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Mindfulness Can Make You Happy-and-Productive: A Mindfulness Controlled Trial and Its Effects on Happiness, Work Engagement and Performance


Abstract and Figures

A controlled trial of a Mindfulness Based Intervention (MBI) was conducted on a big Spanish public hospital. The intervention program was offered to the staff as an initiative to promote psychosocial health of workers. Nineteen employees participated of the program, which consisted in three 150-min sessions and other fifteen employees acted as a control group in a waiting-list format. Pre–Post evaluations of Mindfulness, Work Engagement, Happiness and Performance where taken and the data analysis suggests that the intervention program was successful in boosting the existing levels of all the evaluated variables. The practical implications of these findings suggest that shorter versions of traditional MBI programs could be an effective Healthy Organizational Practice to boost happiness and performance among healthcare professionals.
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Mindfulness Can Make You Happy-and-Productive:
A Mindfulness Controlled Trial and Its Effects
on Happiness, Work Engagement and Performance
´n Coo
Marisa Salanova
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017
Abstract A controlled trial of a Mindfulness Based Intervention (MBI) was conducted on
a big Spanish public hospital. The intervention program was offered to the staff as an
initiative to promote psychosocial health of workers. Nineteen employees participated of
the program, which consisted in three 150-min sessions and other fifteen employees acted
as a control group in a waiting-list format. Pre–Post evaluations of Mindfulness, Work
Engagement, Happiness and Performance where taken and the data analysis suggests that
the intervention program was successful in boosting the existing levels of all the evaluated
variables. The practical implications of these findings suggest that shorter versions of
traditional MBI programs could be an effective Healthy Organizational Practice to boost
happiness and performance among healthcare professionals.
Keywords Mindfulness Work engagement Happiness Performance
1 Introduction
In the past 40 years, Mindfulness—defined as a form of awareness that stems from
attending to the present moment in a non-judgmental and accepting manner (Bishop et al.
2004)—has become a strong field of knowledge development in diverse settings, such as
public and occupational health, education, and organizational development.
In fact, there is a growing consensus about mindfulness meditation as an effective
treatment for a wide range of somatic illnesses and psychological disorders (Arias et al.
´n Coo
Department of Social Psychology, WANT Research Team, Universitat Jaume I, Av Vicente Sos
Baynat s/n, Castello
´n de la Plana, Castello
´n 12071, Spain
Department of Social Psychology, Universitat Jaume I, Avenida Sos Baynat, s/n,
12071 Castello
´n de la Plana, Spain
J Happiness Stud
DOI 10.1007/s10902-017-9892-8
2006; Chiesa and Serretti 2011; Hofmann et al. 2010; Shonin et al. 2013a). However, little
attention has been paid to Mindfulness Based Interventions (MBIs) possibilities as tools to
promote healthy and positive outcomes, rather than just to reduce negative outcomes, even
though the research indicates that mindfulness is positively related to constructs such as
vitality, life satisfaction, and interpersonal relationship quality (Brown et al. 2007; Glomb
et al. 2012). Indeed, most scientific models of mindfulness offer a primarily extinguishing
account of the way mindfulness functions, focusing on the extinction of maladaptive habits
and disengagement from negative states of mind, rather than on the cultivation of adaptive
behavior and positive states of mind (Garland et al. 2015a). Thus, there is a significant gap
in the scientific literature about the potential positive effects of Mindfulness.
Specifically, research has shown that mindfulness is positively related to work
engagement, defined as ‘‘a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is charac-
terized by vigor, dedication, and absorption’’ (Schaufeli and Salanova 2011), through the
employee’s authentic functioning and positive affect (Leroy et al. 2013). These findings
echo the Happy-and-Productive worker hypothesis explored by many authors (for a review,
see Cropanzano and Wright 2001; Wright et al. 2002). Several studies carried out recently
have reported findings that confirm the existence of a link between happiness, opera-
tionalized as well-being (a construct that includes positive affect in a broader model), and
job performance (Cropanzano and Wright 2001; Zelenski et al. 2008).
In spite of the strong potential of mindfulness in the workplace, the happy-and-pro-
ductive worker hypothesis, and MBIs’ possibilities as an effective practice to promote
organizational health and well-being, only two controlled trials have explored the effects of
mindfulness training at work (Shonin et al. 2014a;Hu
¨lsheger et al. 2013). Therefore, the
aim of this study is to conduct a controlled trial of an MBI in order to observe its effects on
positive outcomes such as happiness, work engagement, and job performance. A secondary
objective of this research is to test the efficacy of a shorter version of an MBI because
many organizations do not have the time and resources to implement a classic 8-week
2 Mindfulness as a Positive Psychology Intervention
Both Mindfulness and Positive Psychology are relatively new research areas that are rooted
in ancient wisdom traditions. On the one hand, Positive Psychology stems from ancient
Greek Philosophy and the reflections of Aristippus and Aristotle about the different per-
spectives on well-being (Ryan and Deci 2001). On the other hand, contemporary Mind-
fulness practices come from different Buddhist Contemplative Traditions such as
Vipassana and Mahayana (Kornfielf 2011). Similarly, there has been an incredible increase
in the quantity and quality of research in both fields of inquiry (Black 2011; Donaldson
et al. 2014). More importantly, both views promote the idea of overcoming suffering and
languishing in the service of a ‘‘life well lived’’ (Seligman 2002) and the pursuit of an
optimal way of being or ‘‘genuine happiness’’ (Ricard 2010; Seligman 2002).
Positive Psychology is a field of psychological science that focuses on the study and
observation of positively deviated behaviors, outcomes, and processes at the individual,
collective, and societal levels of analysis (Seligman 2002). Positive Psychology shares a
common goal with Mindfulness, based on the idea of developing and increasing skills and
tools to promote wellbeing and optimal human functioning. The science of positive psy-
chology is able to propose rigorously tested, meaningful, and sustainable ways to enhance
C. Coo, M. Salanova
wellbeing that would offer real-world happiness seekers a more rewarding and effective
experience of helping themselves (Howells et al. 2014).
Mindfulness can be defined as a form of awareness that arises from attending to the
present moment in a non-judgmental and accepting manner (Bishop et al. 2004). Whether
mindfulness is a stable trait for some individuals or a momentary state for others, it is an
inherently human quality that can be developed so that individuals can bring quality to the
way they attend to thoughts, actions, and emotional states (Mellor et al. 2016). Research
has shown that mindfulness is subject to being developed through specific training (Shapiro
and Izett 2008). Several studies in the field of cognitive neuropsychology have shown that
engaging in as little as ten minutes of daily practice generates structural changes in regions
of the brain associated with executive information processing, attention, and self-regula-
tion (Lutz et al. 2007;Ho
¨lzel et al. 2011a,b).
Buddhism clearly and strongly endorses ‘‘the cultivation of happiness, the genuine inner
transformation by deliberately selecting and focusing on positive mental states’’ (Lama and
Cutler 1998, pp. 44–45). In Buddhism, mindfulness is only one aspect of a broader
Eightfold Path designed to transform destructive thoughts and behaviors into virtuous ones
and promote joy and equanimity (Rahula 1959). Among the factors of the Eightfold Path,
Right Effort (sammappadhana) is defined as the will to prevent and remove negative states
of mind and generate and sustain positive mental states (Rahula 1959). Thus, mindfulness
practice was originally intended to strengthen mental capacities in order to disrupt negative
states and cultivate positive psychological processes, rather than sustaining an affectively
neutral state (Garland et al. 2015a,b). This cognitive skill (Bishop et al. 2004, Dahl et al.
2015) serves as the foundation for cultivating higher-order qualities of mind such as
compassion, equanimity, joy, and love. Traditional Buddhist teachings point out that these
qualities of mind are the vehicles to overcoming suffering, and that they are clear, sci-
entific, and applicable (Nhat Hanh 2006).
The majority of the scientific models of mindfulness offer an extinguishing account of
how mindfulness works, focusing on getting rid of maladaptive habits and disengaging
from negative states of mind, rather than cultivating adaptive behavior and positive states
of mind (Garland et al. 2015a). Consequently, the majority of MBIs have focused on the
relief of negative symptoms and conditions such as stress, burnout, chronic pain, and
addiction relapse (Arias et al. 2006). In doing so, they have left out one of the main aspects
of Mindfulness training from the Buddhist tradition perspective: cultivating higher-order
qualities of mind through the practice of focused attention and open awareness, by con-
sidering elements such as compassion, equanimity, joy, and kindness as simple outcomes,
rather than key elements, of the practice (Nhat Hanh 2006). Taking this into account, the
combination of Mindfulness and Positive Psychology seems to be the logical path for the
integration of two disciplines that share essential goals and values.
