Mindfulness meditation and curiosity: The contributing factors to wellbeing and the process of closing the self-discrepancy gap

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Itai Ivtzan
Hannah E. Gardner
Zhanar Smailova


Actual/ideal self-discrepancy has been defined as the measurable difference between an individual’s beliefs about who they think they are (actual self) and their image of the person they would ideally like to be (ideal self). Mindfulness meditation, by means of greater awareness of the continuous fluctuation of thought from one point to another, has been shown to increase self-acceptance which can lead to minimizing self-discrepancy. This study hypothesises that mindfulness meditation reduces real-ideal self-discrepancy. To examine this psychological process 120 participants were asked to fill in a Selves questionnaire for different self-states (actual and ideal self) before and after a mindfulness meditation course. The findings confirm that mindfulness meditation can effectively reduce the gap between actual/ideal self attributes. In addition, they highlight the importance of the curiosity trait as an influencing factor in this process.

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Author Biography

Itai Ivtzan, University College London

Dr Itai Ivtzan holds a position as a Research Fellow in UCL, UK. His main research interest centres around positive psychology topics such as personal meaning, happiness, and self-actualisation. His current work focuses on well-being, optimal functioning, and personal growth. Email: ItaiIvtzan@AwarenessIsFreedom.com