Mindfulness shown to reduce paranoia in 7 days

A new study found that practicing mindfulness can lower feelings of paranoia.

Mindfulness shown to reduce paranoia in 7 days
Adobe stock
  • Psychologists find that a week of mindfulness meditation can reduce feelings of paranoia.
  • The studies also pinpoint feelings of non-judgment to correlate with paranoid thoughts.
  • The study was initiated to help lower paranoia in students.

As we hunker down, with the coronavirus-related news getting progressively worse, both on the medical and economic fronts, it's hard to avoid getting uneasy if not downright paranoid. One thing that can help deal with the emotional toll – mindfulness meditation, which has been shown to reduce paranoid feelings in a new study.

The psychologists from the University of London were motivated to conduct this investigation to help lower paranoia in students, 30 to 40% of whom exhibit it, based on past research. Paranoia was defined by the scientists as "the belief that another person is, or is planning, to intentionally cause one harm—be that physical, social or psychological." Studies linked this sense among the students with isolation, feelings of powerlessness and depression.

Mindfulness, in particular, was of interest fo the scientists as its has been a key component in new cognitive-behavioral therapies for the treatment of paranoia. The authors of the study looked at mindfulness as "moment-to-moment awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a specific way, in the present moment, as non-reactively, non-judgementally, and open-heartedly as possible".

One reason for the success of mindfulness in remedying this psychological condition of paranoia is that it encourages responding to internal experiences without becoming judgmental. Via the course of three studies, with two being based on questionnaires and one experimental, the scientists looked at whether a person's levels of non-judgmental thinking is linked to their levels of paranoia and if engagement in mindfulness can affect having paranoid thoughts.

From the two questionnaire studies involving 410 and 84 people (mostly white female psychology students), the researchers concluded that a person with greater levels of non-judgement would be predicted to exhibit lower levels of paranoia.

"The current findings provide further evidence of the specific role of non-judgement in experiences of nonclinical paranoia," wrote the researchers. "Furthermore, these are the first empirical data to show that high levels of non-judgement may buffer the impact of trait paranoia on daily experiences of state paranoia.

Mind fitness: How meditation boosts your focus, resilience and brain

The last study showed in the sample of 68 people that practicing mindfulness meditation could lower the amount of paranoid thoughts. This was true even after a short period like a week. As reported by PsyPost, participants of the study were put through one prerecorded guided mindfulness lesson per day, engaging in a quick body scan, breathing mindfully and practicing choiceness awareness.

Check out the study"Mindfulness and Paranoia: A Cross-Sectional, Longitudinal and Experimental Analysis," authored by Jessica Kingston, Francesca Lassman, Carla Matias and Lyn Ellett, published in the journal Mindfulness.

The extraordinary effect of mindfulness on depression

The mystery of the Bermuda Triangle may finally be solved

Meteorologists propose a stunning new explanation for the mysterious events in the Bermuda Triangle.

Surprising Science

One of life's great mysteries, the Bermuda Triangle might have finally found an explanation. This strange region, that lies in the North Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico, has been the presumed cause of dozens and dozens of mind-boggling disappearances of ships and planes.

Keep reading Show less

America of the 1930s saw thousands of people become Nazi

Nazi supporters held huge rallies and summer camps for kids throughout the United States in the 1930s.

Meeting of the German American Bund held at Madison Square Garden, New York City, 20th February 1939.

Credit: Photo by FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the 1930s, thousands of Americans sympathized with the Nazis, holding huge rallies.
  • The rallies were organized by the American German Bund, which wanted to spread Nazi ideology.
  • Nazi supporters also organized summer camps for kids to teach them their values.
Keep reading Show less

Coffee and green tea may lower death risk for some adults

Tea and coffee have known health benefits, but now we know they can work together.


Credit: NIKOLAY OSMACHKO from Pexels
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds drinking large amounts of coffee and tea lowers the risk of death in some adults by nearly two thirds.
  • This is the first study to suggest the known benefits of these drinks are additive.
  • The findings are great, but only directly apply to certain people.
Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science

Why San Francisco felt like the set of a sci-fi flick

But most city dwellers weren't seeing the science — they were seeing something out of Blade Runner.

Scroll down to load more…
Quantcast