3 Positive Consequences of Mindfulness at Work
3.1 Mindfulness and Happiness
Studies have shown that mindfulness promotes both hedonic (Brown and Cordon 2009)
and eudaimonic well-being (Brown et al. 2007). Hedonic well-being is associated with
pain relief and increased pleasure; eudaimonic well-being stands for living a meaningful,
self-realized, and fully functional life (Ivtzan et al. 2016). Despite the focus on deficit
Mindfulness Can Make You Happy-and-Productive
reduction, MBIs have also led to improvements in positive variables, such as positive
affect (Geschwind et al. 2011), cognitive functioning (Ho
¨lzel et al. 2011a,b), positive
reappraisal of thoughts (Hanley and Garland 2014), and improved interpersonal interac-
tions (Goleman 2006).
Garland et al. (2015a) proposed the Mindfulness-To-Meaning theory in order to clarify
potential paths through which mindfulness practice enhances positive variables, mainly
eudaimonic well-being. The theory posits that mindfulness facilitates positive reappraisal
because it evokes a decentered mode of awareness where thoughts and emotions are
viewed from a metacognitive perspective—allowing for the flexible construction of more
adaptive appraisals. By mindfully accepting experiences instead of dwelling on them,
cognitive resources are freed up to broaden the scope of attention to encompass pleasurable
and meaningful events and, therefore, build motivation toward purposeful engagement
with life (Garland et al. 2015a). Empirical articles aimed at providing evidence for the
Mindfulness to meaning theory have found that Mindfulness training stimulates an upward
spiral of positive affect and cognition, which are key elements of well-being (Garland et al.
2015b). Furthermore, increases in trait Mindfulness have been associated with more fre-
quent use of positive reappraisal (Garland et al. 2016).
Empirical research conducted to date supports the role of mindfulness in happiness,
operationalized as well-being. Ivtzan et al. (2016) conducted a Positive Mindfulness
Intervention randomized controlled trial (RCT) that integrated mindfulness with a series of
positive psychology variables that effectively increased participants’ happiness, opera-
tionalized as wellbeing, compared to controls. In this case, wellbeing was assessed through
the Pemberton Happiness Index (PHI, Herva
´s and Va
´zquez 2013), an integrative measure
of well-being that includes items related to different domains of remembered well-being
(general, hedonic, eudaimonic, and social well-being) and experienced well-being (i.e.,
positive and negative emotional events that happened the day before). Using trait measures
of mindfulness, significant correlations have been found with a variety of cognitive and
affective indicators of mental health and happiness. Mindfulness may facilitate happiness
directly by adding clarity and vividness to current experience and encouraging closer,
moment-to-moment, sensory contact with life, that is, without dense filtering of experience
through discriminatory thought (Brown and Ryan 2003). Trait Mindfulness has been
associated with lower levels of emotional disturbance (e.g., depressive symptoms, anxiety,
and stress), higher levels of subjective well-being (lower negative affect, higher positive
affect, and satisfaction with life), and higher levels of eudemonic well-being (e.g., vitality,
self-actualization) (Brown and Ryan 2003; Carlson and Brown 2005). Moreover, people
with high levels of this construct are better equipped to recognize, manage, and resolve
day-to-day problems, which promotes a healthy mind (Hollis-Walker and Colosimo 2011).
Moreover, Mindfulness has been associated with a more adaptive appraisal of stressful
situations (Wolever et al. 2012), promoting better emotion regulation (Hu
¨lsheger et al.
2013), work-family balance (Allen and Kiburz 2011), and sleep quality (Hu
¨lsheger et al.
2013). It also produces increases in positive emotions, which, in turn, lead to increases in a
wide range of personal resources and life satisfaction (Fredrickson et al. 2008). Finally,
Mindfulness meditation frequency has been shown to be a great predictor of well-being,
measured with the PHI questionnaire, which considers well-being to be a construct with
multiple domains (general, hedonic, eudemonic, and social well-being, as well as positive
and negative affect). The PHI also relates positively to the Five Facet Mindfulness
Questionnaire (FFMQ) facet of Observing, as well as the attitude of Self Compassion, both
significant outcomes of sustained practice (Schoormans and Nyklı
ˇek 2011; Campos et al.
C. Coo, M. Salanova
Considering all the empirical evidence provided, it is feasible to consider happiness,
operationalized as well-being, as an outcome of mindfulness training.
3.2 Mindfulness and Work Engagement
When employees are engaged in their work, they are highly energetic, enthusiastic, and
fully immersed in their jobs (Schaufeli and Bakker 2004; Schaufeli et al. 2002). Having
and maintaining this state of mind is an important indicator of employee well-being
(Bakker and Demerouti 2008), and it enhances the occurrence of behaviors known to
promote efficient organizational functioning (e.g., Rich et al. 2010). According to Rich
et al. (2010), engaged individuals can be described as being fully immersed in the activities
they are doing. Mindfulness is positively related to work engagement by enhancing this
experience of being immersed and attentive. Receptive attention increases the clarity and
vividness of one’s experiences, so that individuals become more engrossed and positively
engaged in their activities (Brown and Ryan 2003).
On the same path, Kahn (1992) argued that personal engagement in work is a function
of being psychologically present at work. Psychological presence is similar to mindfulness
in that it reflects whether individuals are ‘‘fully there’’ in the present moment, open,
attentive, and aware. Psychological presence is positively related to work engagement
because individuals who are more present in their work roles experience more personal
engagement (Kahn 1990). In addition to greater immersion in activities, mindfulness can
also foster engagement by helping individuals to see existing activities in novel and more
interesting ways, based on the idea of the ‘‘beginner’s mind’’, one of the core elements of
Mindfulness practice, thus promoting a heightened state of involvement and wakefulness
in these activities (Langer and Moldoveanu 2000).
Mindfulness can be instrumental in shifting one’s perspective or ‘‘re-perceiving’’ what
is already known (Carmody et al. 2009; Shapiro et al. 2006), thus keeping employees
interested, attentive, and involved in their work. To understand how this may work,
imagine engaging in what you consider to be a work-related activity, but approach it as if
you were doing it for the first time: being receptive and attentive to see what this activity
has to offer. This open awareness may lead you to discover new and interesting aspects of
the task that were not as ‘‘clear’’ to you before. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said
‘You can’t step in the same river twice’’ (Heraclitus as cited in Plato 1921, p 92). As a
result, you may feel more engaged in the activity.
Furthermore, Mindfulness has been positively associated with work engagement
through the mediation of the psychological construct of ‘‘authentic functioning’’, defined as
being aware of one’s self and regulating oneself accordingly (Avolio and Gardner 2005).
Work engagement is dependent on people investing their ‘‘true selves’’ in their work (Kahn
1990,1992). Therefore, by supporting the individual’s authentic functioning, mindfulness
promotes work engagement. Mindfulness helps individuals to make the conscious decision
to engage in work-related activities, thus internalizing external role demands within their
core sense of self (Weinstein et al. 2009). Authentic functioning describes this process of
internalization by stating that authentic people are both open and humble, expressing their
true selves, but willing to adapt at the same time (Leroy et al. 2013).
3.3 Mindfulness and Performance
A recent meta-analysis gathered different random controlled trials of MBIs performed in
clinical populations using measures of cognitive capabilities. Results suggest that early
Mindfulness Can Make You Happy-and-Productive
phases of mindfulness training, which are more concerned with the development of
focused attention, could be associated with significant improvements in selective and
executive attention. However, the following phases, which are characterized by open
monitoring of internal and external stimuli, could be mainly associated with improved,
unfocused, sustained attention abilities (Chiesa and Serretti 2011). These claims are sup-
ported by the findings of Zeidan et al. (2010), who indicate that brief mindfulness training
significantly improves visuo-spatial processing, working memory, and executive func-
tioning, compared to a control group that listened to a recorded book.
All these improvements in basic cognitive abilities are potential antecedents for
improved performance at work, where focusing one’s attention and making complex
decisions while taking many factors into account are key behaviors (Goleman 2013). For
instance, the ability to sustain focused attention over longer periods of time would probably
positively impact the overall productivity of office workers. It would help them to com-
plete their desired number of daily tasks in a shorter time span with fewer interruptions and
errors, thus providing the opportunity to achieve the same goals and spend fewer working
hours on them. In addition, the ability to take many different factors into account in
complex decision making would be likely to increase the efficacy and positive impact of
these decisions. As the scope broadens when considering different elements in key deci-
sions, the person becomes more likely to tackle potential difficulties and setbacks in
A recently conducted study evaluating the potential of awareness training through
mindfulness meditation showed significant increases in employer-rated job performance in
a medium-sized sample of middle managers. These results suggest that mindfulness-based
(i.e., present-moment-focused) working styles may be more effective than goal- based (i.e.,
future-orientated) working styles (Shonin et al. 2014b). In a similar way, Reb et al. (2015)
established a strong connection between awareness, absent-mindedness, and work per-
formance. The measures were significantly related to emotional exhaustion, job satisfac-
tion, need satisfaction, task performance, organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs), and
deviance. It is worth noting that all three measures of performance (task performance,
OCBs, and deviance) were rated by the employees’ supervisors, rather than by the
employees themselves.
