Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Relationship between Mindfulness, Stress, and Alcohol

We all experience stress in our lives and how we deal with that stress can have a significant impact on our physical and psychological health and wellbeing. Research on mindfulness has indicated that mindfulness practices are helpful in improving coping with stress as well as in reducing alcohol consumption.

A recent study explored this further by investigating participants’ dispositional levels of mindfulness, as well as their drinking behavior and stress. The study found that participants who were more mindful experienced less stress and drank less alcohol. Additionally, they found that for participants low in mindfulness, high stress was associated with greater alcohol consumption. However, what is most interesting is that for participants high in mindfulness, high perceived stress was not associated with greater alcohol consumption. This indicates that mindfulness may be an effective way to help cope with stress, and in doing so help reduces alcohol use.

Keryn Breiterman-Loader

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