Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Habitual worrying and benefits of mindfulness

Associated organisational unit


Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Habitual worrying and benefits of mindfulness

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/2014
Issue number5
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)566-573
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date11/04/13
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Although worry is in essence an adaptive mental activity, habitual worrying (repetitive and automatic worried thinking) is dysfunctional. Two studies investigated whether mindfulness mitigated adverse consequences of habitual worrying. The beneficial role of mindfulness was hypothesized on the basis of two key features: a focus on the immediate experience and an attitude of acceptance towards whatever arises in the stream of consciousness. These features map inversely on habitual worrying, which is characterized by a focus away from the present and a non-accepting attitude towards the object of worry. In study 1, it was found that, while habitual worrying correlated significantly with test anxiety, dispositional mindfulness partially mediated this relationship. Study 2 demonstrated that experimentally induced mindfulness made habitual worriers more tolerant to viewing distressing images. Together the studies suggest that mindfulness may function as an antidote to unconstructive consequences of habitual worrying.