Scientists find that people with ‘mindful’ faces score higher for a range of positive attributes than those with ‘non-mindful’ faces.
Let’s face it…mindfulness is all the rage right now.
Not only does it allow you to be intensely aware of what you sense in the moment…but it could also make you a hit with a potential new partner.
Scientists have discovered that those who have ‘mindful’ faces are more likely to be considered ‘attractive, competent and rational.’
But if you are unlucky enough to have a ‘non-mindful’ face, you stand a higher chance of being regarded as ‘stressed, neurotic, and immoral.’
Researchers from Cardiff University showed pairs of faces to participants in a study and asked them which ones they considered to be more mindful.
A second group was then asked to rate all of the faces for a series of attributes, both negative and positive, and the ‘mindful’ faces scored higher for being attractive, competent and rational.
Mindfulness is an increasingly popular form of meditation which aims to increase overall wellbeing by reducing anxiety, stress and depression.
Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, said it allowed us to reconnect with the sensations our bodies experience to wake up to the ‘sights, sounds, smells and tastes’ of the present moment.
He said: “It might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs.
“An awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment is also an important part of mindfulness, which is about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly.”
Published in the Royal Society Open Science, the researchers wrote: “The results suggest that how people interpret mindfulness has important consequences and can be used to guide how mindfulness is implemented in response to global challenges.”
Professor Geoffrey Haddock, from the School of Psychology at Cardiff University said: “Based on the paper, it would not be appropriate to say that engaging in mindfulness or meditation makes one more attractive.
“We do find that a target described as being mindful is evaluated more positively than someone described as less mindful.”
Gemma Griffith, from the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University said: “This study helps us to understand what impressions people might have about mindfulness.
“It might have implications for whether or not people are likely to engage in mindfulness practice themselves.”