Why Prevention is Better than Cure: The Curious Case of the ‘Mindfulness Pill’
Hand’s up who’s sick to death of hearing about mindfulness? Mindfulness for this, mindfulness for that. It is a sad indictment to say that mindfulness is now an industry in itself. It has even become a bit of a “commodity” it seems….
Mindfulness for stress? You bet. A lady at work the other day described to me her particular method of dealing with it. In Wendy’s words, she really had to use a bit of ‘mindfulness’ to get through the ordeal of managing a large office move at the bank. I hear it regularly from others too. Such office ordeals are no doubt challenging, but is using mindfulness in such a way really what mindfulness is all about?
Of course, there are techniques that we can all learn to help us cope, but by using mindfulness as a technique – by switching to rather than being in the present, we never break the initial habit of resistance.
Rather than ‘getting involved’ in our thoughts, where our coping response will always be one of reaction, how about simply letting those thoughts pass by with equanimity?
To this extent, if we more or less live in the present mindfully, then our instinctive response will be to act (as opposed to ‘react’) differently. You just let it ‘be’. This of course, is different to just letting ‘go’, insofar as a primary response is initiated to trigger the release.
In the financial world, we find similar parallels. The difference between ‘recognising’ and ‘de-recognising’ an asset in accounting (IFRS) is that it is necessary to have an asset on the balance sheet in the first place in order to achieve de-recognition. In mindful accounting speak, how about never recognising an asset at all? Or rather, in the context of stress and anxiety, that liability?
They say it takes 3 weeks to form a new habit: you’d be surprised how quickly you can make mindfulness your way of life. As part of your stress management, rather than take the ‘mindfulness pill’, why not try a different approach? Or shall I say, “take” a different way of life. Mindfully.
What’s your experience of mindfulness?