Annette Kim and Jim Gustafson

Mindfulness Consultants and Advocates

Annette and Jim are embarking on a mission to bring Mindful Awareness to Corporate America.

 

Jim completed the the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program (created by Jon Kabat Zinn, leading academic researcher in the field of mindfulness) at the CHA’s Center for Mindfulness and Compassion in Cambridge, MA. Annette is registered for the winter cohort starting February 2020.

They are both participants of the 10-Day Vipassana Course at the Vipassana Meditation Center in Shelburne, MA and are serving the November course this year.

Having completed Landmark Worldwide’s Curriculum for Living that includes the Landmark Forum, Advanced Course, and the Self Expression and Leadership Program (SELP), they will be coaching the March 2020 SELP.

Jim is a former Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), having earned his certificate from the Teoma Center Institute of Massage Therapy, as well as continuing education in myo-skeletal alignment therapy (MAT) from the Freedom from Pain Institute. Jim also ran his own business, The Body Shop Massage, for 2 years. Jim also received mindfulness education training from Calmer Choice, a Cape-Cod based non-profit organization bringing mindfulness education to public schools.

Annette holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Connecticut and has a partial Master’s in Business Analytics at the UCONN School of Business.

Her work experience has been in various industries including clinical research in genetics, emergency medicine, recruiter for the aerospace industry, and most recently fabrication technology. Her passion for mindfulness and meditation was necessitated by a personal struggle with her emotional life.

In 2018, she wrote a research paper on mindfulness in Corporate America, not realizing the following year she would be creating a career based on its thesis.

Below is her article titled “Mindfulness Training and Employee Engagement in Today’s Workplace”.

For additional reading, please refer to references at the end.

“Mindfulness Training and Employee Engagement in Today’s Workplace”

Annette Kim 

EPSY1450W 

6/30/2018

 

Introduction

With increasing numbers of professionals joining the workforce each year, competition is fierce in America’s corporate world. This means that for many working professionals, a good number may be experiencing workplace burnout, which is measured as “exhaustion, cynicism, [and] reduced professional efficacy” (Bakker, Demerouti, & Euwema, 2005). Job demands are high and professionals are feeling the squeeze. A study conducted by Ultrech University shows that workplace resources reduce exhaustion and cynicism so it may be in employers’ interests to consider providing employees with supportive resources to circumvent these negative associations (Bakker et al., 2005). There are many different types of supportive resources that could be implemented by employers and choosing the right method could mean cost savings and efficiency. One such wellness program or resource is mindfulness practice, which can be described as bringing one’s focus into the present moment (Baer, 2003). A technique for mindfulness is meditation and has been found to enhance health and well-being of those who practice (Wongtonkam, Krivokapic-Skoko, Duncan, & Bellio, 2017). Employers who invest in meditation programs for employees will see significant improvement in employee job satisfaction and retention.

 

Present Day 

A commonplace occurrence in today’s corporate culture, workplace burnout is affecting millions across the employment landscape. While job demands are high, the number of job openings are low, and as the working population continues to expand (as evidenced by the baby boomer generation continuing to work past historical retirement age while subsequent generations become of working age at increasing numbers each year), working professionals are certainly feeling the squeeze. Present within the popular tropes, or memes, of today’s media is the concept of a  “quarter-life crisis”. A misanthropic viewpoint shared by many in the Millennial Generation today that clues in those listening to the changing landscape of American corporate culture. Given the popularity of this relatively new idea, the implication is that a sizeable portion of millennials, generally defined as those born between the 1980’s and the 1990’s, are feeling the struggle of acclimating to a corporate environment on quite an intimate level. Although pinned behind the misanthropic humor that populates much of the internet today, this is a grumbling that should be heard and addressed in our society today, particularly by employers who are vying for the sharp, young minds that enter the workforce each year. It is clear that there is a dissonance in the culture of today’s young workforce and the traditions of corporate America. And it may be well worth the cost for employers to invest in employee resource support programs to bolster employee engagement and keep their talent happy and productive. 

