Myth Buster: Five Common Misconceptions about Mindfulness
Restoration | October 20, 2017
– Eliza Birtles, Clinical Psychologist.
“It’s too hard – I haven’t got time – I’m too busy to just sit and relax – It will make me soft”. Many of us have heard or perhaps can relate to these types of thoughts when it comes to attempting mindfulness practice.
FIVE COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT MINDFULNESS:
It requires extensive training and practice to succeed at being “good” – False – It is not complicated, you can start practice right now, and it is not about achieving an expected outcome
It takes a long period of time – False – It can take as little or as long as you like, start with one minute!
You need to sit in the ‘Zen position’, eyes closed, in silence and not move a muscle – False – You can practice mindfulness in any position you like (sitting, standing, lying, handstand – you name it!). It is about getting in touch with the present moment. You can practice mindfulness during any activity in your daily life. Playing with your kids, washing up, at work, having a shower, walking the dog, talking to your partner etc.
It is related to religious beliefs – False – It is not religious, it is a method of mental training. Many people can have mindfulness as part of their religious practice.
The purpose is to feel relaxed – False (it depends) – Whilst meditation can leave you feeling more relaxed, mindfulness is not about achieving this specific outcome. It is a process of mental training and therefore it is more about an ongoing intention for greater awareness rather than being too focused on an end game. The body of research investigating the benefits of mindfulness is mounding.
Mindfulness training can be very thought provoking, helping you to let go of the crap that slows you down and holds you back from actively accepting and working through life’s challenges with open arms.