The topic of mindfulness has catalyzed a steady escalation of research with respect to both the circumstances that facilitate it, and its potential for enhancing psychological, behavioral, and health-related outcomes. In this chapter, we review the construct of mindfulness and discuss how mindfulness influences self-regulation and well-being from the perspective of Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Ryan and Deci, 2000). We focus specifically on how mindfulness, along with a related construct referred to here as interest-taking, potentiates more autonomous self-regulation, greater basic psychological need satisfactions and more investment in intrinsic versus extrinsic life goals. A key element throughout the discussion is the role of mindfulness in attenuating ego-involvement, and facilitating optimal functioning by allowing a more open, less defensive, approach to challenges and events. Relevant research on SDT, mindfulness, and interest-taking is discussed, as well as implications for future work.
- Mindful awareness
- Self-determination theory (SDT)