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To think there are too many misconceptions about mindfulness

(34 Posts)
AliceScarlett Sun 22-Nov-15 12:05:58

So much about it in the media, especially in recent years. There doesn't appear to be any middle ground when commenting on it. It's not simple, agreed. But it is also not:

1, A relaxation technique
2, A way to quieten the mind
3, New
4, A remedy for everything
5, A way for capitalism to force the masses to be passive
6, Easy
7, The ultimate way to happiness

I know I'm being precious, but it seriously annoys me.

Has anyone been put off by hearing ignorant comments about it?

AliceScarlett Sun 22-Nov-15 12:07:08

Damn, is it too, or to? So dyslexic headesk

WorraLiberty Sun 22-Nov-15 12:10:21

What actually is it though?

LaurieFairyCake Sun 22-Nov-15 12:12:20

Practising it does 'relax' you though. And it does 'focus' the mind and slow it down (not necessarily quieten)

I 'teach'it to students/staff.

GoneAndDone Sun 22-Nov-15 12:14:09

Well it's cheaper than proper therapy so the powers that be are all over it.

SchnooSchnoo Sun 22-Nov-15 12:14:48

What do you think it is op? I think it does help with 1&2.

AliceScarlett Sun 22-Nov-15 12:24:55

The end result may be relaxation and a quietening of the mind, but that isn't/can't be the aim, nor does it always happen. Curiously noticing and sitting with difficult thoughts and distressing feelings isn't relaxing.

"mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally."

swisscheesetony Sun 22-Nov-15 12:30:58

Isn't it just glorified common sense which attracts the "unsure" with too much time & £££ on their hands?

As part of a redundancy thing, some of my colleagues were sent along to a mindfulness session - bearing in mind we were a bunch of "logical" engineers. Teacher arrived - think Camilla BatmanJelly with more woo. We had to write down things we did throughout the day which gave pleasure, things we didn't like doing etc., etc.

One colleague:
1. I like everything I do except giving the diabetic cat medicine, but I must do that simply because I must, so I get the fuck on with it. Stuff I don't like doing which I have no choice about I don't do.

2. Me at the time "I really don't like shitty nappies or loading the dishwasher, but get the fuck on with it and get back to life".

Does that sum it up?

Courses for people to realise that. throws hands in air

Guiltypleasures001 Sun 22-Nov-15 12:45:14

I suggest mindfulness as a way to interrupt thoughts and feelings that may lead up to a person having a panic attack, it's a diversionary tactic

A bit like putting a mirror between a beam of light before setting off the alarm.

AliceScarlett Sun 22-Nov-15 12:45:58

Yeah that sums up common sense.... No idea what that has to do with mindfulness though.

AliceScarlett Sun 22-Nov-15 12:47:03

Interrupt, diversion, what? Light before an alarm, What??

WorraLiberty Sun 22-Nov-15 12:50:39

Oh, I'd be shit at it then because I forgot I asked the question blush

Thanks for the answer though.

I keep seeing it more and more but never really knew what it was.

RachelZoe Sun 22-Nov-15 13:07:44

Yes, Alice, it's to let the interrupting or intrusive thoughts pass non judgmentally, so they can just float away without your mind getting hooked on them, thus avoiding spiraling into anxiety or panic. The alarm analogy is a good one.

daisychain01 Sun 22-Nov-15 13:08:00

Alice you have a point with your list of batty things that the Meejah a out Mindfulness.

But surely it's the case that

1. the media conflate many things, and state inaccuracies just to fill the newspapers. So take what they say with a pinch of salt, and
2. There are a lot of charletons about who jump on a bandwagon to sell courses, books etc.

I hadn't heard any of the things you listed about Mindfulness.

I understand it to be

1. a way of calming the racing mind,
2. being in the here and now, focusing on enjoying the moment
3. Letting go, resisting the tendency to hanker after or dread things in the future, which may never happen or agonise what's happened in the past that cannot be changed.

Maybe the outcome is reduced stress and a sense of control...

Either way, I've used these principles in daily life and even if I'm not 100% accurate has been helpful to me.

daisychain01 Sun 22-Nov-15 13:09:04

Sorry typo, say about Mindfulness

WorraLiberty Sun 22-Nov-15 13:09:41

Probably easier to chill out with a torch


Mistigri Sun 22-Nov-15 13:22:54

It's tempting to suggest that if lots of otherwise intelligent and reasonably informed people don't understand what "mindfulness" is, then either: (a) it's is a word with a broad definition encompassing many different aspects of relaxation/ meditation/ cognitive therapy practice (in which case, who is to say who's right and who's wrong? And does anyone care anyway?) or (b) it's just bullshit/ quackery that doesn't merit serious discussion.

Words like "mindfulness" just get my hackles up - there may be some merit in its practice but please could someone find a word that doesn't reek of new age fuckwittery.

pestilence13610 Sun 22-Nov-15 13:30:10

mindfulness , mindlessness totally interchangeable in some peoples minds.
Yes it pisses me off, DSD1 learnt mindfulness as part of DBT... rant terminated

CaoNiMao Sun 22-Nov-15 13:32:32

I take mindfulness to mean engaging with life and situations instead of blindly bumbling along.

NutCrackerSlacker Sun 22-Nov-15 13:34:22

I stopped reading the Mindfulness book half way through, because I stopped caring what it was 'supposed' to be about/do and noticed what was actually happening for ME.

The benefits of practising mindfulness for ME are relaxation and a quietening of my mind. If thats 'wrong', who cares? It works.

anotherbloomingusername Sun 22-Nov-15 13:36:15

Worra, is that a spliff? Where did you find that?

daisychain01 Sun 22-Nov-15 13:37:15

Blimey worry, wtf is that icon.

It looks like a cornetto!

daisychain01 Sun 22-Nov-15 13:38:18


Sorry I need some Mindfulness to stop me getting wound up with bloody autocorrect grrrrr

WorraLiberty Sun 22-Nov-15 13:40:23

<< Shady shuffle >>

Who's askin?

slightlyglitterpaned Sun 22-Nov-15 13:47:57

There is actually evidence that it works (for some people), and it doesn't have to be woo based - it's entirely suitable for hard nosed cynical engineers. As long as you don't get a wooful tutor.

But it is not a magic bullet. It is a skill you develop with practical (which is why I'm still crap at it grin ). So it's not entirely "just common sense" as you do need to spend time and effort on it. Again, because it's not magic.

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