Brain and Behavior, Mindset

Growing out of Anxiety

A person’s mindset refers to how flexible they believe their personality and personal attributes are. A fixed mindset is if person doesn’t believe that they are able to change much, while a growth mindset means they believe they can improve or change their attributes. Researchers wanted to evaluate how a person’s mindset can also reflect how resilient they are to stress. They took 1254 undergraduate students and evaluated their mindset on anxiety, what stressful events they have experienced, psychological distress, and maladaptive coping techniques via survey/checklist.

The results showed that students with a growth mindset were drastically better at overcoming stress than those with a fixed mindset! Students with a growth mindset reported less psychological stress and fewer maladaptive coping techniques. Those with a fixed mindset reported more psychological distress after a stressful life event and more maladaptive coping techniques. This research has supported previous mindset research and shows that growth mindset works in the same way for anxiety as it does for intelligence/academic performance. If you believe that you are able to adapt to stress and improve yourself the less stress you will feel. Having a growth mindset is very important for overcoming challenges that life inevitably brings!

Personality and Individual Differences, 2017;110, 23-26.

Schroder, H. S., Yalch, M. M., Dawood, S., Callahan, C. P., Donnellan, M. B., & Moser, J. S. (2017). Growth mindset of anxiety buffers the link between stressful life events and psychological distress and coping strategies. Personality and Individual Differences110, 23-26.

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