Microdevelopment of Daily Well-Being Through Mental Imagery Practice

Publication Info: 
Imagination, Cognition and Personality, Vol. 34 (1)
Pub. Date Description: 
October 2014
Publication Date: 

In this study, we present a qualitative approach to changes in daily well-being as a function of mental imagery practice. Each morning for a period of 1 week, participants practiced a brief (approximately 1- to 2-minute long) mental imagery practice designed to facilitate well-being. Upon completing each exercise, they provided brief written reflections on their well-being. Qualitative analysis of these subjective reports revealed significant patterns that correspond to three of the four major components of well-being (positive affect, vitality, negative affect) examined by researchers from a Self- Determination Theory perspective. All participants reported immediate well-being benefits of mental imagery practice, and these benefits reflected several patterns that we identified. As these changes take place in seconds and minutes, this study reflects a microdevelopmental approach to well-being from a Dynamic Systems perspective. The value of exploring short-term imagery-related improvements in well-being in combination with long-term influences is discussed.