Mindfulness is Associated with Greater Well-Being During Covid – 19
By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.
“When you practice mindfulness and are present moment-to-moment, you are much more tuned in during typically “mindless” activities and routines throughout your day. This level of awareness not only positively affects your mind and body, but it turns out to be pretty darn useful during a pandemic.” – Henry Ford Health
Mindfulness training has been shown to improve health and well-being in healthy individuals. It has also been found to be effective for a large array of medical and psychiatric conditions, either stand-alone or in combination with more traditional therapies. 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. 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 coping with the mental and physical challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In today’s Research News article “Did Mindful People Do Better during the COVID-19 Pandemic? Mindfulness Is Associated with Well-Being and Compliance with Prophylactic Measures.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9105751/ ) Wen and colleagues performed an online survey during a Covid-19 lockdown in France. The participants completed measures of mindfulness, mood, quality of sleep, and behaviors to control the spread of Covid-19.
They found that the higher the levels of mindfulness the better their psychological well-being including less sleep disruption, and deterioration of mood. They also found that the higher the levels of mindfulness the greater the engagement in behaviors to control the spread of Covid-19, including physical distancing, lockdown and coughing into your sleeve, but not washing hands, not touching faces and wearing masks.
Hence, being mindful during the Covid-19 lockdown was associated with less deterioration in well-being and greater prophylactic behaviors. This suggests that mindful people fared better during the pandemic.
“During the current pandemic . . .Mindfulness can help us acknowledge this situation, without allowing us to be carried away with strong emotions; it can, in turn, help bring ourselves back to a centered calm. Only then can we see more clearly what it is we have control over and what it is that we do not.” – Michigan Psychiatry
CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies
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Wen, X., Rafaï, I., Duchêne, S., & Willinger, M. (2022). Did Mindful People Do Better during the COVID-19 Pandemic? Mindfulness Is Associated with Well-Being and Compliance with Prophylactic Measures. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(9), 5051. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095051
This paper investigates the relationship between mindfulness and well-being within the context of compliance with prophylactic measures in the time of COVID-19. We conducted a large-scale survey among a representative sample of the French population. We measured mindfulness, using the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, and the extent to which respondents were impacted by COVID-19 in terms of their mood and quality of sleep, as well as how they complied with prophylactic measures. Our results suggest that more mindful individuals were less negatively impacted by COVID-19 with regard to their sleep and mood. Concerning the prophylactic measures, we obtained mixed results: more mindful participants were more likely to respect lockdowns, physical distancing and to cough in their sleeves, but did not wash their hands, wear masks or avoid touching their face more often than less mindful individuals.