Positive Reappraisal Mediates the Stress-Reductive Effects of Mindfulness: An Upward Spiral Process

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 106 Citations

Abstract

The stress-reductive effect of mindfulness practice is well-established, yet less is known about the cognitive mechanisms underlying this salutary outcome. We conducted a prospective observational study of 339 participants (mean age 45. 7 ± 13. 4) undergoing an 8-week mindfulness-based stress and pain management course and found support for our hypotheses that a) pre-post intervention increases in dispositional mindfulness are reciprocally linked with increases in positive reappraisal coping and b) the stress-reductive effects of increases in dispositional mindfulness are mediated by increases in positive reappraisal independent of changes in catastrophizing. Positive reappraisal and mindfulness appear to serially and mutually enhance one another, creating the dynamics of an upward spiral. Through mindfulness practice, individuals may engender a broadened state of awareness that facilitates empowering interpretations of stressful life events, leading to substantially reduced distress. Study findings have implications for cognitive therapy that couples mindfulness practices with restructuring techniques oriented toward benefit finding and positive reappraisal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-67
Number of pages9
JournalMindfulness
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

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stress
Mindfulness
practice
effect
couples therapy
pain
restructuring
coping
hypothesis
intervention
course
participant
age
individual
process
Catastrophization
Life Change Events
Cognitive Therapy
Pain Management
Observational Study

Keywords

  • Catastrophizing
  • Mindfulness
  • Positive emotion
  • Reappraisal
  • Stress
  • Upward spiral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

Positive Reappraisal Mediates the Stress-Reductive Effects of Mindfulness : An Upward Spiral Process. / Garland, Eric L.; Gaylord, Susan A.; Fredrickson, Barbara L.

In: Mindfulness, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2011, p. 59-67.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Garland, Eric L.; Gaylord, Susan A.; Fredrickson, Barbara L. / Positive Reappraisal Mediates the Stress-Reductive Effects of Mindfulness : An Upward Spiral Process.

In: Mindfulness, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2011, p. 59-67.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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