3.4 Hypotheses
Based on the above, we formulate the following hypothesis:
H1 Participants who complete the intervention program will exhibit statistically sig-
nificant increases in their levels of Mindfulness, Happiness, Work Engagement, and Per-
formance, compared to participants in the control group.
4 Method
4.1 Participants and Procedure
The study was conducted at a large semi-public Spanish hospital. All the employees were
invited (approximately 1.500 individuals) to participate in the workshop through the
Human Resources internal on-line training platform. The participants were informed about
the nature of the study and given the first evaluation at the beginning of the first session.
C. Coo, M. Salanova
The study was described as a scientific program about the ‘‘benefits of mindfulness for
managing work stress’’. The participants were told that the study would be conducted by
university researchers, that the results would be confidential, and that the choice of whether
to participate or not would not affect their standing with their employer. Participation was
completely voluntary, and individuals were not rewarded for their involvement in the
Two successive calls to participate in the study were held. In the first call, 11 individuals
(100% women) attended the first session, and all of them completed the intervention
program. In the second call, 10 individuals attended the first session (80% women), but two
dropped out after the second session. Additionally 15 individuals (60% women) were
assigned to a control group in a waiting list format based on the time of soliciting
inscription in the course. The term ‘‘waiting list’’ refers to a group of participants included
in the outcome study who are assigned to a waiting list and receive intervention after the
active treatment group. This control group served as an untreated comparison group during
the study. All the control group members participated in the intervention program after the
study was over. Baseline demographic characteristics for each group are shown in Table 1.
The Hospital supported the study by allowing the participants to attend the sessions
during work hours without losing pay, and by validating the intervention as a professional
training activity.
4.2 Mindfulness Program Description
The program was titled ‘‘Stress Management and Wellbeing promotion for Health Pro-
fessionals’’, and it was developed by the Hospital’s HR Manager as an adaptation of Mark
William’s Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). The program was validated by
Spain’s national commission for job training activities.
The participants attended three 150-min sessions and received a CD containing guided
meditations to facilitate daily self-practice. Weekly sessions were structured considering
three different components: (1) A taught/presentation component (approximately 60 min),
(2) a facilitated group discussion component (approximately 60 min), and a guided
meditation and/or mindfulness exercise (approximately 30 min). A short break (5–10 min)
was always scheduled before the guided meditation practice. The participants were
encouraged to develop both formal and informal mindfulness practice through follow up
worksheets and suggested reading materials. The workshop was guided by the Hospital’s
HR Manager, who had received prior training as a Mindfulness teacher. To complete the
workshop, participants had to attend all three sessions. The specific session contents and
structure are presented in Table 2.
At the beginning of the first session, the participants filled out the initial questionnaire.
After the last session, the participants received the final questionnaire via e-mail and
answered within the following week.
Table 1 Baseline demographic characteristics for each condition
Intervention (N =19) Control (N =15)
Age, mean (SD) 38 (6.11) 36 (6.67)
Female (%) 95% 60%
Tenure, mean (SD) 3.6 (2.1) 3.9 (1.8)
Mindfulness Can Make You Happy-and-Productive
4.3 Measures
4.3.1 Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire
The Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (Baer et al. 2006) is a 20-item, brief scale that
assesses five different dimensions of Mindfulness, viewing it as higher-order factor. The
five dimensions include: (1) Observe, (2) Describe, (3) Act with Awareness, (4) Non
Reactivity to own thoughts, and (5) Non Judgment of own experience. Participants indicate
the frequency of 20 behaviors on a 7-point Likert scale (0 =almost never,6=almost
always). Items include ‘‘I’m good at finding words to describe my feelings’’ and ‘‘I’m
easily distracted’’. Half of the items are reverse scored. The scale presented good internal
reliability (Pre a=0.88; Post =a=0.86), even though the authors of the latest vali-
dation suggest revising the items corresponding to Non-Reactivity (Tran et al. 2013).
4.3.2 Utrecht Work Engagement Scale
The Utrecht Work Engagement Short Scale (Schaufeli et al. 2006) is a 9-item short-version
questionnaire that assesses the three aspects of work engagement: (1) vigor, (2) dedication,
and (3) absorption. Participants indicate the frequency of specific feelings and behaviors on
a 7-point Likert scale (0 =almost never,6=almost always), including ‘‘At my job, I feel
strong and vigorous’’ and ‘‘I’m enthusiastic about my job’’. The scale presented high
internal reliability (Pre a=0.81; Post a=0.95).
Table 2 Specific session content and structure
Rationale Structure Homework
1 Recognizing the tendency to be on
automatic pilot.
Commitment to learning how to step out of
Practice in purposefully moving attention
round the body.
Class Orientation
(Welcome, Format,
Ground Rules
Raisin exercise (Eating
Body scan
Body scan
Mindfulness of
routine activity
2 What is Stress and recognizing its presence
and its effects
Noticing stress in the body and the chatter
of mind
Emotion, body sensations, behavior
(thoughts are not facts)
Mindful movement
Home practice review
Pleasant experiences diary
sitting meditation
introducing posture
Explanation of homework
Body scan or mindful
Sitting meditation
with focus on
breath (10–15 min)
Pleasant experiences
Routine activity
3 Maintaining balance in life is helped by
regular mindfulness practice, preparing
for the future, the end of the beginning,
not the beginning of the end
Good intentions can be strengthened by
linking the practice with reasons for
taking care of oneself
Mindful movement
Homework review
Reflections on the course
Preparing for the future
Concluding meditation
C. Coo, M. Salanova
4.3.3 Pemberton Happiness Index
The Pemberton Happiness Index (Herva
´s and Va
´zquez 2013) is an integrative measure of
happiness that encompasses the different domains of remembered well-being (general,
hedonic, eudemonic, and social) and experienced well-being (positive and negative
emotional events that happened the day before). Participants use a 10-point Likert scale
(10 =strong agreement,1=strong disagreement) to indicate the degree of agreement
with 10 selected statements about remembered happiness, and they respond YES/NO to 10
experiences that occurred the day before, including ‘‘I feel very connected to the people
around me’’ and ‘‘I did something I really enjoy doing’’. The scale showed high internal
reliability (Pre a=0.85; Post a=0.87) and consistency.
4.3.4 Self-Evaluated Performance
Six items were taken from the HERO (Healthy & Resilient Organization) questionnaire
(Salanova et al. 2012) to assess in-role and extra-role self-rated performance on a 7-point
Likert type scale (0 =almost never,6=almost always). The items include, ‘‘I achieve
my work-related objectives’’ and ‘‘I go beyond my official responsibilities to help my
teammates’’. The scale showed good internal consistency (Pre a=0.80; Post a=0.85).
4.4 Data Analysis
A significance level of p\0.05 and two-tailed tests were employed throughout. Differ-
ences between group allocation conditions at baseline and endpoint were assessed using
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with a 2 92 design (i.e., a group factor [intervention,
control] and a time factor [baseline, endpoint]). In addition, univariate analysis of each
outcome variable was performed, following the recommendations made by Winter (2013)
to use Student’s ttest with small sample sizes to identify effects possibly overlooked in the
analysis of variance.
Effect sizes (Cohen’s d) were estimated based on difference scores of each dependent
variable, and they showed the size of the between-groups effect (absolute value) using a
mean averaged standard deviation. Cohen (1988) defined effect sizes as ‘‘small, d=0.2,’’
‘medium, d=0.5,’’ and ‘‘large, d=0.800, stating that ‘‘there is a certain risk in inherent
in offering conventional operational definitions for those terms for use in power analysis in
as diverse a field of inquiry as behavioral science’’ (p. 25). Effect sizes can also be thought
of as the average percentile standing of the average treated (or experimental) participant
compared to the average untreated (or control) participant. An effect size of 0.0 indicates
that the mean of the treated group is at the 50th percentile of the untreated group. An effect
size of 0.8 indicates that the mean of the treated group is at the 79th percentile of the
untreated group. An effect size of 1.7 indicates that the mean of the treated group is at the
95.5 percentile of the untreated group (Table 1).
5 Results
Results showed a significant interaction effect of group (intervention, control) and time
(pre, post) for all the dependent variables [Mindfulness (F(1) =43.10, p\0.001),
Happiness (F(1) =25.84, p\0.001), Performance (F(1) =23.68, p\0.001), except
Mindfulness Can Make You Happy-and-Productive
Work Engagement (F(1) =2.22, p\0.05). Figure 1shows plotted means for each time
factor (pre, post) across the groups (intervention and control). A clear and strong effect of
the Mindfulness Program was observed for each outcome variable, suggesting that the
Mindfulness Program improves levels of trait Mindfulness, Happiness, and Performance.
