Does Mindfulness & Happiness Predict Job Satisfaction among Indian Employees?

AuthorSaini, Damini


Mindfulness is a non-judgmental acceptance of one's emotions and thoughts while being present (Bishop et al., 2004). Although mindfulness has roots in Eastern philosophy, it has recently become a non-secular practice of many Westerners. Most definitions of mindfulness emphasize on awareness, observation, and acceptance without judgment of one's feelings and thoughts (Baer, Walsh & Lykins, 2009; Grossman, 2008). Even in various disciplines the mindfulness aspects are having its interference in the positive manner. Various practitioners and researchers have studied the impact of mindfulness on organizations and found it positive. Gradually it has become an imperative area of learning in the organizations. As organizational psychologists continue to investigate various aspects of mindfulness training, it will be important to identify the impact of training that helps explain the benefits of mindfulness. For example, at this stage it is difficult to discern whether mindfulness is the primary driver of benefits in the organization or whether self-reflective practices such as journaling or mindful movement (e.g., yoga) provide the same benefit to the employees. As we move towards a better understanding of mindfulness in the workplace, we need intervention-based research that empirically isolates the specific behavioral, cognitive, and affective mechanisms responsible as well as individual and situational factors that may accentuate such effects.

Thus, a mindful perspective allows individuals to be more cognizant of how life events influence their emotional experiences, enabling individuals to make predictions that are less susceptible to the impact bias. Though several questionnaires (Baer, Smith & Allen, 2004; Baer, Smith, Hopkins, Krietemeyer & Toney, 2006) have been developed to measure individual differences in people's tendency to be mindful, the current study examines Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), and how mindfulness may impact people's happiness and the impact work outcomes. We predict that people who report a greater mindfulness and act with awareness should be happier thus impacting positively on the job satisfaction.


Mindfulness originates from the Pali word sati and the Sanskrit word smirti, which connotes awareness, attention, and remembering (Engler, 1986; Nyaniponika, 1973). Its two key components are selfregulation of attention to the present moment, and maintenance of an open, curious, and accepting stance to the experience (Bishop et al, 2004). In the eastern assumption, mindfulness is to be the place you are with all your psyche intends to consider inward procedure of brain. It implies having a capacity to hold tight the present items, recall them, and not dismissing them through diversion, cooperative considering, clarifying ceaselessly or dismissal (Weick & Putnam, 2006). Mindfulness is a non-belief specific spiritual orientation that reduces critical judgment (of ourselves and others) and facilitates compassion for self and others (Bishop et al., 2004; Brown & Ryan, 2003; Neff, 2003a). Awareness and attention are very closely related to the consciousness. Awareness offers a continuous monitoring of experience, while attention intensifies the feeling towards experience, allowing for extending one's concentration and investigation. Mindfulness can also be described as an awareness of what is happening in the present moment, considered by a nonjudgmental, open and accepting attitude towards everything that arises in consciousness, without altering it (Cigolla & Brown, 2011:709). The founder of MBSR Kabat-Zinn sums it up as, "Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally" (Kabat-Zinn, 1994: 4).

While mindfulness is often associated with traditions that are more philosophical than scientific, recent years have witnessed a remarkable surge of research activity surrounding mindfulness across several fields, including clinical and counseling psychology (Dane & Brummel, 2013). Studies have evidenced that mindfulness fosters ethical decision making (Ruedy & Schweitzer, 2010), enhances creativity (Ostafin & Kassman, 2012), and improves the accuracy of affective forecasting (Emanuel et al., 2010). In the similar vein a conceptual model of ethical mindset developed by Issa and Pick (2011) again concentrated upon the variables like ambiguity tolerance, spirituality, creativity, aesthetic judgment and mindfulness. From a mindfulness research standpoint, the expanding body of research on work engagement begs a key question: does mindfulness carry unique variance in the workrelated attitudes in terms of satisfaction, commitment and organization citizenship etc?

One of the basic assumptions guiding this research is that practicing mindfulness, ultimately, makes people happier. More mindful individuals are more likely to pursue aspirations that are positively related to need satisfaction and wellness (Brown & Kasser, 2005; Brown et al., 2008). Therefore, mindfulness has been related to both greater basic psychological need satisfaction and autonomous self-regulation (Brown & Ryan, 2003; Levesque & Brown, 2007). In a similar vein a study done by Reb, Narayanan and Ho (2015) recommended that awareness may be associated with the presence of positive states and behaviors (satisfaction, OCBs), whereas lack of absentmindedness may be associated with the absence of negative states and behaviors (emotional exhaustion, deviance). Mindfulness appears to also enhance motivation and satisfaction of basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness (i.e., interpersonal connection), which in turn boost wellness (Schultz & Ryan, 2014). A growing body of research also suggests that more mindful individuals are more likely to pursue aspirations that are positively related to wellness (Brown & Kasser, 2005; Brown et al., 2008). Which somehow supports the fact that mindfulness has been related to both greater basic psychological need satisfaction and autonomous selfregulation (Brown & Ryan, 2003; Levesque & Brown, 2007).

Hypothesis 1: There will be a significant positive relationship between mindfulness and happiness. That is individual who are more mindful will also report higher levels of happiness.

Studies in this area proved that mindfulness contributes to performance by improving cognitive flexibility and alertness (Moore & Malinowski, 2009; Zeidan et al., 2010) and safeguarding against distractions and performance blunders (Herndon, 2008). These findings advance the possibility that workplace mindfulness facilitates job performance and some researchers also argued that mindfulness promotes key work outcomes (Dane, 2011; Glomb, Duffy, Bono & Yang, 2011), empirical studies examining this fact are somehow scarce. In fact, most research on mindfulness has been conducted outside the workplace (e.g. Hulsheger, Alberts, Feinholdt & Lang. 2013; Reb et al., 2012). Initially clinical settings were a more preferred area to do mindfulness studies rather than mindfulness in organizational settings. While a growing body of evidence indicates that mindfulness carries a number of bene-fits, little empirical research has...

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