What is it about?
Stressful events can result in negative emotions and thinking and, when intense, can contribute to clinical disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Previous correlational research has consistently found that people who indicate that their life is more meaningful report having less anxiety and depression. This study built on the previous findings by examining causal effects - that is, whether inducing meaning would be helpful after a stressor. We found that after watching a stressful film clip, a brief meaning intervention (consisting of thinking about and connecting to authentic values) led to greater reductions in anxiety and film-related rumination, compared to a control group.
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Why is it important?
This study suggests that a brief meaning intervention may be helpful in reducing stressor-related anxiety and rumination. The findings indicate the promise of developing and testing more intensive meaning interventions to address clinically-relevant post-stressor responses.
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This page is a summary of: A brief life-purpose intervention reduces trauma-film anxiety and rumination., The Humanistic Psychologist, August 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
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