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MINDFULNESS: Consider this, before outsourcing your potential for calm to the latest app!

Updated: Feb 28, 2022


It’s touted as one of the leading antidotes to mental distress, having sailed into mainstream ‘self care’ on a raft of buzzwords and celebrity endorsements.

Its advantages are indisputable, but there’s one thing to consider, before outsourcing your potential for calm to the latest app.

That thing, is best summed up by a quote from Bryony Gordon’s book ‘No Such Thing as Normal.’

‘Asking someone in distress to take up meditation is like asking someone in lead boots to take up swimming’

In other words, it is not the life raft we often assume it to be. Given the challenge of applying the principles, especially when in the depths of mental distress, it’s no wonder that many come away from an attempt at mindfulness, feeling worse than they did before.

This is not to do down the positive outcomes for health that can ensue from ‘right time, right place’ mindfulness practice.

Instead, it’s to highlight that ‘mindfulness’ is as much a useful health tool, as it is a stick we use to beat ourselves with…and we shouldn’t.

As a practical solution to an impractical problem, we need to keep in mind that sometimes, just sometimes, escaping the rabbit hole of mental distress via the back door of seascape visuals and deep breathing is akin to trying to escape a burning building through a cat flap.

For this reason, we’ve compiled a selection of books that contain OTHER exercises and techniques, for when mindfulness and meditation are’t cutting it.

Some will be useful. Others won’t, with the key being not to allow the non-starters to add an unnecessary side of guilt or shame, to the already full plate of overwhelm.

Berating oneself for not being fully present, in the moment and ‘light of mind’, is no different to the kind of physical hole-picking that we‘re (gradually) learning better than to do against such heavily filtered and photoshopped social media backdrops.

This particular idyll - the lotus-poised, serene vision of other-worldly zenliness - it’s effectively the thigh gap of #braingoals - and ironically just as counterintuitive to the very message of motivation and/or inspiration that it is trying (and failing) to masquerade under!

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