Living in the Moment: The Effect of Mindfulness on Aggression and Well-Being
Previous research suggests that mindfulness may be linked to lower levels of hostility and aggressive behavior (Brown & Ryan, 2003). In the following study, we investigated the relationships between mindfulness, aggression and well-being, such as exercise and musicality. Individuals with high levels of mindfulness tend to have a greater sense of well-being, and express less aggressive physical and verbal behaviors (Borders et al, 2009).
In this study, a cross-sectional design was employed. The sample consisted of 307 college students (Mean age = 19.66, SD = 3.51), which completed the Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (Brown & Ryan, 2003), the Buss Perry Aggression Questionnaire (Buss & Perry, 1992), the Brief Self-Control Scale (Tangney et al, 2004), Rumination-Reflection Questionnaire (Trapnell & Campbell, 1999) and others, as well as a Demographic and Activity Questionnaire.
We found that mindfulness is negatively correlated with hostility (r = -.413, p < .001). Also, verbal aggression is negatively correlated with kindness and compassion (r = -.247, p < .001). On the other hand, minutes of meditation per day are positively correlated with time spent exercising (r = .386, p < .001) and playing an instrument (r = .337, p < .001).
Our results are consistent with other studies showing that mindfulness and meditation are an indicator to decrease hostility as well as verbal aggression (Heppner et al, 2008). Furthermore, these findings suggest that mindfulness may have other positive effects on well-being that should be further investigated.