Dispositional mindfulness: how is it related to well-being?

Mindfulness is not only a practice, but also a disposition – which, as a rule, is the product of this practice. Thus, we tell you how you can benefit from dispositional mindfulness.

Dispositional mindfulness: how is it related to well-being?

Elena Sanz

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: 02 September, 2022

In recent years, the mindfulness It has become a kind of fashion. More and more people discover it and practice it at certain times of their day to day life, to reduce stress or achieve balance. However, did you know that there is mindfulness dispositional?

In this case, it is defined as a kind of personality trait or a tendency to feel and act in a certain way. And the fact is that those who own or cultivate it usually enjoy greater well-being and better emotional health.

What is dispositional mindfulness?

To understand this concept it is important to differentiate between “state” and “trait”. The state is the set of thoughts, emotions or actions that a person has at a given moment. On the contrary, the trait defines the thoughts, emotions or actions that you usually have in a stable way. As an example, we understand that feeling anxious at a specific time (state) is not the same as being a person who normally feels restless and worried (trait).

The mindfulness dispositional is, then, the tendency to be present in the now, to be conscious and even-tempered as a trait. If you look around you, you will find people who exhibit these attitudes naturally, they are calm and serene and do not lose their calm in the face of difficulties. On the contrary, there will be others who tend to react emotionally with great intensity and live with their minds in the past or in the future.

This is not about a yes or no category of having this trait completely or not having it at all. In fact, it is a continuum and each person falls somewhere in between of the same. Now, how do you know if you have a high degree of mindfulness dispositional?

The tendency to be present in the now is known as dispositional mindfulness.

Characteristics of dispositional mindfulness

These are some characteristics and attitudes of those who show a high level of mindfulness dispositional:

  • They do not act reactively to internal or external experiences. They are able to observe them without judgment no resistors.
  • They tend to pay attention to their thoughts and feelings deliberately and conscientiously. This allows them to have greater clarity about it and regulate themselves internally.
  • they are compassionate with others and self-compassionate with themselves.
  • This people don’t live on autopilot. On the contrary, they focus their attention on what they are doing and feeling in each moment.
  • They are patient peoplewho understand the natural sequence of things and do not try to force or speed them up.
  • They have an open and curious mind, open-minded.
  • possess a high self-confidence, in his intuition and in his authority to make decisions; they are not carried away by the outside.
  • They do not strive, struggle, or resist. On the contrary, they know how to flow with the circumstances without avoiding the realities that displease them.

How is it related to wellness?

If you have ever practiced mindfulness, you will have experienced a pleasant sensation of relaxation and serenity almost immediately. And when we incorporate this practice into our daily routine, those effects are prolonged and enhanced. In the same way, the trait of mindfulness constitutes a protective factor for emotional health.

People with this trait tend to have more positive thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and lifestyles. It has been found that not only do they not react impulsively and emotionally to events, but they are also capable of re-evaluating and resignifying them in more appropriate and healthy ways. These people have greater cognitive flexibility, and this allows them to cope with adverse events without falling into stress and despair; they overcome it more clearly and calmly.

They are more open to change and better able to regulate their emotions. This does not imply that they do not have worries, but that they know how to perceive when they are entering a process of rumination and manage to stop it and calm down. It has also been seen that this feature is also useful to prevent stress, burnout and negative emotions in certain professions with a special propensity for it.

People with dispositional mindfulness are compassionate with others and with themselves.

We can all develop the mindfulness trait

Ultimately, the mindfulness dispositional helps us to have a balanced cognitive and emotional life, to improve satisfaction and coping with stress and to prevent the onset of mental illness. For this reason, it is positive to try to cultivate it and work on it.

There are those who, due to their own personality or because of what they learned in the first years of life, have made a good part of the path in the dimension/trait that we are dealing with today. Nevertheless, we can all improve with practice.

If you include mindfulness practices in your daily life on a regular basis, you will see how your way of perceiving, thinking, feeling and acting changes. You just need to be persistent.

You might be interested…