 

Stress in the Workplace 

It is well studied and well known that stress is a contributor to a host of psychiatric and physical diseases and conditions, including but not limited to chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, depression and anxiety, and obesity, as well as the acute (Wolover, Bobinet, McCabe, Mackenzie, Fekete, & et al., 2012). With 69% of America’s working population reporting significant work-related stress and Great Britain reporting 40% of work-related illnesses attributed to work-related stress, it is a real concern for both employees and their employers on a global scale (Shonin, Van Gordon, Dunn, Singh, & Griffiths, 2014).

Stress as a model and definition is an environment and a response, as well as a process that has direct psychological and physiological effects on the individual (Shankar & Park, 2016). The reason for the debilitating effect of stress is the “perceived discrepancy between the physical or psychological demands of a situation and the resources of [the individual’s] biological, psychological, or social systems” (Sarafino & Smith, 2014). Of note, is the focus on the perceived resources of the individual. 

A prominent researcher in the field of work-related stress is Dr. Robert Karasek of the University of Massachusetts. He has established a well known model of hypothesis called the demand/control model that is often cited in the field (Karasek, Brisson, Kawakami, Houtman, & Bongers, 1998). The model theorizes that the relationship between demand and control manifests as stress. These two components play off each other such that when employees feel a high demand from their work but with low control, otherwise termed as “decision latitude”, negative work stress arises (Karasek et al., 1998). This negative work stress can be described as burnout, a term referring to the manifested syndrome when employees face high job demands but with limited, applicable resources (Demerouti, Nachreiner, Bakker, & Schaufeli, 2001).

A slight converse helps to clarify the theory. When employees feel a high demand from their work but with high control or decision latitude, this manifests as “good stress [and encourages] active behaviors [like] motivation, new learning behaviors, and coping pattern development” (Karasek et al., 1998). Moments of sustained work engagement, defined as “a positive, fulfilling, and work-related state of mind characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption”, is similar to a state of flow (Hakanen, Piia, & Peeters, 2017). These days, “flow-state” has taken front seat as a buzzword that has been widely circulating through top industries as an ideal work state. Flow is similar to mindfulness as it involves bringing one’s attention to the present moment and, with high intensity of focus, engaging with the material at present (Baer, 2003; Dust, 2018). This positive type of work engagement would be ideal for both employers and employees as it has been shown to increase work productivity, as well as satisfaction (Hakanen et al., 2017). 

Another facet of employee engagement is absenteeism, which is a calculation of missed work hours relative to the expected number of work hours (Hoge, Guidos, Mete, Bui, & Pollack, 2017). For any organization to function, they need their workers to show up and in further support, there is the old adage that “showing up is half the battle”. Not only in its quite objective importance and adverse utility to any company and employee, absenteeism is also a good indicator of employee job satisfaction and well being. If an employee is absent with high frequency within a specific period of time, this can be a sign of a lack of motivation (Bakker, Demerouti, deBoer, & Schaufeli, 2003). If an employee is absent for longer duration, this may indicate ill health (Bakker et al., 2003). Therefore, it is quite possible to infer the importance of absenteeism and what it means for employee well-being, and overall organizational health and success.

Another dimension of work-related stress that employees face is the social (Karasek et al., 1998). The social dynamics of any workplace is characterized on both the organizational and individual scale. The former can be exemplified through job insecurity and poor management practices, which have been linked with decreased employee well-being (Tennant, 2001; Shuey, Gordon, & McMullin, 2018). While corporations have been established and developed over the years, the scale and structure have undergone massive change. It was not too long ago that these behemoth-sized corporations were unheard of. It is not surprising, therefore, that the employee and employer dynamic can be rife with dissonance and this is true now more than ever especially with competition growing fierce in both domestic and foreign markets. In particular with recent generations, many young working professionals today regard the notion of employee loyalty as a concept from a bygone area. However, given that competition will continue to grow, as well as the evidence supporting how job insecurity can affect employee health, it is an area where management practices prominently feature with great influence.  

It has been shown that poor management can lead to workplace stress due to the negative working conditions that understandably manifest (Shuey et al., 2018). Inversely, research demonstrates that management who instill a sense of organization and stability can go a long way in allaying employee workplace stress (Shuey et al., 2018). It is essentially the sense of uncertainty, whether that be from general workplace disorder/chaos or impending layoffs, that promotes negative associations for employees (Shuey et al., 2018). 

