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Do Mindful People Have a Stronger Sense of Self?

There are moments in life when we experience self-doubt. Maybe some events or some conversations we have with others leave us confused about what we want and we ask ourselves if we did or said the authentic things. The key to solve this internal conflict is a strong sense of self, what researchers call “self-concept clarity.” We have to know ourselves enough such as to experience greater self-esteem and independence. But how can we get that inner confidence? A recent study comes with a discovery in this regards: inner confidence may partly stem from the non-judgmental awareness that is mindfulness.

Mindful students reported higher well-being

Over 1,000 undergraduate students were part of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Utah. Their age was between from 18 and 53 and they all had to complete questionnaires about three traits:

  1. Mindfulness: their tendency to be aware of their thoughts and feelings and to respond to them in deliberate, non-reactive, non-judgmental ways.
  2. Self-concept clarity: how stable, clear, and un-conflicted their views of themselves are.
  3. Well-being: how much they feel a sense of self-acceptance and control over their environment; the quality of their relationships; and their experience of personal growth and purpose in life.

The research concluded that more mindful students reported higher well-being and that a stronger sense of self partly accounted for that link.

Mindfulness and a strong sense of self make us happier

According to the mentioned study, mindfulness and a strong sense of self also have positive benefits by allowing us to be confident to pursue our goals. This study is important as it shows there is a link between “trait mindfulness” (an individual’s baseline of mindfulness), well-being, and sense of self. If further research will confirm these findings, that might encourage more mindfulness practices and meditations to specifically target self-doubt and internal conflict.

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