The Influence of Mindfulness on Covid-19-Related Psychological Distress
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Due to the high risks associated with the Covid-19 virus, several measures all over the globe were put in place to keep the pandemic in check (e.g., lockdowns). These measures seem to increase people’s stress levels (Lemenager et al., 2020; Serafini et al., 2020). One way to cope with stress is through traits like mindfulness (Jasbi et al., 2018; Grossman et al., 2004). Individuals with higher levels of mindfulness could experience less stress in response to Covid-19 by helping to disengage from rumination and negative emotions. Hence, the current study investigated if exposure to Covid-19-related news influences Covid-19-related distress and if a brief mindfulness intervention moderates this effect. Data was collected via a self-report survey experiment on trait mindfulness and stress resilience in 140 participants on Amazon mTurk. The participants received either a three-minute mindfulness intervention or an excerpt from an audiobook. Afterward, they were exposed to either a Covid-19-related or a non-Covid-related distressing news clip. Finally, attention and manipulation checks were given to the participants, and Covid-19-related distress was assessed. No support was found that there would be an increase in Covid-19-related distress after exposure to Covid-19 news, nor support for moderating effects of a brief mindfulness intervention. However, analysis of stress resilience and the control variables provided exciting insight and possibilities for future research.