In speaking of social support in the workplace, this encompasses not just superiors but also colleagues of the individual. Good social support means good interpersonal interactions, which can play a huge factor in workplace environments. Research has been emerging as America’s corporate culture continues to grow and “counterproductive workplace behavior” has been identified and studied (Penney & Spector, 2005). Behaviors such as “theft, sabotage, verbal abuse, withholding of effort, lying, refusing to cooperate, and [even] physical assault” can lead to “lost productivity increased insurance costs, lost or damaged property, and increased turnover” (Penney & Spector, 2005). Interpersonal conflicts and other social behaviors are another part of overall work stress and how they relate to each other is an interesting dynamic. An employee who is a target of counterproductive workplace behavior may react in kind with counterproductive workplace behavior (Penney & Spector, 2005). Left unattended, this can certainly create an overall toxic work environment leading to increased stress.

In addition to psychological and social stressors, job strain can also be in physical form. Everyone knows how uncomfortable it can be to sit in one place for several hours at a time and how unnatural it can feel to stare at a harsh, unrelenting computer screen typing away on an uncomfortable keyboard for hours on end. To offset this, there are numerous products being hawked as having ergonomic benefits for the 9 to 5 office worker. The physicality of a job is a real issue for consideration, not just for the office employee, but also for blue-collar employees who might be subjected to harsh working conditions. A study done by Drs. Laura Punnett and David Wegman of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell demonstrates that contributing factors to some cases of musculoskeletal disease is linked to the physical requirements of employment (Punnett & Wegman, 2004). These include actions such as “rapid work pace and repetitive motion, forceful exertions, non-neutral body postures, and vibration” (Punnett & Wegman, 2004). This is in addition to numerous studies that demonstrate how job stress is linked to cardiovascular disease and fatigue, amongst other chronic and acute illness (Karasek et al., 1998). 

 It is evident from the literature that the effects of work-related stress have high risks to individual health in psychological, social, and physical spheres. Therefore it should be a high priority for individuals to learn how to manage their stress with effective coping mechanisms and for organizations to invest in. One of these that has gained traction in the corporate world in recent years is mindfulness-based programs. 

 

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is bringing awareness, observation, and complete attention into the present moment, observing the internal and external sensations and letting them go with non judgemental acceptance (Baer, 2003). It is an ancient Eastern practice linking back to both Buddhist and Zen meditation philosophies and there are numerous styles, such as Vippasana and Zen, as well as modernized versions that have emerged with the times (Chiesa & Malinowski, 2011). Historically, it was engaged by the practitioner as a way to end suffering and discover “sustained joy and happiness”, well known around the world as the concept of Nirvana (Chiesa & Malinowski, 2011). More recently, mindfulness practice has experienced increased popularity in the general population. This in turn has led to greater research in a clinical setting for mostly treatment of psychological disorders, but also increasing research in its utility within the occupational and corporate setting (Shonin et al., 2014). Due to its relatively new introduction in this particular field, there seems to be limited research that examines mindfulness practice and its efficacy in dealing with workplace stress of employees (Shonin et al., 2014). This is an exciting and novel method of application which, if shown to have its desired results, can mean a boon for both employees and corporations in improving workplace dynamics as they relate to stress. 

From research literature, one of the most highly cited forms of mindfulness training and the model method of mindfulness practice in much of modern research is the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program, developed in 1979 by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, a prominent researcher in the field of mindfulness (Baer, 2003). It is the only modern practice that has explicit roots in Buddhist philosophy (Chiesa & Malinwoski, 2011). Kabat-Zinn claimed one of the first modern definitions of mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally” and defines MBSR as “Vipassana practice … with a Zen attitude” (Kabat-Zinn, 1994; Chiesa & Malinowski, 2011). 

Given the various semantics involved in defining what an ancient practice such as mindfulness really is, a pattern emerges where there are two fundamental concepts: 1. The focus on the moment-to-moment present and 2: Non-judgemental awareness (Baer, 2003; Chiesa & Malinwoski, 2011). In addition, Ruth Baer of the University of Kentucky outlined a more clinical definition of mindfulness involving a “five-factor structure … characterized by nonreactivity, observing, acting with awareness, describing, and nonjudging” and found that there was significant psychological impact when data was related to those concepts (Cheisa & Malinwoski, 2011).

