Can’t You Feel Your Heartbeat Fast?: Mindfulness as a mediator between interoception and anxiety

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2019-04

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Abstract

Interoception is the perception of physical and emotional sensations within the body, such as hunger, respiration, and pain. Interoception is conceptualized in different components, including interoceptive accuracy (IAc), operationalized in this study as the objective ability to detect heartbeats within the body, and interoceptive sensibility (IS), measured by self-reports of subjective interoception. There is conflicting literature on whether or not interoception is helpful or hurtful in emotion regulation. In an undergraduate, nonclinical sample, we hypothesized that: (1) IAc will not significantly correlate with IS; (2) mindfulness will mediate the effect of IS on anxiety such that IS will predict higher anxiety at low levels of mindfulness while IS will predict low anxiety at high levels of mindfulness; (3) mindfulness will mediate the effect of IAc on anxiety such that better IAc will predict higher anxiety at low levels of mindfulness while better IAc will predict low anxiety at high levels of mindfulness. As hypothesized, accuracy on the heartbeat perception task (IAc) was not significantly correlated with IS (p =.52). In contrast to hypotheses 2 and 3, multiple linear regression models did not show interoception mediating the relationship between mindfulness and anxiety. Further studies should be conducted in clinical populations to investigate the relationships between interoception, mindfulness, and anxiety.

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Yang, Iris (2019). Can’t You Feel Your Heartbeat Fast?: Mindfulness as a mediator between interoception and anxiety. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18564.


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