Mindfulness

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 829–837 | Cite as

Why Being Mindful May Have More Benefits Than You Realize: Mindfulness Improves Both Explicit and Implicit Mood Regulation

  • Carina Remmers
  • Sascha Topolinski
  • Sander L. Koole
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

Prior research has consistently observed that mindfulness facilitates emotion regulation. However, this research mainly examined explicit, self-reported emotion. Does mindfulness also facilitate regulation of implicit emotional responses? To address this question, the authors induced sadness among a group of healthy volunteers (N = 72), after which participants performed a mindfulness, distraction, or rumination exercise. Implicit mood changes were assessed with the Implicit Positive and Negative Affect Test and explicit mood changes were assessed with the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule. Participants’ implicit and explicit negative mood improved in the mindfulness and distraction groups, but not in the rumination group. The mindfulness group displayed greater congruence between implicit and explicit mood than the other groups. Trait mindfulness was associated with lower implicit—but not explicit—negative mood across the whole sample both before and after the strategy induction but did not moderate the effects of the strategy induction on mood improvement. These findings indicate that mindfulness can facilitate emotion regulation on both implicit and explicit levels.

Keywords

Mindfulness Emotion regulation Implicit mood Rumination 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC-2011-StG_20101124).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carina Remmers
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sascha Topolinski
    • 3
  • Sander L. Koole
    • 4
  1. 1.Clinical PsychologyUniversity of HildesheimHildesheimGermany
  2. 2.Vivantes Wenckebach ClinicClinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and PsychosomaticsBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Social Cognition Center CologneUniversity of CologneKölnGermany
  4. 4.Clinical PsychologyVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamNetherlands

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