Mindfulness Reduces the Ability of Anxiety to Affect Student Performance

Mindfulness Reduces the Ability of Anxiety to Affect Student Performance


By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.


“Let the fears arise, but also let them go. After you make the catalog, look at each fear, each anxious moment, and then let it go on its way.” – Carolyn Gimian


The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the mental and physical health of the population. It has created intense stress both for frontline workers but also for people simply isolating at home. It also affects students’ performance in school. So, there is a need to find ways to improve psychological well-being during the pandemic. Mindfulness is known to decrease the psychological and physical responses to stress. So, mindfulness may be helpful in developing students’ capacities to cope with the mental and physical challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.


In today’s Research News article “Impact of fear of COVID-19 on students’ performance, moderating role of mindfulness: HSK students’ perception-based view.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9677726/ ) Meiyi and colleagues recruited college students and had them complete measures of mindfulness, fear of Covid-19, anxiety, and student performance.


They found that mindfulness was associated with lower fear of Covid-19 and anxiety, and higher levels of student performance. In addition, with students high in mindfulness anxiety had a smaller effect on student performance. Hence, mindfulness improves student performance directly and also by lowering fear of Covid-19 and anxiety which interfere with student performance. Mindfulness also appears to moderate the impact of anxiety on student performance.


So, mindfulness improves college student performance both directly and indirectly by its associations with lower fear of Covid-19 and anxiety.


The only way to ease our fear and be truly happy is to acknowledge our fear and look deeply at its source. Instead of trying to escape from our fear, we can invite it up to our awareness and look at it clearly and deeply.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh


CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies


This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Twitter @MindfulResearch


Study Summary


Meiyi Z, Liu Y. Impact of fear of COVID-19 on students’ performance, moderating role of mindfulness: HSK students’ perception-based view. Front Public Health. 2022 Nov 7;10:967125. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.967125. PMID: 36420013; PMCID: PMC9677726.



COVID-19 created difficulties and problems in almost everyone’s daily life routine. Educational institutions too had to reschedule their academic activities. This shift caused attitudinal and behavioral changes in students’ learning patterns. Using stress theory, the present study tries to determine the association of fear of COVID-19 with students’ performance. In addition, the present study also attempts to check the impact of fear of COVID-19 on anxiety. Further, this study tries to find the association of anxiety with students’ performance. This study also attempts to determine the mediating role of anxiety and the moderating role of mindfulness. For empirical investigation, the current study collected data from 320 HSK students from different colleges and universities in China. The present study applied partial least square structural equation modeling for the empirical investigation of hypotheses by using Smart-PLS software. The present study’s findings confirmed that fear of COVID-19 negatively affects students’ performance, and it positively correlates with anxiety. The study’s outcomes revealed that anxiety negatively affects students’ performance. The outcomes also confirmed that anxiety negatively mediates the relationship between fear of COVID-19 and students’ performance. The present study’s findings acknowledged that mindfulness does not moderate the relationship between fear of COVID-19 and student performance and has a positive moderation between anxiety and student performance. The present study offers important practical, theoretical, and managerial implications.



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