The main objective of this research project was to investigate whether mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), short-term eight-week programs based on contemplative practices, impact reactivity to social stress. Further, we wanted to explore:
What physiological and affective systems are mostly impacted by MBIs: our measurements included salivary cortisol, salivary alpha-amylase, pre-ejection period (index of sympathetic nervous system activity), and heart rate variability (associated with the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system).
Whether MBIs impact prolonged stress reactivity, i.e., resulting in reduced stress during anticipation of and recovery from stress.
Whether enhancing a standard MBI, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program with other elements of Buddhist practice (for example, training equanimity, loving-kindness, right conduct, and aspects of wisdom) would bring additional stress-attenuating benefits.
Gamaiunova, L., Kreibig, S. D., Dan-Glauser, E., Pellerin, N., Brandt, P. Y., & Kliegel, M. (2022). Effects of two mindfulness based interventions on the distinct phases of the stress response across different physiological systems. Biological Psychology, 172, 108384. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2022.108384
Gamaiunova, L., Brandt, P. Y., & Kliegel, M. (in press). Challenge or threat? The effects of the standard and a second-generation mindfulness intervention with Buddhist practices on cognitive appraisals of stress: Secondary analysis of a randomized controlled experiment performed in Switzerland. Journal of Religion and Health