Daily mindfulness training reduces negative impact of COVID-19 news exposure on affective well-being

Julia W.Y. Kam, Javeria Javed, Chelsie M. Hart, Jessica R. Andrews-Hanna, Lianne M. Tomfohr-Madsen, Caitlin Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

COVID-19 has led to mental health adversities worldwide. The current study examined whether daily practice of brief mindfulness training has a beneficial impact on affective well-being, and mitigates the negative impact of exposure to COVID-19 news during the pandemic. Participants were randomly assigned into a mindfulness training (MT) group or a waitlist control (WC) group. Participants in the MT group practiced guided mindfulness meditation for a minimum of 10 min each day for 10 days. Both groups completed questionnaires assessing well-being at baseline and after the 10-day period. We also included four ecological momentary assessments (EMA) interspersed throughout the day to measure fine-grained affective states and recent exposure to COVID-19-related news, which has been linked to negative affect. We observed an increase in positive affect in the MT group compared to the WC group in the post-training assessment. However, no group differences emerged in the other three post-training affective measures of negative affect, anxiety and depression. EMA revealed that the MT group also showed more positive affective valence than the WC group across the 10 days. Notably, the WC group reported more negative affective valence following COVID-19 news exposure, whereas the MT group was not impacted. Taken together, our study indicates brief sessions of guided mindfulness meditation during COVID-19 may boost positive affect and serve as a protective buffer against the negative impact of exposure to COVID-19-related news on affective well-being. These findings highlight the utility of mindfulness meditation as an accessible and cost-effective technique to elevate positive affect amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1203-1214
Number of pages12
JournalPsychological Research
Volume86
Issue number4
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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