Trait Acceptance Predicts Fewer Daily Negative Emotions Through Less Stressor-Related Rumination

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Abstract

People who are more accepting of their thoughts and feelings experience fewer negative emotions. Although several studies document the connection between acceptance and negative emotions, little, if any research, sheds light on how being receptive to one’s internal experience results in less negativity in everyday life. In a daily diary study (N = 183), we found that people who were more accepting of their thoughts and feelings experienced fewer daily negative emotions, and this association was partly explained by less daily stressor-related rumination. The strength of this mediational pathway differed depending upon the average perceived severity of daily stressors. When daily stressors were perceived to be more demanding, trait acceptance predicted a stronger inverse association with rumination, and rumination predicted a stronger positive association with negative emotions. These results shed light on one way acceptance of internal experience predicts less negativity, as well as the moderating role of perceived daily stress.

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