New Study Shows Mindfulness Motivates People to Make Healthier Choices

“Smoking causes wrinkles that age you prematurely. What are cigarettes costing you?”

“150 minutes of exercise a week reduces the risk of cancer.”

“2000 calories a day is all most adults should eat.”

We hear so many well-meaning and well-researched messages about how to be healthier, and for many, they prompt real change, like quitting smoking, exercising more, and eating better. But for some people, these messages prompt only a defensive and resentful reaction — “Stop nagging and leave me alone.”

Why do some people hear these messages so differently, and how can researchers help them be more effective? In looking at this problem, a new study by researchers at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania found that people who are more mindful are more receptive to health messaging and more likely to be motivated to change.

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