Mindfulness practice is easily associated with meditation, some may even assume they are interchangeable, but they are not. Meditation is a practice of “inward contemplation and the intermediate state between mere attention to an object and complete absorption with it” (Chiesa & Malinwoski, 2011). While mindfulness practice is a form of meditation, meditation is not necessarily a form of mindfulness practice. There are numerous ways that individuals can engage in meditative practice and those are segregated into two general categories. One is based on mindfulness and the other is based on concentration (Chiesa & Malinowski, 2011). The distinction between the two are in how they relate to attention but meditative practices overall have been found to enhance health and well-being of those who practice (Wongtonkam et al.,  2017). To be more specific, mindfulness programs have been shown to have a positive effect employee engagement, or how employees relate to their job, as measured by stress, exhaustion, well-being, absenteeism, work performance, and job satisfaction. In addition, these effects are sustainable. Follow up studies on initial data conducted by Kabat-Zinn showed that patient treatment with MBSR saw significant benefits not only post-treatment, but also at 3-month follow up and 3-year follow up, an impressive clinical result (Kabat-Zinn, Massion, Kristeller, Peterson, Fletcher, & et al., 1992; Miller, Fletcher, & Kabat-Zinn, 1995). 

The utility of mindfulness programs for corporations extends so far as employee health at work. It had been touched upon earlier how these programs have been shown to affect various measures. These are related to a term called “burnout”, a syndrome brought on by a host of characteristics that has also been used synonymously with job stress and in relation to employee wellbeing (Bakker et al., 2005). These defining characteristics of work stressors include exhaustion, cynicism, workplace inefficiency, depersonalization, and “reduced personal accomplishment”  and they are all related outcomes that negatively impact mental and physical health well being (Bakker et al., 2005; Hakanen et al., 2017). 

 

Stress and Mindfulness

A study led by Dr. Edo Shonin was conducted to investigate how a meditation based intervention can affect workplace stress for high stress employees. Participants were gathered via randomised sampling through press releases, posters and flyers, meditation center databases, and reaching out directly to employers (Shonin et al., 2014). These participants were selected for middle management responsibility as it can be inferred that these roles have increased workplace stress in comparison to other employees within a corporate hierarchy (Shonin et. al., 2014). Exclusions were placed on individuals with current psychiatric disorders, part time employees, and those who did not meet salary requirements or were unavailable for the duration of the study (Shonin et al., 2014). The selected sample was 128 participants in total. The demographic was approximately 57% female, 57% married, and 65% white, with 63% with annual salary between £40,000 to £50,000 (Shonin et al., 2014). 

Work stress was quantified by measuring several contributing areas based on workload and patterns, control based on autonomy, managerial support, colleague support, relationship promotion, role definition, and organizational change management and communication (Shonin et al., 2014). These seven functions were collectively described as HSE Management Standards Work-related Stress Indicator Tool (WSIT) (Shonin et al., 2014). The lower the WSIT score implied lower work stress. In addition to the WSIT, Shonin’s group also had a separate measure for “emotional distress”, a score derived from measurement of  depression, anxiety, and stress that was given the acronym DASS, for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (Shoin et al., 2014).

Initial results showed significant improvements to work-related stress as measured by WSIT and DASS scores for the intervention group in comparison to the control group (Shonin et al., 2014). Follow up results also demonstrated significant increases from baseline for intervention group DASS scores but not necessarily for WSIT scores (Shonin et al., 2014). Overall, the gains favored the intervention group across the board for work related stress and distress, demonstrating the efficacy of meditation as a tool to mediate workplace stressors for middle management corporate employees (Shonin et al., 2014). 

Another study conducted by Dr. Ruth Wolover of Duke University investigates stress reduction in the workplace. Given research showing that above average stress levels in the workplace can lead to a significant reduction in employee productivity for corporations, Wolover and her team were investigating how mind-body stress reduction programs effect highly-stressed individuals (Wolover et al., 2012). The two programs that were chosen for investigation was a therapeutic yoga program and a mindfulness program. Selecting mindfulness practice as one of the programs studied was led by evidence from previous research by Kabat-Zinn that suggested mindfulness helps in stress reduction by shifting individual perception of the present moment, a coping mechanism that can buffer job demands (Wolover et al., 2012). 

