obtained regarding age, sex and edu-
cation. Meditation frequency was assessed with a brief questionnaire
specically designed for this study. Participants reported whether they
meditated every day, 3 or 4 times a week, once a week or less, or never.
2.2.2. Dispositional mindfulness
The mindfulness trait was evaluated with the Five Facets of Mindful-
ness Questionnaire (FFMQ; Baer et al., 2006; Cebolla et al., 2012). The
FFMQ is a questionnaire for measuring dispositional mindfulness. It
consists of 39 items rated on a Likert scale ranging from 1 (never or
very rarely true) to 5 (very often or always true). These items measure
a personal disposition to being mindful in daily life, focusing on ve
factors of mindfulness: Observe, refers to the subject's capacity to pay
attention to internal and external experiences such as sensations,
thoughts, or emotions; Describe, measures the ability to describe events
and personal responses in words; Acting with awareness, includes
focusing on the activity being carried out, as opposed to behaving auto-
matically; Non-judging of inner experience, refers to the ability to take a
non-evaluative stance toward thoughts and feelings; and Non-reactivity
to inner experience, allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go,
without getting caught up in them or carried away by them (Baer
et al., 2008). The ve scales show good internal consistency. In the
present sample, the alpha was .93 for the total score and ranged from
.85 to .93 for the subscales (observe,α= .85; describe, α=.90;aware-
ness, α= .91; non-judging, α=.93; non-reactivity, α= .85).
2.2.3. Self-compassion
Self-compassion was measured using the short form of the Self-
Compassion Scale (SCS) (Neff, 2003a,b; García-Campayo et al., 2014).
Items are rated on a Likert scale ranging from 1 (almost never) to 5
(almost always). The Self-Compassion Scale-short form (SCS-SF) is a
12-item questionnaire designed to assess overall self-compassion
(total score) and three self-compassion facets: self-kindness (SCS-SK),
common humanity (SCS-CH) and mindfulness (SCS-M). The Spanish
version of the SCS-SF has shown high internal consistency and high
test-retest reliability. In the present sample, the alpha was .79 for SCS-
SK, α=.60 for SCS-CH and α=.74forSCS-M.
2.2.4. Happiness
Happiness was assessed with the Pemberton Happiness Index (PHI;
Hervás & Vázquez, 2013). PHI is a measure of well-being. The scale
2D. Campos et al. / Personality and Individual Differences xxx (2015) xxxxxx
Please cite this article as: Campos, D., et al., Meditation and happiness: Mindfulness and self-compassion may mediate the meditationhappiness
relationship, Personality and Individual Differences (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.08.040
containseleven items related to different domainsof remembered well-
being and ten items related to experienced well-being (i.e., positive and
negative emotional events that might have happened the day before).
The sum of these items produces a combined well-being index. In the
sample used for the present study, the alpha coefcient was .87.
2.3. Statistical analysis
Analyses of variance (ANOVA) and chi-squared tests were used to
examine socio-demographic differences between groups according to
their frequency of meditation. Correlations analysis was performed to
explore the relationships among the mindfulness and self-compassion
facets, happiness scores and frequency of meditation. A multivariate
analysis of covariance (MANCOVA), adjusting for age, was applied to
compare mean differences in mindfulness and self-compassion facets,
considering the different groups of frequency of meditation (from
daily to never). In the same way, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA)
was used to assess the differences in happiness scores, adjusting for
age. A step-wise hierarchical regression analysis was conducted to
examine the facets that predict happiness. To test the hypothesis that
mindfulness and self-compassion mediate the meditation-happiness
relationship, a bootstrap regression analysis was carried out using the
Preacher and Hayes (2004) approach.
3. Results
First, ANOVA analysis applied to the socio-demographic variables
revealed signicant differences for age; therefore, age differences were
taken into account in subsequent analyses. No differences were found
for sex or level of education. Table 1 shows the descriptive data regard-
ing frequency of meditation.
Correlations analyses were conducted for the frequency of medi-
tation practice, dispositional mindfulness (FFMQ), self-compassion
(SCS-SF) and happiness (PHI) (Table 2). Results showed that the mind-
fulness and self-compassion scales were positively and signicantly
correlated with the happiness measure. Furthermore, as expected,
frequency of meditation was positively and signicantly correlated
with the mindfulness scales, the self-compassion scales and happiness
(r=.222;pb.01).
Multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVA) were conducted
to test differences between frequency of meditation and the mindful-
ness and self-compassion scales. The MANCOVA results, adjusting for
age, showed signicant differences between groups (frequency of
meditation) on all the mindfulness scales ([F(15, 1074) = 9.227;
pb.001; η
p
2
=.11]):Observing [F(3, 360) = 29.184; pb.001; η
p
2
=
.20], describing [F(3, 360) = 6.344; pb.001; η
p
2
=.05],acting with
awareness [F(3360) = 4.348; pb.01; η
p
2
=.04],non-judging inner
experience [F(3397) = 16.106; pb.001; η
p
2
= .12] and non-reactivity to
inner experience [F(3, 360) = 27.820; pb.001; η
p
2
= .19]. Regarding
the self-compassion scales, again there were signicant differences
between frequencies of meditation and ([F(9, 1080) = 8.439; pb.001;
η
p
2
=.07]):Self-kindness [F(3360) = 19.095; pb.001; η
p
2
=.14],common
humanity [F(3, 360) = 15.011; pb.001; η
p
2
= .11] and mindfulness
[F(3360) = 23.145; pb.001; η
p
2
= .16]. Post hoc Bonferroni analyses
were applied (see Table 3). For both measures, mindfulness and self-
compassion, age was not a signicant covariant (pN.05).
ANCOVA analysis, adjusting for age, also showed statistically sig-
nicant differences in happiness scores ([F(3360) = 6.114; pb.01;
η
p
2
= .05]). The daily (D) meditation group scored signicantly higher
than the group that never practices meditation (see Table 3). No dif-
ferences were found between the other groups. Furthermore, age was
not found to be a signicant covariant ([F(1, 360) = .260; pN.05;
η
p
2
=.001]).
Next, we examined which facets predict happiness, using a stepwise
hierarchical regression analysis. Educational level and age were entered
in Step 1. In Step 2, the FFMQ and SCS subscales were entered simulta-
neously. Only two factors from the mindfulness scale (Observe and
Awareness) and two SCS components (Self-kindness and Common
humanity)remainedsignicant predictors of happiness. Table 4 shows
the signicant predictors included in the nal model obtained.
Finally, the mediation results from the bootstrapping analysis are
shown in Fig. 1. In our proposed mediation model, we included only
the subscales of the FFMQ and SCS that were shown to be signicant
predictors of happiness in the previous regression analysis. Observing
and awareness (mindfulness facets) and self-kindness and common
humanity (SCS subscales) were entered as mediators in the relationship
between frequency of meditation and happiness.
The total indirect effect via observing,awareness,self-kindness and
common humanity was signicant (95% bootstrap condence interval
of 0.2330.405). Signicant indirect effects were found for observing
(95% bootstrap condence interval of 0.0330.161), self-kindness (95%
bootstrap condence interval of 0.0890.184) and common humanity
Table 1
Socio-demographic characteristics.
Mean (SD) Fp
Daily 3 or 4 times a week Once a week or less Never
N = 89 N = 61 N = 33 N = 182
Age 44.94 (9.7) 42.90 (10.16) 44.27(11.81) 39.58 (11.55) 5.730 b.05
χ
2
p
Sex
Male 33 (37.1%) 24 (39.3%) 11 (33.3%) 50 (27.5%)
Female 56 (62.9%) 37 (60.7%) 22 (66.7%) 132 (72.5%) 4.267 n.s.
Education
Primary studies 1 (1.1%) ––2 (1.1%)
Secondary studies 12 (13.8%) 3 (4.9%) 1 (3%) 13 (7.1%)
University 76 (85.1%) 58 (95.1%) 32 (97.0%) 167 (91.8%) 10.992 n.s
Table 2
Correlations of mindfulness and self-compassion scales with frequency of meditation and
happiness.
Frequency of meditation Happiness
Mindfulness scales
Observing .445** .387**
Describing .210** .398**
Acting with awareness .137** .347**
Non-judging .327** .391**
Non-reactivity .442** .499**
FFMQ total score .441** .555**
Self-compassion scales
Self-kindness .377** .598**
Common humanity .344** .558**
Mindfulness .421** .546**
SCS total score .424** .630**
Happiness .222**
⁎⁎ pb.01.
3D. Campos et al. / Personality and Individual Differences xxx (2015) xxxxxx
Please cite this article as: Campos, D., et al., Meditation and happiness: Mindfulness and self-compassion may mediate the meditationhappiness
relationship, Personality and Individual Differences (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.08.040
(95% bootstrap condence interval of 0.0490.142). No signicant
indirect effects were observed for awareness (95% bootstrap condence
interval of (0.0000.041). The results suggest that observing,self-
kindness and common humanity were signicant independent com-
ponents of the effect of meditation frequency on happiness. Bootstrap
regression analysis supported the model of mindfulness (observing)
and self-compassion (self-kindness and common humanity) as partial
mediators in the meditation-happiness relationship.
