Apparently, according to a new study from Brown University, mindfulness benefits women more than men. In a small group study, it was revealed that women are more likely to report benefits of mindfulness and meditation than their male counterparts.
The Mindfulness Gender Divide
The reasoning is interesting. Apparently, women are more likely to reflect upon their lives and analyze what's going on. We all know that this removes us from the present moment and gets in the way of achieving mindfulness and peace of mind. According to the study, men are less likely to get bound up in analyzing their lives, so they already exist more in the here and now.
It turns out they have build-in mindfulness!
This was a small-scale study, and one of the authors admits that the gender divide in mental health issues is a topic of study where we have barely scratched the surface. Many woman, anecdotally, will report that the men in their lives do seem to suffer less from those ailments that we tend to think of as female: rehashing events, anxiety, worry, self-doubt, analysis paralysis.
The Big Question
So it looks like half the population is doing something right. They may not benefit a lot from mindfulness, but they may not need to. Though they may miss out on certain elements of self-awareness and self-knowledge, perhaps there is wisdom in focusing less on these things, as they can have a dark side. How many of us spend too much time in our own heads?
The big question I'd love to ask other mothers who may be looking for a way to get out of their own heads: Is your current level of self-reflection hurting or helping? In other words, are you happy with your level of self-awareness or do you think it's keeping you out of the present moment?
The good news for us women is that mindfulness was shown as very effective in this study for helping to center us and get us back into the now. We may need mindfulness practice more than our male counterparts, so there's no better time than right now to take the next step and get to meditating!