Mindfulness Meditation and Fantasy Relaxation in a Group Setting Leads to a Diminished Sense of Self and an Increased Present Orientation

Behav Sci (Basel). 2019 Aug 15;9(8):87. doi: 10.3390/bs9080087.


(1) Background: Mind-body interventions (MBI), such as meditation or other relaxation techniques, have become the focus of attention in the clinical and health sciences. Differences in the effects of induction techniques are being increasingly investigated. (2) Methods: Here, we compared changes in the individual experience of time, space, and self in 44 students in an integrative health-promotion program. They participated in a study employing mindfulness meditation and a relaxation intervention with one week between sessions, thus employing a within-subjects design. (3) Results: No significant differences were detected when subjective reports were compared directly after each intervention. However, we found significant sequence effects between t1 and t2, independent of the meditation type. The sense of self diminished, the present orientation increased, and the past and future orientations decreased in both interventions. (4) Conclusions: We propose using scales to assess subjective time, self, and space as basic constituents of experience to measure the specificity of intervention methods, as well as longitudinal changes.

Keywords: fantasy relaxation; mindfulness meditation; self-awareness; time perception.