Correlations, standard deviations, and Cronbach’s alphas are shown in Table 3for pre-
intervention scores and in Table 4for post-intervention scores on each variable.
Further analysis was carried out using paired samples ttests for both groups (inter-
vention, control) to test for differences between time factors. The results indicate signifi-
cant differences in the intervention group’s dependent variable mean scores [Mindfulness
(t(18) =-7.88, p\0.001, d=0.66), Happiness (t(18) =-5.03, p\0.001, d=0.63),
Work Engagement (t(18) =-4.06, p\0.001, d=0.50), Performance (t(18) =-4.76,
p\0.001, d=0.72)]. This supports the ANOVA results that include Work Engagement
among the outcome variables whose levels increased significantly in the intervention
Results from ttest comparisons of the time factor for the control group indicated no
significant differences for the outcome variables Mindfulness (t(14) =0.496, p=0.62)
and Work Engagement (t(14) =-1.02, p=0.32), and significant interactions for Hap-
piness (t(14) =2.24, p\0.05, d=0.07) and Performance (t(14) =2.41, p\0.05,
Finally, interaction effects were further examined by comparing time factors (pre, post)
across each group (intervention, control). The results of ttest comparisons between groups
(intervention, control) showed no significant interactions in all the outcome variables at
baseline time [Mindfulness (t(32) =-0.44, p=0.66), Happiness (t(32) =-0.65,
p=0.52), Work Engagement (t(32) =-1.40, p=1.70), Performance (t(32) =-1.70,
Fig. 1 Line plots showing the impact of time factor (pre, post) on dependent variables across groups
C. Coo, M. Salanova
Table 3 Pre intervention means, standard deviation, internal consistency reliability coefficients and correlations (N =34)
Variables Mean SD a1234 567
(1) Total Mindfulness (FFMQ) 3.48 0.68 0.88 0.71**
(2) Observe (FFMQ) 3.10 0.87 0.69 0.62**
(3) Describe (FFMQ) 3.47 0.81 0.63 0.72** 0.36**
(4) Awareness (FFMQ) 3.43 0.81 0.83 0.82** 0.26 0.40*
(5) Non Judgement (FFMQ) 3.63 1.10 0.84 0.67** 0.49** 0.25 0.62**
(6) Non Reactivity (FFMQ) 3.24 0.76 0.62 0.50** 0.42* 0.32 0.28 0.41*
(7) Total Happiness (PHI) 7.57 1.24 0.85 0.49** 0.36** 0.21 0.25 0.42* 0.54**
(8) Remembered Happiness (PHI) 7.48 1.27 0.87 0.38** 0.37** 0.22 0.24 0.41* 0.52** 0.99**
(9) Experienced Happiness (PHI) 7.25 1.40 0.92 0.23 0.12 0.08 0.30 0.36* 0.48** 0.61**
(10) Total Work Engagement (UWES) 4.24 1.06 0.81 0.19 0.10 0.12 0.01 0.08 0.50** 0.64**
(11) Dedication (UWES) 3.90 1.29 0.86 0.21 0.06 0.13 -0.02 0.09 0.47** 0.61**
(12) Vigor (UWES) 4.03 1.14 0.81 0.21 0.06 0.12 -0.06 0.18 0.47* 0.75**
(13) Absorption (UWES) 4.10 1.15 0.80 0.05 0.08 0.25 -0.03 0.04 0.50** 0.61**
(14) Performance 4.91 0.75 0.80 -0.68 -0.08 0.24 -0.12 0.02 0.12 0.29
(15) In role Performance 4.85 0.90 0.76 1.61 -0.53 0.83 -0.23 -0.07 0.05 0.16
(16) Extra Role Performance 4.97 0.82 0.87 0.71** -0.93 0.34 0.04 0.12 0.16 0.32
Variables 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
(1) Total Mindfulness (FFMQ) ––––––––
(2) Observe (FFMQ) ––––––––
(3) Describe (FFMQ) ––––––––
(4) Awareness (FFMQ) ––––––––
(5) Non Judgement (FFMQ) ––––––––
(6) Non Reactivity (FFMQ) ––––––––
(7) Total Happiness (PHI) ––––––––
(8) Remembered Happiness (PHI) ––––––––
Mindfulness Can Make You Happy-and-Productive
Table 3 continued
Variables 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
(9) Experienced Happiness (PHI) 0.53** – – – ––––
(10) Total Work Engagement (UWES) 0.63** 0.55** – ––––
(11) Dedication (UWES) 0.59** 0.58** 0.93** – ––––
(12) Vigor (UWES) 0.75** 0.45** 0.87** 0.84** ––––
(13) Absorption (UWES) 0.61** 0.33 0.87** 0.78** 0.86** –
(14) Performance 0.29 0.18 0.26 0.31 0.44* 0.37 –
(15) In role Performance 0.17 0.05 0.12 0.21 0.20 0.18 0.84**
(16) Extra Role Performance 0.32 0.25 0.33 0.31 0.55** 0.44** 0.81** 0.38*
FFMQ Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (0 =Minimum; 6 =Maximum), PHI Pemberton Happiness Index (0 =Minimum; 10 =Maximum), UWES Utrecht Work
Engagement Scale (0 =Minimum; 6 =Maximum)
*p\0.05;** p \0.01
C. Coo, M. Salanova
Table 4 Post intervention means, standard deviation, internal consistency reliability coefficients and correlations (N =34)
Variables Mean SD a1234 567
(1) Total Mindfulness (FFMQ) 3.48 0.68 0.86 –
(2) Observe (FFMQ) 3.10 0.87 0.68 0.63** –
(3) Describe (FFMQ) 3.47 0.81 0.67 0.56** 0.27
(4) Awareness (FFMQ) 3.43 0.81 0.84 0.51** 0.09 0.28
(5) Non Judgement (FFMQ) 3.63 1.10 0.82 0.78** 0.52** 0.41* 0.48**
(6) Non Reactivity (FFMQ) 3.24 0.76 0.82 0.56** 0.37* 0.22 0.15 0.18
(7) Total Happiness (PHI) 7.57 1.24 0.87 0.48** 0.34 0.12 0.15 0.35 0.48** –
(8) Remembered Happiness (PHI) 7.48 1.27 0.89 0.53** 0.32 0.15 0.21 0.38* 0.45* 0.96**
(9) Experienced Happiness (PHI) 7.25 1.40 0.90 0.34 0.16 0.18 0.27 0.34 0.24 0.60**
(10) Total Work Engagement (UWES) 4.24 1.06 0.95 0.27 0.03 0.08 -0.04 0.01 0.53** 0.65**
(11) Dedication (UWES) 3.90 1.29 0.85 0.24 0.03 0.09 -0.05 -0.27 0.45* 0.70**
(12) Vigor (UWES) 4.03 1.14 0.90 0.30 0.09 0.08 -0.01 0.04 0.44* 0.73**
(13) Absorption (UWES) 4.10 1.15 0.82 0.27 0.03 0.18 0.04 -0.09 0.47* 0.56**
(14) Performance 4.91 0.75 0.85 0.08 0.09 0.20 -0.30 -0.18 0.13 0.25
(15) In role Performance 4.85 0.90 0.81 -0.62 0.12 0.03 -0.45* -0.28 0.05 0.11
(16) Extra Role Performance 4.97 0.82 0.87 0.21 0.32 0.33 -0.49 -0.30 0.18 0.33
Variables 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
(1) Total Mindfulness (FFMQ) – – – – – – – – –
(2) Observe (FFMQ) – – – – – – – – –
(3) Describe (FFMQ) – – – – – – – – –
(4) Awareness (FFMQ) – – – – – – – –
(5) Non Judgement (FFMQ) – – – – – – – – –
(6) Non Reactivity (FFMQ) – – – – – – – – –
(7) Total Happiness (PHI) – – – – – – – – –
(8) Remembered Happiness (PHI) – – – – – – – – –
Mindfulness Can Make You Happy-and-Productive
Table 4 continued
Variables 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
(9) Experienced Happiness (PHI) 0.62** – – – – – – – –
(10) Total Work Engagement (UWES) 0.42* 0.55** – – – – – – –
(11) Dedication (UWES) 0.71** 0.52** 0.93** –
(12) Vigor (UWES) 0.76** 0.45** 0.92** 0.96** –
(13) Absorption (UWES) 0.60** 0.39* 0.90** 0.86** 0.86** –
(14) Performance 0.18 -0.13 0.30 0.35 0.36 0.26
(15) In role Performance 0.05 -0.19 0.17 0.20 0.18 0.12 0.88**
(16) Extra Role Performance 0.28 0.07 0.35 0.39* 0.46* 0.34 0.85** 0.51**
FFMQ Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (0 =Minimum; 6 =Maximum), PHI Pemberton Happiness Index (0 =Minimum; 10 =Maximum), UWES Utrecht Work
Engagement Scale (0 =Minimum; 6 =Maximum), Performance (0 =Minimum; 6 =Maximum)
*p\0.05;** p\0.01
C. Coo, M. Salanova
p=0.9]. Comparison of the same variables at the end time shows significant interactions
in all outcome variables [Mindfulness (t(32) =-3.39, p\0.05, d=1.17), Happiness
(t(32) =-2.49, p\0.05, d=0.89), Work Engagement (t(32) =-2.33, p\0.05,
d=0.87), Performance (t(32) =-4.77, p\0.001, d=1.64)]. Mean and standard
deviation scores for each variable across both groups at different times (pre, post) are
shown on Table 5.