Their methodology was based on gathering employees of a national insurance carrier who volunteered to participate and had to score 16+ points on the Perceived Stress Scale, with exclusions for those who smoke or have conditions that included pregnancy, heart conditions, and other major medical conditions (Wolover et al., 2012). After exclusions, their total sample size was 239 employees of a general demographic as being white and female, with median total household income between $100,000 and $150,000 (Wolover et al., 2012). They then implemented two “Mindfulness at Work” programs that were an amalgam of various mindfulness programs, including MBSR (Wolover et al., 2012). 

Data showed that there was statistically significant decreases in perceived stress for participants in not just mindfulness programs, but also the therapeutica yoga programs and the control groups (Wolover et al., 2012). However, the decrease in perceived stress was significant for those enrolled in a mind-body program when compared to the control group (Wolover et al., 2012). Although physiological changes in heart rate were not significant, Wolover and her group theorized that the limited sample size may have contributed to the lack of power in determining significant changes in that regard (Wolover et al., 2012). Overall, the data garnered from the study suggests room for further clinical research into employee stress reduction and mind-body programs. 

The research by Shonin and Wolover, indicates that mindfulness based practices can offer significant reduction in work-related stress for employees. Stress plays a big factor in employee engagement in that it affects workers’ attitude to their environment. If workers are not engaged due to mental dissonance, it is a problem for employers evidenced by numbers indicating lost work days and decreased employee well-being. What this means for employers is that given the cost-benefit, these are programs that may be well suited to institute for the health of their employees and organizational strength. 

 

Work Performance and Job Satisfaction

Work performance in the corporate world is another factor of employee engagement that should be noted by employers for its implied benefits to the company. It can be theorized that with increased work performance, employers benefit on the most pragmatic level via monetary gain to grow the organization. It has been indicated in neuroscience research that mindfulness practice, such as meditation, affects the individual on a physiological level in a way that could increase work performance and productivity via increased cognition (Shiba, Nishimoto, Sugimoto, & Ishikawa, 2015). If true, the application of meditation would be incredibly useful in a corporate setting. Likewise, the importance of job satisfaction and its link to absenteeism in the workplace is crucial for corporations. Absenteeism accounted for 10.4 million lost working days in Great Britain in 2011 to 2012, which accounted for an annual loss of up to £26 billion (Shonin et al., 2014). 

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Tokyo and led by Koichiro Shiba investigated the effects of meditation and job performance. They gathered their sample by recruiting an internet research company to select for individuals in Japan that were currently working in a corporate setting (Shiba et al., 2015). They excluded students, unemployed individuals, clergy, and meditation instructors (Shiba et al., 2015). The resulting sample size was 1,470 participants in total. The demographic makeup was wide ranging across demographic categories that included age, gender, education, household income, and marital status. 

The group measured stress response, BMI, physical activity at work, physical activity at leisure time, sleep hours, sleep sufficiency, work engagement, job performance, and job satisfaction (Shiba et al., 2015). Job performance was measured on a self-reported scale from 0 to 10 based on the World Health Organization Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (HPQ) and results showed that meditation practice had significant improvement on job performance (Shiba et al., 2015). 

Although data regarding job performance was self-reported, and therefore subjective, it is indicative of employee engagement with their work. An increase in self-reported work performance can be an indicator of employee engagement at the internal level, which may be a useful addition to external observation within the workplace. In another study led by Dr. William Van Gordon, work performance is based on external observation via score sheet measured by individuals’ immediate superiors, providing an alternative view on data as it relates to mindfulness programs and employee work performance (Van Gordon, Shonin, Dunn, Garcia-Campayo, Demarzo, & et al., 2017). 

Van Gordon and his team investigated the effects of a meditation program on workaholism treatment. Workaholism is defined by “being overly concerned about work, driven by an uncontrollable work motivation, and to investing so much time and effort to work that it impairs other important life areas” (Andreassen, Hetland, & Pallesen, 2014). 

The sample for this study was gathered via posters and flyers, meditation center databases, reaching out directly to employers, and raising awareness among the occupational clinician field to encourage voluntary participation from colleagues  (Van Gordon et al., 2017). Total sample size after exclusions was 73 participants (Van Gordon et al., 2017). Demographic of resulting sample size was an even split of male to female, mostly white collar with university level education, married, and mostly white (Van Gordon et al., 2017). 

