Last month, we invited you to take a quiz measuring your level of mindfulness. The quiz, based on work by researchers at Drexel University and LaSalle University, gauges how much you maintain a moment-to-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment; it also examines how much you can accept these things without judgment—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” thing to be thinking or feeling in a given moment.
So far, more than 1,200 Greater Good readers have completed the quiz, and (not surprisingly), you’re a pretty mindful group. The median score is 84 out of 100—firmly within the “high” range of mindfulness scores.
After analyzing the results, we saw some noteworthy trends:
• The strongest link in the data was between mindfulness and meditation: The amount you meditate strongly predicts how mindful you are; the more you meditate, the higher your mindfulness score is likely to be. People who meditate daily scored about 15 percent higher on the quiz than people who never meditate (see graph below).
• Also, men seem to meditate a bit more than women. Twenty-one percent of the men who took the quiz reported that they meditate daily; only nine percent of women said the same. On the flip side, 32 percent of women said they “never” meditate, compared with only 27 percent of men.
• Age also correlated with mindfulness: The older you are, the most likely you are to be aware and accepting. There’s a pretty dramatic jump in mindfulness from the time you’re a teenager to the time you’re in the 50-65 range, though mindfulness seems to plateau after that (see graph below).