Introspective Meditation before Seeking Pleasurable Activities as a Stress Reduction Tool among College Students: A Multi-Theory Model-Based Pilot Study
In the realm of behavioral interventions, a combined approach of yoga and a cognitive-behavioral strategy in the form of introspective meditation (manan-dhyana) may offer benefits as a stress management tool. This pilot study focuses on introspective meditation performed before seeking pleasurable activities, which is a self-reflection about whether to pursue a goal that will bring sensory pleasure in life. A non-probability sample of college students was recruited from a mid-sized Southern University of the United States using a 52-items web-based survey built in Qualtrics. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate statistics were used to analyze data. Of total 65 students, only 21.5% students reported being engaged in the introspective meditation. The sample constituted predominantly females (75.4%), White (64.6%), and undergraduate students (87.7%). The proportions of anxiety, depression, and moderate/high stress were 50.8%, 40.0%, 86.1% respectively. In the hierarchical regression for initiation, the final model explained nearly 21.1% of variance in initiating introspective meditation among participants (n = 51) who had not been practicing it. With each unit increment in subscales of initiation (i.e., changes in physical environment), the conditional mean for initiating introspective meditation behavior increased by 0.373 units. In the hierarchical regression for sustenance, the final model explained nearly 50.5% of variance in sustaining introspective meditation behavior among participants (n = 51) who had not been practicing it. With each unit increment in subscales of sustenance (i.e., emotional transformation), the conditional mean for sustaining introspective meditation behavior increased by 0.330 units. This study can pave a way for designing interventions for college students to promote introspective meditation directed toward seeking pleasurable activities before engaging in them. This has implications for the reduction of stress as well as a preemptive measure for sexual risk-taking, indulgence in maladaptive behaviors such as smoking, vaping, alcohol, and substance use.