• A Novel Mindful Nature Connectedness Intervention Improves Paranoia but Not Anxiety in a Nonclinical Population

      Muneghina, Orso; Van Gordon, William; Barrows, Paul; Richardson, Miles; University of Derby (Mary Ann Liebert Inc, 2021-09-03)
      Paranoia and anxiety are both recognized as experiences that are widespread in the general population. Studies have investigated the use of brief mindfulness-based interventions on both conditions, with encouraging results among nonclinical populations in particular. However, there is also promising evidence for the effectiveness of brief nature connectedness interventions on anxiety and mental health more generally. Since mindfulness has been shown to allow individuals to feel more connected to nature, and given that connection to natural environments can foster mindfulness and mental health, this study aimed to investigate the combined effects of a brief online mindful nature connectedness intervention (B-MNCI) on paranoia and anxiety. A total of 72 participants of nonclinical status were randomly allocated to either an online B-MNCI (10 min of daily guided meditation practice over 5 consecutive days) or a waitlist control group. Measures of paranoia, anxiety, mindfulness, and nature connectedness were taken at baseline, immediately after the intervention, and at 2 weeks follow-up. Findings indicated that compared with the control group, the B-MNCI showed significant improvements in nature connectedness and paranoia, with changes maintained at follow-up assessment. However, no significant differences were observed for anxiety and mindfulness scores. The results provide a new approach to bringing about sustained increases in nature connectedness and confirm the relevance of such approaches for improving mental health outcomes. The study also demonstrates the potential utility of an online B-MNCI for people of nonclinical status experiencing paranoia symptoms, including for those who find it difficult to physically venture into nature.