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Stop forcing your mindfulness on me

https://www.fastcompany.com/90326777/stop-forcing-your-mindfulness-on-me?partner=rss

fastcompany.com

Stop forcing your mindfulness on me
I first heard the word "mindfulness" about five years ago, and it feels like I haven't stopped hearing it since. At the time, it seemed like a harmless new trend, even an interesting thought exercise. I considered giving it an honest shot but ultimately decided it wasn't for me.

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Mindfulness is not a panacea

Mindfulness is not a panacea

As the Buddhist meditation practice has morphed into a billion-dollar industry, it’s become the go-to solution for everything from depression to weight gain. 

But while mindfulness is very effective for some, it does absolutely nothing for others, and pushing it on them won’t change that.

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Modern Mindfulness

Modern Mindfulness
Mindfulness as a practice today is loosely based on the Buddhist concept of Sati, as described in the Buddhist text the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. But there isn’t a single word in the text that translates to “now” or “present,” which is central to its modern application.

What has remained consistent is the use of meditation in pursuit of greater self-awareness, coupled with a rejection of the egocentric mode of existence. 

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Harms of Mindfulness

The lack of empirical studies on how mindfulness is practiced may lead consumers to be harmed, mislead, or disappointed in the lack of results.

For example, the idea that you should just reject your whole core and all your impulses, may be seen as a formula for depression and anxiety.

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Viable Alternatives to Mindfulness

Viable Alternatives to Mindfulness

There are a lot of other activities that offer the same temporary escape, without attempting to establish a more permanent detachment from the ego

Exercising, listening to music, playing sports, practicing art, or engaging in any activity that helps temporarily shut out the rest of the world can provide the same sense of relief from stress.

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Meditation for problem solving

Meditating can provide a healthy escape, as long as it is focussed on enabling your ability to solve problems, not your ability to ignore them.

Mindfulness is good for learning the skill of putting on the brakes for a thought loop and noticing the thought loops you get into a lot - very valuable, but that’s only the first step. The next step is, ‘how do I have a different thought? '

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Mindfulness in major religions

Instructions for mindfulness meditations have been found in ancient texts of nearly every major religion, but it's Buddhism that exemplifies best mindfulness meditation: it...

Meditation and healthcare

Meditation has drifted from its religious connections and has been adopted by psychologists, healthcare professionals and other secular organizations as an effective way to deal with the stress and illnesses of the modern world.

3 core components of meditation:

  • Awareness: Focus on developing awareness. 
  • Non-Judgement: Witnessing an experience or sensation without attachment or criticism.
  • Peace: Though your feelings are valuable, mindfulness teaches you how to find serenity despite them.

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Mindfulness meditation

It is based on Buddhist traditions and it's described as "the non-judgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment."

Sit in a quiet place with your eyes closed, focusing on yo...

How meditation works

It  works through a combination of several distinct mechanisms:
  • Attention regulation. Focused attention for an extended period of time.
  • Body awareness. Paying attention to surroundings, thoughts and bodily sensations.
  • Emotion regulation. Learning to observe your thoughts and accept them without reactive judgment while refraining from the habitual response.
  • Change in perspective on the self. 

Frequency of breath

Even though we have been breathing for all our lives, we can still learn a lot about this most basic instinct.

Quick, shallow, and unfocused breathing may contribute to anxiety, depression, ...

Breathwork

Breathwork is not the same as mindfulness. Mindfulness involves passive observation of the breath, whereas breathwork requires you to actively change the way you breathe.

Breathwork includes ensuring you breath with your diaphragm, rather than the movement of your chest. It will fill your lungs with more air while also slowing the pace of your breathing.

Speed ramp to relaxation

Right breathing can have a profound effect on calming the mind quickly and can act as a speed ramp into the meditation practice by getting you to that place of no-thought.