On this episode I speak with Prof. Andy Hafenbrack about his research on mindfulness and his own experience with mindfulness practice. We also talk about stress, rumination, self-compassion and other related topics. Andy’s research has found that contrary to conventional wisdom, single instances of mindfulness practice do not necessarily increase motivation or improve performance. In his study, subjects actually experienced decrease motivation to perform certain mundane tasks. We unpack this a little bit. Andy’s research has found that mindfulness can improve pro-social behavior and have a positive impact on decision making by reducing the sunk cost bias.

Andy stressed during out conversation that no one should feel guilty for not meditating and that even a single 8 to 15 minute mindfulness session can have positive effects.

Resources (some mentioned on the show):

Podcasts: 10% Happier, Making Sense with Sam Harris 

Apps: Calm, Headspace, Ten Percent Happier, and Waking Up all end up requiring a subscription fee after a few free sessions. Insight Timer has thousands of free meditations. Oak and Healthy Minds appear to be completely free at this time.

The University Of Washington offers a variety of mental health services to current students. Learn more

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