6 Discussion
A controlled trial was conducted to assess the effectiveness of a short MBI as a Positive
Organizational Psychology optimization intervention for improving Mindfulness, Work
Engagement, Happiness, and Job Performance. A small sample of healthcare workers was
allocated to the MBI group or a waiting list control group that received the intervention
protocol once the study had ended. Outcomes are consistent with the proposed hypothesis.
After participating in the three-week intervention program, participants showed significant
improvements with moderate effect sizes, compared to controls, on levels of Mindfulness,
Work Engagement, Happiness, and Job Performance. The findings suggest that the
abbreviated Mindfulness training program is a successful strategy for improving employee
happiness, work engagement, and performance (for a graphic representation of differences
between the intervention and control groups, see Fig. 1).
The results are generally consistent with the findings from the following studies on
Mindfulness in occupational contexts: (1) a randomized controlled trial by Shonin et al.
Table 5 Pre–Post Intervention and Control Groups Scores—Mean (SD)
Intervention (N =19) Control (N =15)
Pre Post Pre Post
Mindfulness (FFMQ) 3.2 (0.5) 3.8 (0.4) 3.3 (0.5) 3.2 (0.6)
Observe (FFMQ) 3.0 (0.8) 3.6 (0.6) 3.0 (0.9) 2.8 (0.7)
Describe (FFMQ) 3.4 (0.7) 3.9 (0.6) 3.6 (0.7) 3.4 (0.7)
Awareness (FFMQ) 3.5 (0.5) 3.7 (0.5) 3.6 (0.7) 3.3 (0.7)
Non Judgement (FFMQ) 3.2 (1.1) 3.8 (0.9) 3.6 (1.3) 3.4 (1.1)
Non Reactivity (FFMQ) 3.0 (0.8) 3.5 (0.7) 3.0 (0.8) 2.7 (0.7)
Happiness (PHI) 7.4 (1.0) 8.0 (0.9) 7.1 (1.3) 7.0 (1.3)
Remembered Happiness (PHI) 7.4 (1.0) 7.8 (0.9) 7.2 (1.3) 7.2 (1.3)
Experienced Happiness (PHI) 6.6 (1.6) 7.3 (1.4) 6.1 (1.4) 6.3 (1.2)
Engagement (UWES) 4.2 (0.8) 4.6 (0.8) 3.8 (0.9) 3.9 (0.8)
Dedication (UWES) 4.3 (1.0) 4.6 (0.7) 3.5 (1.2) 3.6 (1.1)
Vigor (UWES) 4.0 (0.9) 4.6 (0.8) 3.7 (1.1) 3.7 (1.1)
Absorption (UWES) 4.3 (0.8) 4.7 (0.8) 3.8 (1.2) 3.8 (1.2)
Performance 4.9 (0.6) 5.3 (0.5) 4.6 (0.6) 4.3 (0.7)
In role Performance 4.5 (0.6) 5.2 (0.5) 4.4 (0.8) 4.3 (0.7)
Extra Role Performance 4.8 (0.5) 5.3 (0.4) 4.6 (0.7) 4.5 (0.7)
FFMQ Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (0 =Minimum; 6 =Maximum), PHI Pemberton Happiness
Index (0 =Minimum; 10 =Maximum), UWES Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (0 =Minimum;
6=Maximum), Performance (0 =Minimum; 6 =Maximum)
Mindfulness Can Make You Happy-and-Productive
(2014a,b) showing that an 8-week second-wave MBI called MAT (Mindful Awareness
Training) diminished the levels of work-related stress and psychological distress, and
increased job satisfaction and employer-rated job performance; (2) a cross-sectional study
by Ho (2011) showing that an employee meditation experience was positively associated
with self-directed learning, organizational innovativeness, and organizational performance
in Taiwanese technological company workers; (3) a cross-sectional study of employed
(i.e., [20 h per week) parents by Allen and Kiburz (2012) showing that trait mindfulness
was positively associated with work-life balance, sleep quality, and vitality; (4) a longi-
tudinal growth modeling study about the positive effect of MBIs on promoting Work
Engagement through the mediation of Authentic Functioning (Leroy et al. 2013); and (5) a
controlled trial of an 8-week mindfulness training program in a UK-based organization that
reported improved scores on measures of well-being, satisfaction with life, hope, and
diminished scores of anxiety (Mellor et al. 2016).
Unexpectedly, participants allocated to the control group showed a statistically sig-
nificant decrease in their well-being and performance scores. To find a possible explanation
for this occurrence, we took a closer look at the participants’ work conditions and possible
events that could help us to explain this negative outcome. First, the participants were
allocated to the control group using a ‘‘first-come, first-served’’ logic, and so it is plausible
that some frustration could be experienced by those who wished to attend the first round of
sessions of the program and could not do so because they did not respond fast enough. The
negative emotions associated with this event could somewhat explain the decrease in self-
ratings of well-being and performance, inducing perceptions of low self-efficacy and lack
of psychological resources to cope with their existing job demands. Second, some par-
ticipants in the control group could have been impeded by their work load and existing
resources from successfully enrolling in and attending the program at that specific moment.
In this regard, knowing that there is a stress management program available at their
workplace and not being able to attend due to time/work constraints could produce
heightened awareness of negative and stressful experiences. This poses a significant
challenge to developing successful interventions in the future. Securing support and
commitment from management, translated specifically into time and space to conduct the
intervention program within the required time margins, is a critical element for success, as
well as making sure that participants’ workload does not keep them from attending this
kind of initiative. The negative changes experienced by the control group members are
consistent with the idea that awareness heightens affective experience and reactivity,
exacerbating negative symptoms when not coupled with acceptance and coping/reappraisal
Even considering the presence of these negative outcomes, we believe the findings of
this study support the happy and productive worker theory (Wright et al. 2002), which
proposes the relevance of positive affect and wellbeing as key elements in promoting
healthy and high-achieving work environments and workers. Moreover, it serves as a valid
and innovative example of a Positive Organizational Intervention designed to develop
specific positive outcomes associated with high performance and psychosocial well-being.
Regarding the underlying psychological mechanisms that explain the effectiveness of
the mindfulness intervention program, the structure and content of the program indicate
that attention-related skills, such as awareness and observation, and perceptual focus
shifting skills, such as acceptance, non-judgment, and non-reactivity, are the two main
components. Attention monitoring skills cultivated through mindfulness meditation exer-
cises enhance awareness of the present moment experience. As such, attention monitoring
is a mechanism for the effects of mindfulness on improving cognitive functioning
C. Coo, M. Salanova
outcomes in affectively neutral contexts (Lindsay and Creswell 2016), and it heightens
affective experience and reactivity, both exacerbating negative symptoms and enhancing
positive experiences. Therefore, attention monitoring skills alone are not sufficient to
improve performance on cognitive tasks that balance attentional control with emotion
regulation. Acceptance modifies the way one relates to the present moment experience,
regulating reactivity to affective experience. Thus, attention monitoring and acceptance
skills together boost performance on cognitive tasks that involve emotion regulation,
reduce negative reactivity (e.g., anxiety, depression, stress), reduce grasping for positive
experiences (e.g., craving, substance use), and improve stress-related health outcomes
(Lindsay and Creswell 2016). Moreover, positive reappraisal could be another plausible
psychological mechanism explaining the effects of the intervention program. Garland et al.
