Though mindfulness is now being used for all wellbeing issues, some experts believe it has been misused.
In a society that forces us to stay productive, stress and anxiety can be perceived as dysfunction that needs to be solved on our own –and the cure is for us to become mindful. People see mindfulness as a harmless tool, similar to meditation, that will provide relief to a problem –but it might not be so straightforward.
Does mindfulness work?
Mindfulness can have many positive effects, but it could also have some negative. People have reported fear, anxiety, panic or paranoia during or after doing mindfulness meditation, especially in a retreat. Some others dealing with PTSD may run the risk of remembering traumatic memories.
Some research has shown that the effects of mindfulness are not as significant as they had been thought of, and while many people practice mindfulness, the rates of stress and anxiety continue to rise.
Many people come to meditation as a way to escape pain and emotional issues –as a numbing tool. You are instructed to pay attention to breathe and allow feelings to come and go without judgment. This is particularly risky as it is a way of avoiding critical thinking and actually address the causes of distress. The causes can even be external, such as the economy, the government, etc. These mechanisms shift the burden of society into the individual and pressure us to continue being productive by optimizing our psyche. It actually offers temporary relief, perpetuating the causes of stress.
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