4. Discussion
The aim of this study is to examine how meditation frequency (from
daily to non-practice) is related to greater happiness, and how dis-
positional mindfulness and self-compassion could be mediating this
relationship. As expected in our rst hypothesis, the frequency of
meditation practice is related to the levels of dispositional mindful-
ness, self-compassion and happiness. These ndings are similar to
previous studies showing that both concepts are related to well-being
(e.g., Baer et al., 2012; Hollis-Walker & Colosimo, 2011). In addition,
results are in line with those expected in the second hypothesis, as
groups with high meditation frequency have higher levels of mindful-
ness, self-compassion and happiness.
Regarding the third hypothesis, we tested the hypothesis that
dispositional mindfulness and self-compassion facets could be medi-
ating the association between the frequency of meditation practice
and happiness scores. The results obtained conrmed this hypothesis;
the facets of mindfulness observing and awareness and the self-
compassion facets self-kindness and common humanity were signicant
predictors of happiness. However, when they were all introduced in
the mediation model, only observing,self-kindness and common humanity
Table 3
MANCOVA and ANCOVA.
Mindfulness facets Self-compassion scales Happiness
Observing Describing Acting with
awareness
Non-judging Non-reactivity Self-kindness Common
humanity
Mindfulness
D 30.92 (4.13)
[5660]
32.65 (4.91)
[55.459.3]
29.80 (4.85)
[47.851.7]
33.55 (5.15)
[48.452.3]
26.38 (3.45)
[5963]
4.01 (.58)
[45.749.7]
3.86 (.66)
[4953]
3.96 (.60)
[48.152]
8.18 (.13)
[62.466.4]
3-4 T 29.59 (4.95)
[44.348.3]
31.95 (5.46)
[44.849.8]
27.47 (5.69)
[36.440.3]
32.13 (6.77)
[38.442.3]
24.63 (4.16)
[45.749.6]
3.77 (.77)
[35.639.6]
3.62 (.79)
[38.142.1]
3.87 (.72)
[39.143.1]
7.88 (.15)
[49.953.9]
OW 27.51 (5.11)
[29.233.2]
31.61 (4.50)
[32.136]
26.36 (5.17)
[2529]
32.90 (5.85)
[28.432.3]
23.00 (3.43)
[30.734.6]
3.79 (.73)
[25.829.7]
3.75 (.57)
[28.432.3]
3.59 (.80)
[25.829.8]
7.81 (.21)
[35.839.7]
N 25.26 (5.34)
[65.569.4]
29.94 (5.61)
[72.876.7]
27.55 (5.93)
[63.967.9]
28.35 (6.53)
[5962.9]
21.62 (4.33)
[69.773.3]
3.25 (.88)
[53.757.7]
3.23 (.73)
[59.863.7]
3.20 (.80)
[56.660.5]
7.52 (.09)
[82.686.6]
D vs. 34T ns ns ns ns ns ns ns ns ns
D vs. OW b.01 ns b.05 ns b.001 ns ns ns ns
D vs. N b.001 b.001 b.05 b.001 b.001 b.001 b.001 b.001 b.001
34T vs. OW ns ns ns ns ns ns ns ns ns
34T vs. N b.001 ns ns b.001 b.001 b.001 b.01 b.001 ns
OW vs. N ns ns ns b.01 ns b.01 b.01 ns ns
Groups comparisons (D = 3-4 T)N
(OW = N)
(D NN) = 3-
4T=OW=N
[D N(OW = N)]
=3-4 T)
(D = 3-
4 T = OW) NN
(D = 3-4 T)N
(OW = N)
(D = 3-4 T=
OW) NN
(D = 3-4 T =
OW) NN
[(D = 3-
4TNN)] = OW
(D NN) = 3-
4T=OW
Notes: D = daily; 34T = 3 or 4 times a week; OW = once a week or less; N = Never. Values between brackets [] show 95% condence interval.
Table 4
Regression analyses showing prediction of happiness.
