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A novel, audio-based Brief Mindful Hypnosis (BMH) intervention for reducing stress-reactivity during the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) was investigated. Fifty-five college-aged participants with elevated stress were randomized to BMH or a cognitive training (CT) active-control condition. Participants received a BMH or CT session and downloaded the audio-recorded intervention for daily home-practice. Approximately one week later, participants received their second BMH or CT session and then completed the TSST. Results indicated BMH produced significant and medium effects in reducing stress-reactivity, weekly stress, and increasing mindfulness, with large increases in immediate relaxation compared to the CT active-control. BMH demonstrated excellent adherence and was rated highly regarding satisfaction, ease of practice, perceived benefit, and likelihood of future use. This study provides the first empirical support that BMH is superior to an active-control intervention for reducing stress-reactivity while significantly increasing mindfulness and relaxation.
Keywords: mindful hypnosis; meditation; stress; relaxation; Trier Social Stress Test; Randomized Controlled Trial