Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Three Dangerous Misunderstandings About Mindfulness (guest post)

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

by Catharine Hannay

I have a new guest post at the Center for Adolescent Studies blog:

The above photo shows the type of stereotypical image that’s often used to illustrate ‘mindfulness’ or ‘meditation.’ To be fair, it can be challenging to find an image that accurately represents an abstract idea, like a state of awareness. But it’s important to do our best not to spread inaccurate depictions of mindfulness. 
Three typical misunderstandings are particularly damaging: 

  • Dangerous Misunderstanding #1: “Mindfulness comes from Buddhism.”
  • Dangerous Misunderstanding #2: “Mindfulness will make you happier.”
  • Dangerous Misunderstanding #3: “Just take a deep breath.”

It may seem extreme to use the word ‘dangerous.’ There is a grain of truth in each of these statements, but they’re oversimplifications that can lead to confusion, and in some cases, real harm. 
The first misunderstanding causes tensions between secular teachers and people of faith, which has led to a number of lawsuits about mindfulness in public schools. 
The second misunderstanding can lead to disappointment and frustration, and may cause youth to give up on mindfulness before they can benefit from it. 
And the third misunderstanding can increase the suffering of youth who are recovering from grief or trauma.

You can read the full post at  https://centerforadolescentstudies.com/three-dangerous-misunderstandings-about-mindfulness/