Step Predictor(s) Change in R
2
Total R
2
Final beta
1 Educational level .03⁎⁎ .18⁎⁎ .08
2 Self-kindness .35⁎⁎⁎ .62⁎⁎⁎ .32⁎⁎⁎
Common humanity .05⁎⁎⁎ .66⁎⁎⁎ .27⁎⁎⁎
Awareness .03⁎⁎⁎ .68⁎⁎⁎ .18⁎⁎⁎
Observe .01⁎⁎ .69⁎⁎ .11⁎⁎⁎
Notes: The dependent variable is the Pemberton Happiness Index (PHI) total score.
pb.05.
⁎⁎ pb.01.
⁎⁎⁎ pb.001.
Fig. 1. Relationship between frequency of meditation and happinessmediated by FFMQ and SCS facets. Note: All values are beta coefcients. The values in parentheses show the relation-
ship between frequency of meditation and happiness when mindfulness and self-compassion subscales are included. *pb.05; **pb.01; ***pb.001.
4D. Campos et al. / Personality and Individual Differences xxx (2015) xxxxxx
Please cite this article as: Campos, D., et al., Meditation and happiness: Mindfulness and self-compassion may mediate the meditationhappiness
relationship, Personality and Individual Differences (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.08.040
continued to be partial mediators between frequency of meditation and
happiness.
These results differ from those found by Baer et al. (2012) suggesting
common humanity/mindfulness (self-compassion facets) and describ-
ing and nonjudging/nonreactivity (mindfulness facets) as signicant
independent predictors of well-being. As pointed out by Baer et al.
(2012), it is possible that in other samples, the specic subscales show-
ing incremental validity in the prediction of well-being might differ
from those reported in their study. Furthermore, other methodological
aspects of our study differ from Baer et al. (2012), as a larger sample
of participants is used in this study, and the meditation variable we
used was meditation frequency versus meditation experience in Baer
et al. (2012). As mentioned above, meditation frequency was shown
to be a great predictor of well-being (Schoormans & Nyklíček (2011).
Regarding the mindfulness and self-compassion facets used to predict
and mediate well-being, Baer et al. (2012) used a reduced number of
predictors by creating composite variables from pairs of subscales
with intercorrelations over 0.50, whereas in the present study the
three self-compassion facets (self-kindness, common humanity and
mindfulness) and the ve facets of mindfulness (observe,describe,acting
with awareness,non-judging and non-reactivity) were used. In this sense,
Hollis-Walker and Colosimo (2011) showed that eachmindfulness facet
signicantly predicted psychological well-being, although acting with
awareness and describing experiences were the strongest predictors.
However, it should be highlighted that their study was carried out in a
sample of non-meditators.
Regarding which facet is a better predictor of well-being (Baer et al.,
2012; Van Dam et al., 2011), results showed that both the mindfulness
and self-compassion facets were similar predictors of happiness, agree-
ing with Baer et al. (2012). However, in the tested mediational model,
self-kindness and common humanity show greater effects on happiness
than the mindfulness facet observing, as pointed out by Van Dam et al.
(2011), who reported that self-compassion was a stronger predictor
than mindfulness of symptoms of anxiety and depression in a clinical
non-meditating sample.
From a theoretical point of view, our ndings are related to the
Bishop et al. (2004) mindfulness denition. Bishop et al. (2004) pro-
posed a two-component model of mindfulness: 1) the self-regulation
of attention, so that it is maintained on immediate experience;
2) adopting a particular orientation toward one's experiences in the
present moment, an orientation characterized by curiosity, openness,
and acceptance. The rst component of the denition is represented
by the Observing facet, and the second by the self-compassion factor,
and both (according to the resultsobtained in this study) seem to medi-
ate the meditationhappiness relationship.
Observing seems to be oneof the facets that is mostrelated to and in-
uenced by meditative practice (Lilja, Lundh, Josefsson & Falkenström,
2013; Soler, Cebolla et al., 2014). However, authors found that this
mindfulness facet does not seem to be adequate for assessing mindful-
ness in individuals without meditation experience (Aguado et al.,
2015). Separate analyses of meditator and non-meditator samples
should be carried out in order to explore and conrm these results.
Furthermore, our analysis also indicates that the mindfulness and
self-compassion facets show partial mediation. In fact, other variables
could be mediating this relationship, such as de-centering (Soler,
Franquesa et al., 2014), insight (Harrington, Loffredo & Perz, 2014),
life goals (Crane, Winder, Hargus, Amarasinghe & Barnhofer, 2012),
type of meditation (Schoormans & Nyklíček, 2011), spirituality and reli-
giosity (Chavers, 2013) or personality traits (Giluk, 2009). In future
studies, other related factors may be considered as positive predictors
of psychological well-being or happiness.
