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      Open hearts build lives: positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources.

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          Abstract

          B. L. Fredrickson's (1998, 2001) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions asserts that people's daily experiences of positive emotions compound over time to build a variety of consequential personal resources. The authors tested this build hypothesis in a field experiment with working adults (n = 139), half of whom were randomly-assigned to begin a practice of loving-kindness meditation. Results showed that this meditation practice produced increases over time in daily experiences of positive emotions, which, in turn, produced increases in a wide range of personal resources (e.g., increased mindfulness, purpose in life, social support, decreased illness symptoms). In turn, these increments in personal resources predicted increased life satisfaction and reduced depressive symptoms. Discussion centers on how positive emotions are the mechanism of change for the type of mind-training practice studied here and how loving-kindness meditation is an intervention strategy that produces positive emotions in a way that outpaces the hedonic treadmill effect.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J Pers Soc Psychol
          Journal of personality and social psychology
          American Psychological Association (APA)
          0022-3514
          0022-3514
          Nov 2008
          : 95
          : 5
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
          [2 ] Department of Psychology, University of Michigan.
          [3 ] Preventive Cardiology Services, University of Michigan.
          Article
          2008-14857-004 NIHMS304992
          10.1037/a0013262
          3156028
          18954193
          c49530d9-3d22-4e3c-8c18-c696173aba9b
          (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved.
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