Research Publication Title

Mindfulness and Physiological Indicators of Stress

Major

Psychology

Faculty Mentor(s)

Whitney L. Heppner

Abstract

Mindfulness can be defined as a momentary state of heightened awareness and openness towards one'sexperiences (Brown, Ryan, & Creswell, 2007). Research has shown a connection between mindfulnessand several physiological outcomes, such as blood pressure (Campbell et al., 2012). Research alsodemonstrates that increased levels of mindfulness can reduce levels of stress (Carmody & Baer, 2007).In the current study, we are investigating the link between induced mindfulness and physiologicalsymptoms of stress, specifically blood pressure. Participants are first measured on trait mindfulnessusing the Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (Baer et al., 2006). Next, baseline blood pressure isassessed. Participants then hear one of two audio clips. The experimental group hears a quick guided meditation intended to induce mindfulness. The control group listens to a neutral clip. Next, allparticipants are measured on a state mindfulness scale. Then, participants will watch a video about howfireworks are made. This topic was chosen because it is engaging, but unrelated to the study topics.After the video, participants must prepare and give a two minute speech summarizing the video. This isa modified version of the Trier Social Stress Test (Kirschbaum, Pirke, & Hellhammer, 1993), and it servesas a stress induction. Blood pressure will again be measured before and after the speech. We predictthat those that receive the mindfulness induction will have a smaller increase in blood pressure as aresult of the stress induction. We predict that higher state mindfulness will protect against stress and itsphysiological symptoms.

Start Date

10-4-2015 11:30 AM

End Date

10-4-2015 12:15 PM

Location

HSB 3rd Floor Student Commons

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Apr 10th, 11:30 AM Apr 10th, 12:15 PM

Mindfulness and Physiological Indicators of Stress

HSB 3rd Floor Student Commons

Mindfulness can be defined as a momentary state of heightened awareness and openness towards one'sexperiences (Brown, Ryan, & Creswell, 2007). Research has shown a connection between mindfulnessand several physiological outcomes, such as blood pressure (Campbell et al., 2012). Research alsodemonstrates that increased levels of mindfulness can reduce levels of stress (Carmody & Baer, 2007).In the current study, we are investigating the link between induced mindfulness and physiologicalsymptoms of stress, specifically blood pressure. Participants are first measured on trait mindfulnessusing the Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (Baer et al., 2006). Next, baseline blood pressure isassessed. Participants then hear one of two audio clips. The experimental group hears a quick guided meditation intended to induce mindfulness. The control group listens to a neutral clip. Next, allparticipants are measured on a state mindfulness scale. Then, participants will watch a video about howfireworks are made. This topic was chosen because it is engaging, but unrelated to the study topics.After the video, participants must prepare and give a two minute speech summarizing the video. This isa modified version of the Trier Social Stress Test (Kirschbaum, Pirke, & Hellhammer, 1993), and it servesas a stress induction. Blood pressure will again be measured before and after the speech. We predictthat those that receive the mindfulness induction will have a smaller increase in blood pressure as aresult of the stress induction. We predict that higher state mindfulness will protect against stress and itsphysiological symptoms.