Integrating Mindfulness and Character Strengths for Improved Well-Being, Stress, and Relationships:
A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice
The integration of mindfulness and character strengths is an emerging area of research and practice. The evidence-based, 8-week program, Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP) represents a unique approach in that the starting point and focus is on what is best in human beings – their character strengths. These qualities are then leveraged to improve one’s meditation practice or area of mindful living (referred to as “strong mindfulness”) and in turn, mindfulness is used as a lens for deepening awareness and use of strengths (referred to as “mindful strengths use”). While early controlled studies find MBSP to elicit well-being and reduce stress, and find it to be superior to popular mindfulness programs for different outcomes, we are not aware of any published qualitative analyses examining the MBSP participant’s experience. This study offers insights from a large international sample and extends the empirical data on MBSP, including the novel finding of benefit for building positive relationships, as well as confirming other findings such as the most common obstacles people confront in mindfulness practices. Additional areas discussed using qualitative and quantitative findings include the most beneficial mindfulness/character strengths practices, the use of inward and outward-oriented practices, cognizance of the integration of mindfulness and character strengths, and self-reported positive outcomes, including substantial benefits to stress and problem management and boosts to meaning, purpose, engagement, accomplishment, and sense of self.
Copyright (c) 2021 Karen Whelan-Berry, Ryan Niemiec
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