Reductions in negative automatic thoughts in students attending mindfulness tutorials predicts increased life satisfaction
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University education confronts students with stressful developmental challenges that can lead to mental health problems. Innovative programs must address an increasing prevalence of these problems but are impeded by the high costs involved. In this study, thirty-nine undergraduate students attended weekly one hour mindfulness meditation tutorials during a single (14 week) semester. Tutorials involved 40 minutes of guided meditation, followed by open-ended discussions on mindfulness and related scientific research. Multiple regression analysis tested associations between self-reported changes in mindfulness, in negative automatic thoughts and in satisfaction with life.Reductions in automatic thoughts accounted for a significant proportion of variance in life satisfaction and decreases in automatic thoughts were associated with an increased life satisfaction. This finding suggests guided meditation tutorials merit consideration in promoting student mental health on university campuses.