Bored of hearing about mindfulness techniques? Question if mindfulness is really a useful addition to psychotherapy session? Or sure it’s just a passing trend?
Here’s why you might want to reconsider.
[Not really sure what mindfulness is? Read our comprehensive Guide to Mindfulness.]
5 Reasons why mindfulness is not going anywhere fast
1. Mindfulness is a perfect match for modern life.
Sure, mindfulness is based on ancient Eastern practises, and it could be easy to assume they can’t really be what we need on modern life.
But it seems the opposite is true. Mindfulness seems to counteract the biggest problem we are experiencing as a modern society – stress.
Stress comes from the endless expectations we’re taught to have of ourselves, others, and life. To keep up we often live in a constant state of multi-tasking and distraction, missing out on everything around us, and living on ‘automatic pilot’. We look down to see we’ve finished a meal we hardly remember eating, or arrive at a destination to realise we didn’t notice a thing we’d passed on the way.
Mindfulness is a psychological tool that recognises that most of our stress comes from the past and the future. We worry about what we did wrong, and what might happen. By teaching us to live in the present moment, dealing with what is actually going on right here and now,we stop missing what is going on around us, recognise what is important to us and what we can let go of, and move beyond obsessively thinking about things we can’t control.
[Not sure if you’re stressed or actually depressed? Take the stress test now.]
2. Mindfulness is extremely accessible.
The one thing that goes with you wherever you go is, well… you. And that’s all you really need to do mindfulness.
Mindfulness is very travel friendly and can be done anywhere and anytime you have a few minutes to yourself – at your desk at work, on the train as you commute, or on your living room floor in the morning before anyone else wakes up.
Mindfulness is also something any age group can use. From schoolchildren to top CEO’s to retirees in nursing homes, it is a simple technique that can benefit all.
It’s also not a religion but a wellbeing tool. So it can be used by someone without contradicting their belief system.
3. Mindfulness is flexible.
Some psychological tools and therapies require a certain structure. You have to visit your therapist each week on a certain day, or you need a certain amount of time each day to read and respond to things.
Mindfulness, too, works well with structure. It’s best to have a set time each time you practise meditation.
But there is flexibility, because more than just meditating and paying attention to your breath, mindfulness is a state of being. It’s when you are present with what is happening right here, right now.
So when you can’t do your morning half-hour, you can practise 5-minutes of mindfulness at lunch. And if you don’t have time to meditate you can practise the mind state of mindfulness when you are eating your dinner or brushing your teeth or working out at the gym. It’s really a tool you can use anywhere and at any time.
[Try a two-minute mindfulness break right now].
4. Mindfulness is economical.
Another reason mindfulness can be so accessible is that it really doesn’t cost a thing. Yes, you can invest in learning it, such as paying for a course or some books. Or, you might be paying to work with a therapist who integrates mindfulness, such as a mindfulness-based cognitive therapist.
But you can also learn mindfulness by yourself, and there are many free resources on line as well as free meditation groups in most major cities, and even free mindfulness apps to encourage you.
Once you learn mindfulness, it’s about deepening your process, and the only real investment there is time and commitment to yourself.
5. Mindfulness is shown by research to produce impressive results.
The studies on mindfulness techniques have been rolling in and they are producing results even some of the researchers themselves seems surprised with. These include:
[for more details, try our article, 3 Effects of Mindfulness on Your Brain].
Mindfulness is so popular as it is really the perfect antidote to the frantic modern lifestyles we find ourselves in. It brings us back into life, and thus back into ourselves. And that’s something nobody is going to want to be giving up soon. In other words, it seems that mindfulness is here to stay. So instead of fighting it, or buying into the many myths about mindfulness, why not get out there and try it?
Do you have a question or comment about mindfulness techniques and how they work? Ask below, we love hearing from you.