Does Mindfulness Reduce Motivation?

Does Mindfulness Reduce Motivation?

James Kirk 6 months ago

Mindfulness and meditation have been known embraced in the corporate world, with numerous studies finding benefits like reduced stress and better concentration. Meditation is also used as a tool to motivate workers, partly thanks to research on the relationship between wellbeing and productivity.

Some of the world’s biggest firms, including Google and Nike, have embraced the practice, using meditation programs as a way of tackling stress, staff turnover and absenteeism.

But a new study suggests that mindfulness meditation, a popular type of meditation that practises being aware in the present, may not be the best way to increase your motivation at work, according to an article on

“Meditation is about accepting the present, which is the opposite to being motivated to do something, where the present moment isn’t acceptable, so meditation is inconsistent with being motivated to achieving a goal,” argues Kathleen Vohs, professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota and co-author of the study.

Vohs enlisted hundreds of participants to test her theory across five studies. In the first, 109 participants were given audio instructions in common mindfulness meditation techniques by a meditation coach. A comparison group were asked to simply let their minds wander.

Image credit: Getty Images

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