Objectives: Ninety-seven (97) undergraduates with a family history of hypertension participated in a study that evaluated the effects of a brief mindfulness-induction on cardiovascular reactivity and recovery to two stressors. Materials and methods: Participants were randomized to either a mindfulness-induction or control condition and were then exposed to the cold pressor task (CPT) followed by the mirror-tracing task (MT). Blood pressure and heart rate were measured at baseline and postinduction, as well as during and immediately following each stressor. Results: There were no group differences in reactivity to either stressor. Participants in the mindfulness-analog condition experienced significantly greater latency to systolic blood pressure recovery following the CPT and a tendency toward greater latency to diastolic blood pressure recovery, although these findings were not replicated with the MT task. Conclusions: These results are contrary to what was hypothesized and to the anecdotal evidence available regarding effects of comprehensive mindfulness interventions on reactivity. The findings are discussed with respect to purported mechanisms of mindfulness and learning theory.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Complementary and alternative medicine