Coping With the Crisis: A Mindfulness Manipulation Positively Affects the Emotional Regulation of Action Crises


  • Ariane S. Marion-Jetten
  • Kaspar Schattke
  • Geneviève Taylor


Action crises are the intrapsychic conflicts people face when hesitating between continuing and giving up on a goal after the accumulation of setbacks. They are detrimental to goal achievement and psychological health. While many predictors of action crises have been identified, including dispositional mindfulness, almost none have been investigated in terms of their helpfulness during an action crisis. This experimental laboratory study tested whether a 15-minute mindfulness meditation influenced the emotional regulation of imagined action crises. Participants (N = 121, 105 students, 44 men, M = 28.26 years) were randomly assigned to meditate with a body scan meditation recording or to read magazines after identifying their most important current personal goal. Those in the body scan condition reported more adaptive emotion regulation strategies after reading an action crisis scenario personalized with their goal than those in the control, magazine-reading, condition. This effect was found even when controlling for baseline action crisis and baseline autonomous and controlled motivation. No difference between the groups was found in terms of maladaptive emotion regulation. Results suggest that mindfulness training is a promising tool to help people cope with goal-related difficulties such as action crises.