Results of the study were measured based on psychometric scales that included the Abridged Job in General Scale (AJIGS), a measure of job satisfaction, and Role-Based Performance Scale (RBPS), a measure of general work performance (Van Gordon et al., 2017). AJIGS is a self-reported scale of eight adjectives or descriptive phrases with designated scores, where the greater score indicates greater work satisfaction (Van Gordon, et al., 2017). RBPS measured employee work performance in regards to their individual role, their career development, their innovation, involvement as team member, and involvement within the greater organization (Van Gordon et al., 2017). It is graded by the participants’ direct supervisor and is a more objective measure of work performance than the self-report in Shonin’s study (Van Gordon et al., 2017). 

Overall results showed the intervention group demonstrated a significant increase in job satisfaction over the control group, however there was no significant increase in work performance (Van Gordon et al., 2017). A hypothesis for the results of the latter is that there was missing data from some participants’ superiors that may have contributed to an increased standard error of the result (Van Gordon et al., 2017). 

Research shows that there is some correlation between mindfulness programs for employees and resulting job satisfaction. This may be due to decreased stress levels as was indicated earlier, which can improve employee engagement. Whether work performance is enhanced by meditative studies is inconclusive based on the studies presented. Work performance itself is a difficult measure to garner objectively as any sort of reporting would be subjective. Hard data with metrics could be useful in place of either self or superior reporting, but would be difficult to administer across the board among industries. 

 

Conclusion

Mindfulness, the ancient art of awareness to the present moment, and its accompanying health benefits continue to be discovered through anecdotal evidence and empirical research across the world. On a more personal level, the author’s interest in the art of mindfulness is relatively new. Awareness of the practice and its active application began about a decade ago and the benefits were found to be tremendous. However, one of the difficulties is maintaining mindfulness during a daily 9 to 5 job, which ironically is the application where one would probably benefit the most. During the journey towards finding her ideal path, the author has had many failures and early departures from various industries, including research, human resources, and adventure sports. The winding road has been at times discouraging and delving into the literature regarding work stress and mindfulness has been a journey into self-reflection and inner motivations. In particular, the Job Demands-Resource model by Karasek, which broke down job stress in a clinical and pragmatic way, helped the author delineate characteristics in what might constitute an ideal work condition.

In addition to learning about work stress and what it means to be engaged as an employee, being aware of the stress and its effects is a useful foundation to keep in mind. Knowing that the repercussions for negative stressors can take such a toll makes it that much easier to let things go. As mindfulness teaches to bring oneself to the present moment, acknowledging the sensations and thoughts and letting them pass, application of that mantra in high-stress situations would mediate the inherent difficulties of navigating today’s workplace. 

In a broader application, the emerging research in the novel mindfulness programs points to a possibility for increased positive work environments for not just America’s corporate employees, but globally. Research consistently shows significant decreases in work-related stress and gains in work satisfaction after implementation of mindfulness program in the workplace. Conscious living continues to grow as a phenomenon and popular concept among people today. Any employer looking to invest in an employee support program will be looking for a return on their investment. Given the additional benefit of mindfulness and its ability to sustain long term benefit for the participant, it would be prudent for companies to acknowledge the desire of their employees and work towards creating a solution for much of the over-stressed working population to achieve greater employee job satisfaction and work performance (Kabat-Zinn, 1994).

 

Difficulties in Methodology

With any research, there should be a tightly controlled and structured environment. Ideally all variables are accounted for and can be quantitatively measured to an accurate degree. In application desired measure may be limited by the tools at hand. Research into mindfulness programs was initially focused on clinical trials and their efficacy in treatment, and only more recently has there been research forays into the actual physiological mechanism for their effects (Chiesa & Malinowski, 2011). Some of the difficulties in conducting research with mindfulness programs and such are limited resources in current methods for measuring or quantifying certain variables and outcomes (Chiesa & Malinowski, 2011). Even the definition of mindfulness as opposed to say, attention or meditation, can be semantical nightmares for researchers to parse (Chiesa & Malinowski, 2011). Through much of the sifting and reading through research articles, it is clear that much of the empirical research could benefit from increased quality and “accuracy” in qualitative measures of data. How that would look for future psychosocial research is up in the air, but it is worth investigating for everyone, including future meditators, health practitioners, corporate clients, and those striving for a more well-balanced life. 

References

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