The aim of the study was to develop a new self-report scale to explore the “fears, blocks and resistances of mindfulness”. Currently, there is no scale to identify individuals who may struggle with engaging in mindfulness.
A total of 522 participants were invited to take part in the study from three countries: Australia (n = 199), Portugal (n = 160), and the UK (n = 163). Participants completed a range of self-report scales including the newly developed Fears and Resistances to Mindfulness (FRM), Fears of Compassion, Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales, Forms of Self-criticising/Attacking and Self-Reassuring, and the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire.
Factor analyses suggested the scale comprised 2 factors. One was related to fears of paying attention to what arises within one’s mind. The second factor was related to resistances, i.e. that mindfulness is a waste of time. Seven items were filler items, and 5 items were identified as problematic due to low communalities or cross-loading; therefore from the original 31 items, 19 were retained in the final scale, which demonstrated excellent internal consistency (McDonald’s Ω = 0.90 for both scales), good construct validity, and temporal stability. Blocks to mindfulness did not emerge as a separate factor.
This is the first study to specifically explore fears and resistances to mindfulness and their associations with fears of compassion, self-criticism, and mental health difficulties. Data suggested that fears and resistances are distinct constructs and should be measured independently. The new measure can offer insights in to fears and resistances to mindfulness, and future research can explore how to work with them.
This study was not preregistered.