(2015a) propose the mindfulness-to-meaning theory, which asserts that by modifying how
one attends to the cognitive, affective, and interoceptive sequelae of emotion provocation,
mindfulness introduces flexibility into the creation of autobiographical meaning, stimu-
lating the natural human capacity to positively reappraise adverse events and savor the
positive aspects of experience. By fostering positive reappraisals and emotions, mindful-
ness may generate deep eudemonic meanings that promote resilience and engagement with
a valued and purposeful life. Another important mechanism through which mindfulness is
believed to modulate dysphoric mood states and enhance well-being (whether work-related
or otherwise) is via the cultivation of compassion and self-compassion. Research has
shown that mindfulness can lead to a greater awareness of the individual’s own suffering
and psychological distress, and this helps to achieve a greater awareness of the suffering of
others (Shonin et al. 2013a). In turn, greater levels of compassion and self-compassion are
thought to lead to improvements in levels of tolerance, cooperation (e.g., with senior
management), and interpersonal skills in general (Shonin et al. 2013b). Based on this idea,
there is empirical evidence supporting the relationship between facets of mindfulness and
self-compassion as relevant elements to explain well-being (Baer et al. 2012; Campos et al.
2015). Las but not least, Davidson and Schuyler (2015) presented relevant neuroscientific
evidence pointing to four constituents of well-being attained through Mindfulness training,
this are: (1) Sustained Positive Emotion; (2) Recovery from negative emotion; (3)
Empathy, altruism and pro-social behavior; and (4) Mind wandering, mindfulness and
emotion-captured attention. All of the neural circuits identified as underlying to these four
constituents of well-being exhibit plasticity, and thus can be transformed through expe-
rience and training regimes as short as 2 weeks.
Although the efficacy of shorter versions of traditional MBIs remains to be demon-
strated in the long run, the findings of this study suggest that it is relevant to utilize these
abbreviated treatments. They are a cost and time effective way to introduce Mindfulness
training and practice as a Healthy Organizational Practice (Salanova et al. 2013) aimed to
promote Work Engagement, Happiness, and Job Performance. The traditional eight-week
programs are a ‘‘gold standard’’ for MBIs, but establishing the necessary commitment from
management to develop such a program in any kind of organization is difficult to
accomplish without any prior experience in Mindfulness. In this regard, shorter versions of
consistently proven intervention protocols could act as a successful first step in developing
Mindfulness practice as a long term strategy to effectively promote and sustain an
Engaged, Happy, and Productive workforce. In fact, Jon Kabat-Zinn (1990), who devel-
oped MBSR, describes mindfulness as a skill that can only be developed through con-
tinuous practice. Comparing it with a muscle, he explains that mindfulness can only grow,
become stronger, and become more flexible when we continuously work on it and chal-
lenge it (Hu
¨lsheger 2015).
Mindfulness Can Make You Happy-and-Productive
6.1 Limitations
The most relevant limitation of the study is the sample size, combined with the lack of a
proper active control intervention, instead of the waiting list format. It was a significant
challenge to recruit participants in a highly demanding work environment in terms of
quantitative overload and limited time. Therefore, it is necessary to clarify and establish
management’s commitment to supporting the intervention program as a key element when
repeating the study with a larger sample size. Even though positive results were observed,
the size of the sample is too small to make assumptions about the general efficacy of short
MBIs as Positive Organizational Psychology optimization interventions. Furthermore, the
lack of a specific and comparable alternative intervention for the control group undermines
the value of the results, considering that any kind of intervention is usually better than
nothing at all. Additionally, the exclusive use of self-report measures is a weakness that
should be addressed in future research projects by incorporating second and third person
ratings, as well as behavioral indicators such as key performance indicators.
6.2 Future Research
The most important line of research that emerges from the results of this study involves
conducting high-standard controlled trials with larger samples and active control group
intervention programs. Following this approach would be a necessary step in validating the
efficacy of shorter versions of MBIs and making a stronger case for Mindfulness as a
strategy to promote happy and productive workers. As a complementary approach, inter-
vention evaluation through diary studies could yield relevant information about the
underlying psychological mechanisms affected by Mindfulness practice that have a direct
impact on Happiness, Work Engagement, and Job Performance, such as positive emotions,
coping mechanism, character strengths, and mindsets. Another possible line of inquiry
would be to consider the influence of organizational practices and characteristics and their
positive/negative interactions with Mindfulness, Happiness, Work Engagement, and Job
Performance at both an individual and collective level of analysis.
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Mindfulness Can Make You Happy-and-Productive
... JD-R and positive psychological interventions in the workplace have been shown to be beneficial for workers' mental health [41,42], although conclusions and claims about their (in)effectiveness require more attention to contextual factors and other moderating and mediating variables [43]. To this end, the H-WORK project adopts a realist evaluation approach [44], which aims to identify mediators (i.e., working mechanisms) and contextual factors (i.e., moderators) that influence the interventions' outcomes. ...
... The interventions in the HIT framework are organised and presented for each IGLO level. Examples of individual-level interventions encompass those based on mindfulness [41], job crafting [73], and training generally addressing personal resources [74] such as, for instance, work-anxiety coping strategies [75], employees' self-efficacy [76], or workplace physical activity [77]. Group-level interventions typically address workshops on team cohesion, communication and performance [78]. ...
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Background: Developing a psychologically healthy workplace involves strengthening job resources to improve workers’ well-being. Providing resources, encouraging engaging work, and fostering positive actions are vital principles of Positive Psychology. The European H2020 project H-WORK designed a multilevel intervention strategy to be delivered in SMEs and public organisations. Aims: The current contribution illustrates the applied protocol from the H-WORK Assessment Toolkit (HAT) to the identification of proper multi-level interventions from H-WORK Intervention Toolkit (HIT) in one of the largest Italian public healthcare organisations in terms of size and care complexity. Method: During the need analysis phase, interviews were conducted with middle and senior managers (N = 21), then 4 focus groups with a cognitive mapping exercise were implemented with nurses, doctors, and healthcare assistants (N = 29). Results: Three preparatory meetings allowed to identify and implement multi-level interventions reaching in total 150 workers. Positive stress management was offered at the individual level through mindfulness techniques, event reappraisal, and positive coping strategies. At the team level, training sessions allowed team members to learn techniques for dealing with interpersonal conflicts. At the leader level, group sessions followed by micro-coaching individual sessions helped leaders to strengthen their resources and improve positive leadership skills. Conclusion: The longitudinal research will identify key indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of the multilevel strategy based on positive psychology: distal measures, proximal measures, and process measures focusing on organisational mechanisms and contextual aspects.
... Mindfulness enables the individual to be able to cope with negative situations and strengthen their mental capacity in order to develop healthy mental processes (Garland et al., 2015). Upon the strengthening of mental skills, the individual reaches a more balanced state of being whereby feelings of kindness, love and joy are released (Coo & Salanova, 2018;Crowley et al., 2020). These positive feelings are extremely important tools in terms of overcoming pain (Hanh, 2006). ...
... Like positive psychology, mindfulness supports overcoming pain and leading a good life in pursuit of happiness (Davidson, 2010;Seligman, 2002). There are many studies that evidence positive relations between mindfulness and subjective happiness (Coo & Salanova, 2018;Loureiro et al., 2019;Rowland et al., 2020). These studies have also submitted that variables such as self-compassion, creative processes engagement, meaning in life, purpose in life and behavioral activation, emotional stability and self-esteem, act as mediators between mindfulness and subjective happiness (Crego et al., 2021;Khan & Abbas, 2022). ...
Cross-sectional findings indicated the relationship between mindfulness, hope, and wellbeing. To address the limitations associated with cross-sectional designs, the present study sought to examine whether hope mediated the longitudinal relationship between mindfulness and subjective happiness during the pandemic. To examine these hypotheses, we used the Subjective Happiness Scale, Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, and Dispositional Hope Scale by conducting two waves of surveys within a three-month interval, with 254 participants from 44 of Turkey's total 81 cities. Results of cross-lagged panel model for a half-longitudinal design indicated mindfulness conferred strengthening for subjective happiness three months later via hope. The current findings highlight the important roles of mindfulness and hope on subjective happiness during the pandemic.
... It was found that the group which practiced mindfulness had increased working memory capabilities. Coo and Salanova (2018) conducted an experiment in which two groups were formed from a Spanish public hospital. The experiment group received a mindfulness-based program, whereas the Control group was not given any mindfulness-based intervention. ...
... This finding is in line with the finding of Maya et al. (2019) and Barnes et al. (2007). Also, the practice of mindfulness has the ability to improve psychological well-being at the workplace which confirms the finding of Coo and Salanova (2018) and Baer et al. (2008). ...
