Alia Crum

“Mindfulness and Stress”

Coauthor(s): Chris Lyddy.

Editors: Amanda Ie, Christelle T. Ngnoumen, and Ellen J. Langer


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Mindfulness is a state of mind which can serve to enhance our health, our performance and our well-being. It is best achieved when we are conscious and present, when we recognize the power of our mindsets, and when we proactively seek to view situations not from our old patterned and defaulted ways, but from new angles and possibilities. In the context of stress, mindfulness can be particularly useful. In this chapter we work to move beyond a mindless view of stress that focuses only on stress's deleterious effects into a mindful view of stress by highlighting the growing body of research demonstrating that stress can have enhancing effects on health, performance, and well-being. In uncovering this more balanced view of stress, we present research and theory supporting that the degree to which stress produces beneficial or harmful effects depends largely on the mindset through which stress is viewed (i.e., whether the experience of stress is expected to have debilitating or enhancing effects). Moreover, we discuss how mindfulness — including the Western (Langerian) and the ancient Eastern-derived perspectives — offers effective and powerful tools to access and alter our mindsets deliberately and to flexibly utilize stress as a resource for growth and well-being.

Exact Citation:
Crum, Alia, and Chris Lyddy. "Mindfulness and Stress." In The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness. Ed. Amanda Ie, Christelle T. Ngnoumen, and Ellen J. Langer. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, April 2014.
Place: Chichester
Date: 4 2014