The strong points of the present study are, rst, that it is the rst
study to examine the meditationhappiness relationship in a non-
meditator and meditator sample. Second, the use of a large sample of
meditators and a direct measure of happiness that covers its different
domains (i.e., general, hedonic, eudaimonic, and social) through different
assessment approaches (i.e., remembered and experienced well-being)
(Hervás & Vázquez, 2013) provides an improvement in this eld of
knowledge.
Finally, several limitations and methodological issues should be
mentioned. First, the sample was recruited over the Internet, which
could have resulted in a selection bias regarding the underrepresenta-
tion of specic groups of people or meditation types, and it has been
previously reportedthat different types of meditation interact different-
ly with the facets of mindfulness (Lippelt, Hommel & Colzato, 2014).
Furthermore, years of meditation practice were not taken into account
to test our hypotheses. In addition, given the cross-sectional design of
the study, causal inferences were not possible.
In summary, this study provides evidence about the meditation
happiness relationship and how dispositional mindfulness and self-
compassion mediate in it. However, there are still outstanding issues.
These results could have implications related to theoretical and practical
issues. For example, new treatment programs could be designed taking
into account the combination of these aspects because self-compassion
trainingis not included in most of the MBIs. Future studies areneeded to
provide clear evidence in order to draw stronger conclusions.
Acknowledgments
CIBEROBN is an initiate of the ISCIII. Red de Excelencia PSI2014-56303-
REDT: PROMOSAM: INVESTIGACION EN PROCESOS, MECANISMOS Y
TRATAMIENTOS PSICOLOGICOS PARA LA PROMOCION DE LA SALUD
MENTAL. Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Spain), (Plan
Nacional I + D + I. PSI2013-41783-R). Primary Care Prevention and
Health Promotion Research Network (RedIAPP), Instituto de Salud Carlos
III, Madrid.
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Please cite this article as: Campos, D., et al., Meditation and happiness: Mindfulness and self-compassion may mediate the meditationhappiness
relationship, Personality and Individual Differences (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.08.040
... towards improving individual and collective performance (Passmore, 2019). Meditation applied in the workplace (Passmore, 2019) supports positive leadership (Donaldson-Feilder, Lewis & Yarker, 2019;Barua, 2020). Through regular meditation a spiritual state of mind is attained leading to self-awareness and self-regulation which results in positivity (Campos et. al., 2016). In the case of leaders who practice meditation, the resulting positivity plays a role in developing positive leaders (Kolodinsky, Giacalone & Jurkiewicz, 2008;Barua, 2020). Positive leadership directly impacts on an individual's productive abilities (Cameron, 2008;Barua, 2020). Meditation facilitates development of positive leaders (Ba ...
... Meditation is related to positive emotions, positive reappraisal, life satisfaction, psychological health and well-being, self-compassion and adaptive behavioural responses under changing conditions leading to mindfulness, happiness and wellbeing (Campos et al., 2016). Mechanisms of both emotions and cognition, including reasoning, are intertwined and controlled largely through a portion on the side of the brain (Phelps, 2006). ...
... owards improving individual and collective performance (Passmore, 2019). Meditation applied in the workplace (Passmore, 2019) supports positive leadership (Donaldson-Feilder, Lewis & Yarker, 2019; Barua, 2020). Through regular meditation a spiritual state of mind is attained leading to self-awareness and self-regulation which results in positivity (Campos et. al., 2016). In the case of leaders who practice meditation, the resulting positivity plays a role in developing positive leaders (Kolodinsky, Giacalone & Jurkiewicz, 2008;Barua, 2020). Positive leadership directly impacts on an individual's productive abilities (Cameron, 2008;Barua, 2020). Meditation facilitates development of positive leaders (Ba ...
... Meditation is related to positive emotions, positive reappraisal, life satisfaction, psychological health and well-being, self-compassion and adaptive behavioural responses under changing conditions leading to mindfulness, happiness and wellbeing (Campos et al., 2016). Mechanisms of both emotions and cognition, including reasoning, are intertwined and controlled largely through a portion on the side of the brain (Phelps, 2006). ...
... Assertions to the effect that happiness is inevitable for those who accept themselves and others as they are, and who are authentic and sincere have been made. It was also suggested that those who are mindful have a higher level of selfcompassion and therefore are happier (Campos et al., 2016). A previous research carried out with elder people suggested that meditation practices and therefore the increased level of mindfulness can increase the happiness of individuals by increasing their feelings of gratitude and optimism (Anila & Dhanalakshmi, 2014). ...
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