Under What Circumstances Can Mindfulness Be Unhelpful?
By Stanley M. Goodman
Mindfulness and meditation are buzzwords in the modern age in which mental illness has been thrust under the spotlight. Mindfulness, mental wellness and all of the rest of these ideas of pseudo-medicative measures are constantly touted as being key solutions to the increasingly alarming statistics about mental health at home, in schools and in the workplace. One of the most appealing aspects to ‘mindfulness’ is how inoffensive it seems. It’s not like medication with all sorts of controversy and potentially unexpected side-effects, or like the potentially tedious and old school solution of therapy. It’s current and easy to understand with plenty of vagaries surrounding it which helps it to be suitable for just about anyone. However, one of the other things intrinsic to its nature is the fact that mindfulness is not fully understood in terms of potentially negative externalities. So, without further ado, here is a brief exploration of the negative sides to mindfulness.
Adversity Amongst Positivity
Though it seems a somewhat redundant thing to say, difficulties feel more difficult in the context of happiness and with the assumption of success hanging over it. This is relevant when thinking about mindfulness in the following way. People who attempt casual meditation or mindfulness may find that the process upsets them more than helps them. Or, in a milder sense, they might just feel that the process hasn’t made any difference to them at all. The problem with both of these results is their context. “Mindfulness practices are so obviously geared towards positivity and are so widely embraced as life changing that if you have a bad experience with them or even just a neutral response it is likely to be made even more negative as a result of seeming like you’ve failed”, says Mercedes Foster-Ramirez, lifestyle blogger at Writinity and LastMinuteWriting. It can be isolating for anyone who tries it and doesn’t get what is supposed to be received from it.
Freeform And Unregulated
Again, we have one of the major benefits to mindfulness proving that it has a darker side with some major potential issues at play. The ease with which mindfulness can be completed and the fact in which there is no need for a professional coach, doctor or other sort of authority figure about that to do when. The benefits to this are clear: it’s convenient and cheap and can be done at home or in the office, really anywhere. But the problems are also clear: “There’s no degree opportunities for people to train in this field. There is an awful lot of making it up as you go along and relying on people to intuit how it works, which can leave people vulnerable to mistakes and to long term issues”, writes Jacqueline Mourelle, mindfulness writer at DraftBeyond and ResearchPapersUK. Any of these uncertainties are a breeding ground for difficulty for all sorts of people.
Serious Psychological Consequences
Ax harmless and almost pointless it seems to be, mindfulness exercises can actually have some major issues for people who have underlying issues. In particular, this includes people with latent issues, life things like PTSD. Mindfulness usually involves some degree of attempting relax your active thoughts and empty your head. For some people this act in of itself is really difficult and may cause unwanted thoughts to seep into their minds as the process goes on leaving them greatly affected by the experience moving forward. Couple this with the point bout adversity amongst positivity and you have a potent recipe for damaging mental health rather than helping it and a process which may be better off being left alone rather than embraced.
With no experts in the field but instead an overwhelming victory in the people’s vote, mindfulness can seem easy to adopt. It often serves as a corporate get out of jail free card, whereby companies embrace it as the quick fix to workplace stress. But, carried out with no regard for potential risks, mindfulness can be really tough on certain types of people and leave anyone who doesn’t immediately subscribe to the feelgood factor, feeling incredibly isolated and hopeless. So, take a careful look at the practice before engaging and make your choices based on the facts, not speculation.
Stanley M. Goodman is an e-learning consultant at GumEssays.com, as well as a health entrepreneur from Fullerton, USA. He helps his clients develop professional and personal brands relating to healthcare. He enjoys writing for LuckyAssignments.com about his own experience in entrepreneurship and marketing.