Objectives: Psychological studies have shown that brief period of mindfulness meditation significantly improves critical cognitive skills. But, there are no studies which have assessed the effects of Brahma Kumaris Rajayoga Meditation (BKRM) practice on positive thinking and happiness in life. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis is BKRM enhances positive thinking and that essential to attain higher levels of self-satisfaction and happiness in life.
Material and methods: This study is a cross sectional comparative study which was done between Rajayoga meditators and non-meditators. This study was conducted at BKRM Centres at Manipal and Udupi in Karnataka, India. Fifty subjects were selected for this study, which included those practising BKRM in their normal routine life (n=25) and non-meditators (n=25) who were aged 42.95+/15.29 years. Self-reported Oxford happiness questionnaire (OHQ) was administered to all subjects and their happiness scores and status were assessed and compared. Items related to self-satisfaction in life were selected from the OHQ and compared between meditators and non-meditators. Participants completed self-reported OHQ, from which data of happiness status and self-satisfaction in relation to meditation duration and frequency were analyzed by descriptive statistics and test of hypothesis.
Results: Mean happiness scores of BKRM were significantly higher (p<0.001) in meditators as compared to those in non-meditators. The number of meditators experiencing happiness status were significantly higher (p<0.05) in comparison with non-meditators. Additionally, meditators scored significantly higher on self-satisfaction items (p<0.001) as compared to non-meditators. There was no correlation between age and years of meditation practice with happiness score and self-satisfaction score.
Conclusion: BKRM helps in significantly increasing self-satisfaction and happiness in life by enhancing positive thinking. Irrespective of age and years of short-term or long-term meditation practice, enhanced positive thinking increases self-satisfaction and happiness in life.
Keywords: Brahmakumaris Rajyoga Meditation; Happiness; Positive thinking; Self-satisfaction.