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Background: A workplace is an important place where an employee spends most of the time. The level of well-being and productivity an employee has depends on how well the stresses at the workplace are managed. As the stresses at the workplace are increasing and affecting the quality of life, it is important to study the effectiveness of mindfulness in mitigating stress and improving well- being. Aim: The aim of the study was to study the level of mindfulness and perceived stress between the private sector and public sector employees. Methods: A total of 156 participants, of which 96 were private-sector employees and 60 were public sector employees, 67 female and 89 male employees were studied. Five facets of the mindfulness questionnaire were used to measure the level of mindfulness, and the perceived stress questionnaire was used to assess the level of stress. Results and Conclusion: The study has found that there was no statistically significant difference (p>.05) in mindfulness and perceived stress between private sector employees and public sector employees. There was a negative correlation between mindfulness and perceived stress (r= -.504,p< .01). The study has concluded that mindfulness is an effective tool in mitigating workplace stress and in improving the psychological well-being of employees. Effective mindfulness programs should be designed and employees should be encouraged to participate in them.
... Previous research has demonstrated the benefits of MBIs in various fields. For example, MBIs could improve cognitive control (Incagli, Tarantino, Crescentini & Vallesi, 2020;Li, Liu, Zhang, Liu & Wei, 2018), enhance life satisfaction and happiness (Coo & Salanova, 2018;Henriksson, Wasara & R€ onnlund, 2016), promote inner peace (Liu, Xu, Wang et al., 2015), and even increase relationship satisfaction (Khaddouma, Coop Gordon & Strand, 2017). ...
The benefits of mindfulness‐based interventions to alleviate anxiety and depression have been supported by many studies. Given the effectiveness of mindfulness‐based interventions on anxiety and depression, the underlying mechanisms need to be explored. Using a randomized waitlist‐controlled design, this study investigated whether anxiety sensitivity was a potential mechanism for the impact of mindfulness training on anxiety and depression. Participants with high psychological distress were randomly assigned to an eight‐week mindfulness intervention (N = 35) or a wait‐list control group (N = 34). Before and after the intervention or corresponding waitlist period, participants completed measures of anxiety and depression severity and impairment and anxiety sensitivity. Separate mixed ANOVA demonstrated significant group (intervention vs. control group) × time (pre‐ vs. post‐test) interactions for anxiety sensitivity and overall anxiety severity and impairment and marginally significant interaction for overall depression severity and impairment. Moreover, simple mediation models showed that reductions of anxiety sensitivity from pre‐ to post‐test mediated the impact of mindfulness training on changes in anxiety and depression severity and impairment. The findings suggest that anxiety sensitivity is a potential mechanism underlying the effect of mindfulness training on anxiety and depression, which provides a new perspective for the study of processes of change of mindfulness‐based interventions.
... Despite the vast literature showing that happy employees are more productive, innovative, communicative, etc (e.g. Cuesta-Valiño et al., 2022;Pradhan et al., 2021;Ravina-Ripoll et al., 2021a;Coo and Salanova, 2018). Multiple academic articles explore how internal communication positively affects job satisfaction (e.g.Atouba, 2021;Nikoli c et al., 2013;Pincus et al., 1990). ...
Purpose This article explores how internal communication impacts happiness at work and intrapreneurship through the dimensions of communication climate and communication in meetings. Design/methodology/approach Literature analysis and quantitative empirical data collection are used to achieve this study's purpose. The study employed a non-experimental, cross-sectional, explanatory design. A questionnaire of closed-ended questions was used, adapted from validated scales for measuring constructs, and apply to 156 employees of industrial, service and commercial companies in the Northeast of Mexico. The analysis techniques used included exploratory factor analysis and structural equation modelling. Findings In the descriptive analysis of the data, the authors find that 57.7% of the sample is satisfied with the communication climate, 28.85% moderately satisfied, and 13.47% dissatisfied. Regarding the levels of happiness at work, high (71.15%), medium (21.15%) and low (7.7%) levels were found. In intrapreneurship, high (67.31%), medium (26.92%) and low (5.77%) levels were found. The exploratory factorial analysis showed that the instrument was adequate for measuring the variables. Good correlations were also found between the items that make up each variable. Finally, the relationship between internal communication, measured by the dimensions of communicative climate and communication in meetings, and happiness at work was verified using the structural equation technique. The latter has a positive impact on intrapreneurship. Research limitations/implications This article has some theoretical and methodological limitations like any other academic work. They would be interesting to address in future research. In this way, it is possible to empirical examine the variables of intrapreneurship, internal communication and happiness (Ravina-Ripoll et al. , 2021c). The first is the study's cross-sectional design and data collection by a non-probabilistic sample, carried out in a single source. Both aspects mean that our study is not free of corresponding biases; this may result in the findings of the present work not being statistically correct. The second derives from the absence in the literature of structural equation modelling studies that analyse the constructs that make up the object of this academic work in a multidimensional way. However, although an influence I show between the variables, it is recommended to take the data with discretion. There is still a need for more empirical evidence to support these relationships before generalised results can be presumed. Despite the remarkable progress made in recent years in the literature on the three dimensions of this article, few scientific studies examine inferentially how internal communication and intra-entrepreneurship influence employees' happiness at work in today's digital society. The authors of this academic work consider it attractive for future research to address the analysis of internal communication strategic management models. It is a robust driver of intra-entrepreneurship and employee happiness in organisations (Galván-Vela et al ., 2022a). In conclusion, from this heuristic perspective, companies can improve, on the one hand, their competitive position in the market. Their managers must cultivate an organisational culture that emphasises internal communication as a catalyst for innovation, employee loyalty, and productive efficiency. On the other hand, companies will be able to invigorate their corporate image to face the significant challenges in the globalised economy, thus to become sustainable, humane, ecological intra-entrepreneurial corporations (Galván-Vela et al ., 2021a). It may lead to a more social, inclusive, prosperous and egalitarian ecosystem. In this way, it makes the culture of organisations around the pillars of happiness management, social marketing and the Sustainable Development Goals shine (Galván-Coronil et al. , 2021). Practical implications This section does not attempt to argue that internal communication and intrapreneurship constitute two intangible resources that improve organisations' productivity and collective happiness (Lee and Kim, 2022). However, it is necessary to clarify that the results achieved in this academic study show two fundamental aspects. The first is to invite managers of companies in the post-Covid-19 era to cultivate a culture based on happiness management. It makes internal communication a fast vehicle that exponentially boosts intrapreneurship, among other things (Castillo-Abdul et al ., 2021). To this end, their strategic management models must carry out a diametrical shift in their innovation and internal communication actions. On the one hand, it allows for building loyalty among their creative talent. It does this by creating an organisational climate that encourages interpersonal relationships, the spirit of teamwork, collaborative participation, and disruptive thinking (Thelen and Formanchuk, 2022). On the other hand, promoting an ethical, assertive and empathetic leadership style proactively stimulates the commitment, trust and passion for the work of all members of the company (Men and Yue, 2019). The second is to emphasise implementing a constructive, friendly and positive intra-organisational language. In this way, it is dynamising the collective happiness of its human capital through the figure of the Chief Happiness (Jiménez-Marín et al. , 2021b). Originality/value Intrapreneurship, internal communication and happiness at work are topics of great interest in academic agendas in recent years. It is basically because these three dimensions, individually or jointly, have positive effects on the productivity of organisations. However, no research flow evidences our theoretical model proposed in this article. Therefore, there is a need for future studies that advance the literature in the area of business. In this way, we will have more data on how these constructs affect the life of organisations in the post-Covid 19 eras.
... Furthermore, they will perform proactive behaviours for the benefit of the organisation and the fulfilment of its goals, and they will have a strong intention to stay in the organisation [47,69]. In addition, in general terms, these results follow the postulates of the HERO Model [17,20], which indicates that the psychological well-being of workers, in terms of healthy employees, is a key element in explaining the relationship between resources (i.e., personal, work, social, and organisational) and Healthy Organisational Outcomes [70], regardless of gender. However, results by gender using SEM analyses show significant structural differences between men and women in the relationships among the model variables. ...
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The aim of the study is to evaluate the mediating role of psychological well-being between the satisfaction/frustration of Basic Psychological Needs (BPN) and Healthy Organisational Outcomes, with a gender perspective. In a sample of 565 workers (65% women, response rate 72%) from two Colombian food companies, using Multigroup Structural Equation Models to test the invariance among gender, the study hypotheses were partially supported. The results show that: (1) psychological well-being fully mediates the relationship between BPN satisfaction and Healthy Organisational Outcomes; and (2) only work engagement mediates the relationship between BPN frustration and Healthy Organisational Outcomes. Specifically, people (women and men) whose basic needs are satisfied experience greater well-being and better Healthy Organisational Outcomes. In contrast, people whose BPN are frustrated experience lower levels of work engagement, which, in turn, influences their Healthy Organisational Outcomes. However, structural differences were observed among the variables, attending to gender, when invariance model grouping by gender was tested. Furthermore, ANOVA by gender found significant differences in the autonomy dimension of frustration and organisational affective commitment, in favour of men. The present study contributes to the scarce research on the role of BPN levels as a relevant driver in the development of psychological well-being and Healthy Organisational Outcomes. Keywords: Basic Psychological Needs; engagement; happiness; Healthy Organisational Outcomes; gender perspective
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Second-generation mindfulness-based interventions (SG-MBIs) align well with positive psychology philosophy and practices, but trials of SG-MBIs have largely focused on ill-being. This study developed a mindfulness-based positive psychology (MBPP) intervention integrating positive psychology with an SG-MBI to enhance well-being. A randomized control trial was performed to compare MBPP with a waitlist condition among 138 Chinese participants. The results showed that MBPP significantly reduced negative emotions for subjective well-being and significantly improved environmental mastery for psychological well-being. Improvements in self-compassion and negative attitudes but not avoidance, mediated changes in well-being. Changes in positive emotions, positive relations, and awareness were associated with the amount of meditation practice. These findings showed that MBPP is promising for improving well-being and that the positive psychology components play important roles. Broadly, the study illustrated that positive psychology and SG-MBIs can be effectively integrated, and it supported the further application of SG-MBIs from the positive psychology perspective. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10902-022-00525-2.
Purpose: This study aimed to clarify the mixed conclusions regarding work engagement and job satisfaction in the nursing research literature by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis. Design and Methods: This meta-analytic review synthesized 15 independent studies published between 2007 and 2021. Findings: An overall effect size of random-effect model was calculated as r = .47 ( k =15, N = 3,818, 95% CI [.43, .51]). Data collection method and presence of control variable, as significant moderators, accounted for 43.6% and 43.8% respectively of the effect size heterogeneity. Practice Implications: While the positive relationship between work engagement and job satisfaction was higher in studies using the face-to-face data collection method, it was lower in studies using the control variable in their research models.
Objectives: In this study, we analyzed the validation and effects of a brief intervention of Attachment-Based Compassion Therapy (ABCT). Specifically, the aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of this brief protocol in improving compassion and other related variables. Method: The intervention consists of two five-hour sessions, in a controlled trial with one intervention group (ABCT) and one control group. Before and after the intervention, a short questionnaire was administered, focused on compassion and other related variables (i.e. transcendence beliefs, happiness, endo-group solidarity, and global identity). Participants in the experimental group were 17 healthy adults (i.e., students and university teachers) attending a compassion intervention based on ABCT. The control group was composed of 44 participants who did not attend the intervention. Results: Results showed that, compared to the control group, the brief ABCT intervention significantly improved compassion, which was the main aim of the intervention, and further analysis showed that it also significantly increased transcendence beliefs and endo-group solidarity. Moreover, the ABCT intervention were empirically validated. Conclusions: These results confirm and validate the potential of a brief ABCT intervention.
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Despite evidence linking trait mindfulness and mindfulness training with a broad range of effects, still little is known about its underlying active mechanisms. Mindfulness is commonly defined as (1) the ongoing monitoring of present-moment experience (2) with an orientation of acceptance. Building on conceptual, clinical, and empirical work, we describe a testable theoretical account to help explain mindfulness effects on cognition, affect, stress, and health outcomes. Specifically, Monitor and Acceptance Theory (MAT) posits that (1), by enhancing awareness of one's experiences, the skill of attention monitoring explains how mindfulness improves cognitive functioning outcomes, yet this same skill can increase affective reactivity. Second (2), by modifying one's relation to monitored experience, acceptance is necessary for reducing affective reactivity, such that attention monitoring and acceptance skills together explain how mindfulness improves negative affectivity, stress, and stress-related health outcomes. We discuss how MAT contributes to mindfulness science, suggest plausible alternatives to the account, and offer specific predictions for future research.
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In this chapter, we argue that state and trait mindfulness and mindfulness-based practices in the workplace should enhance employee outcomes. First, we review the existing literature on mindfulness, provide a brief history and definition of the construct, and discuss its beneficial effects on physical and psychological health. Second, we delineate a model of the mental and neurobiological processes by which mindfulness and mindfulness-based practices improve self-regulation of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, linking them to both performance and employee well-being in the workplace. We especially focus on the power of mindfulness, via improved self-regulation, to enhance social relationships in the workplace, make employees more resilient in the face of challenges, and increase task performance. Third, we outline controversies, questions, and challenges that surround the study of mindfulness, paying special attention to the implications of unresolved issues for understanding the effects of mindfulness at work. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our propositions for organizations and employees and offer some recommendations for future research on mindfulness in the workplace.
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The purpose of the present study was to test the efficacy of an 8-week online intervention-based Positive Mindfulness Program (PMP) that integrated mindfulness with a series of positive psychology variables, with a view to improving well-being scores measured in these variables. The positive mindfulness cycle, based on positive intentions and savouring, provides the theoretical foundation for the PMP. The study was based on a randomised wait-list controlled trial, and 168 participants (128 females, mean age = 40.82) completed the intervention which included daily videos, meditations and activities. The variables tested included well-being measures, such as gratitude, self-compassion, self-efficacy, meaning and autonomy. Pre- and post-intervention data, including 1 month after the end of the intervention, were collected from both experimental and control groups. The posttest measurements of the experimental participants showed a significant improvement in all the dependent variables compared with the pre-test ones and were also significantly higher than those of the control group. One month after the intervention, the experimental group participants retained their improvement in 10 out of the 11 measurements. These positive results indicate that PMP may be effective in enhancing wellbeing and other positive variables in adult, non-clinical populations.
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The mindful reappraisal hypothesis of the Mindfulness-to-Meaning Theory (Garland et al., 2015) proposes that mindfulness generates eudaimonic well-being by promoting positive reappraisal, the positive psychological process through which stressful events are re-construed as benign, meaningful, or growth-promoting. To test this hypothesis, we examined prospective relations between state mindfulness and positive reappraisal in a community sample participating in a mindfulness-based intervention (MBI). At seven weekly time points throughout the MBI, participants (N = 234) engaged in a 10-minute mindfulness meditation exercise at home and completed a measures of the degree of state mindfulness experienced during the meditation, as well as a measure of their use of positive reappraisal over the previous week. Support for the mindful reappraisal hypothesis of the Mindfulness-to-Meaning Theory was found: in latent growth curve and multivariate autoregressive latent trajectory models, increases in the trajectory of state mindfulness experienced during meditation were significantly and robustly associated with more frequent use of positive reappraisal over the course of participation in the eight week-long MBI. Thus, mindfulness and reappraisal may reciprocally enhance one another as interdependent components of a positive feedback loop whose structure might be best described as an upward spiral.
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Contemporary scholarship on mindfulness casts it as a form of purely nonevaluative engagement with experience. Yet, traditionally mindfulness was not intended to operate in a vacuum of dispassionate observation, but was seen as facilitative of eudaimonic mental states. In spite of this historical context, modern psychological research has neglected to ask the question of how the practice of mindfulness affects downstream emotion regulatory processes to impact the sense of meaning in life. To fill this lacuna, here we describe the mindfulness-to-meaning theory, from which we derive a novel process model of mindful positive emotion regulation informed by affective science, in which mindfulness is proposed to introduce flexibility in the generation of cognitive appraisals by enhancing interoceptive attention, thereby expanding the scope of cognition to facilitate reappraisal of adversity and savoring of positive experience. This process is proposed to culminate in a deepened capacity for meaning-making and greater engagement with life.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to assess the effects of mindfulness training (MT) on employee well-being. Mindfulness is the awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, sensations, actions and surroundings in the present moment. Design/methodology/approach – The authors used pre-post training measures and a four-week follow-up on a sample of 23 employees from a UK-based organization. The MT group ( n =12) received a weekly two-hour training over eight weeks whilst the control group ( n =11) received no training. Qualitative interviews ( n =36) were conducted with the MT group at three time points to further assess the subjective experiences of training participants. Findings – Compared to the control group, the MT group significantly increased their mindfulness skills including observing and acting with awareness. Scores on well-being, i.e. satisfaction with life, hope and anxiety also improved and were generally maintained at follow-up. Some improvements were seen in the control group too but there was a larger difference in change scores in the MT group on most variables. Qualitative data show additional benefits of MT such as improved concentration at work and better interpersonal relationships. More practice at home led to greater benefits suggesting a dose-response relationship between the amount of practice and substantial benefits. Research limitations/implications – Inviting participants to have a greater amount of practice between sessions may further increase the benefits of mindfulness. Future research should consider a longer follow-up period to further explore the sustainability of the training benefits. Originality/value – Employing a mixed-method approach, this study showed that MT is a viable psychological intervention for enhancing employee well-being.
I am happy to see the topic of mindfulness at work find its way into this journal as a focal article (Hyland, Lee, & Mills, 2015), and I read it with great interest. Although I agree with most of the points made, I want to elaborate on some critical issues that were not or were only briefly touched on and that I deem worthy of further exploration and discussion.