For many years now, mindfulness, like yoga, has been the in-thing, and it can seem as though just about everyone is using this technique. In some cases, it is basically seen as a panacea; something that will solve every ill under the sun.
Some people use this technique at home, while others use it when they are at home and at work. If they do use it at work, it could be because there are special rooms where they can use this technique.
Anywhere Will Do
However, this is not something that can only be used away from others or even in a special room. The reason for this is that someone can be mindful no matter where they are or who they are with.
Therefore, while someone can sit silently and observe what is taking place both internally and externally, they can also do this when they are walking, for instance. In each case, they will be keeping their attention in the present moment.
It’s very Simple
Considering this, it could be said that this is something that is easy to learn, even if it is not always easy to practice it. That doesn’t mean that there is not a lot of support available if someone does need additional help.
There are books and audio books, along with apps and retreats that someone can go on to get a better understanding of this process and how to be more mindful in each moment of their life. In addition to the benefits that they can receive through using this practice, it can also allow them to create a whole new identity.
A New Self
They could end up seeing themselves as someone who is an ‘aware’ or ‘conscious’ human being. It could be as though they have gone from someone who was asleep to someone who is awake.
Through having this outlook, it can mean that they will also associate with other people that are also ‘aware’. Being this way can mean that they will be less likely to treat themselves, and others, badly.
A Very Different Story
For someone like this, it might be hard for them to accept that mindfulness is not something that is suitable for everyone. As far as they are concerned, it could be something that will allow anyone to live a better life.
If they were to hear that someone’s life got even worse after practicing it, they could believe that they were doing it wrong. Yet, as convinced as this person is, it won’t alter the fact that this technique can do more harm than good.
A Bad Idea
After someone slowed down and started to practice mindfulness, they may have found that their mental health got worse. Instead of feeling more at peace, they may have become more troubled.
Something that was put forward as a way for them to have better mental and emotional health will have had the opposite effect. To understand why something like this would take place, it will be essential to take a closer look at what happens when someone practices mindfulness.
A Closer Look
Ultimately, someone will be getting in touch with what is taking place inside their body as opposed to being stuck in their head. Furthermore, they may, perhaps for the first time in years, be breathing deeply into their stomach.
Now, if someone is not carrying a lot of internal baggage, they might rarely come into contact with anything that will overwhelm them. On the other hand, if they are carrying a lot of internal baggage, it will be a very different story.
An Inevitable Outcome
The way that this person lived their life – staying out of their body and not breathing deeply – will have kept them together and, as they stopped doing the same thing, they will have opened Pandora’s Box. Keeping busy, distracted and breathing in a shallow manner will have been a defence mechanism that their mind had in place to stop them from coming into contact with the trauma that is inside them.
Removing this defence is then tantamount to removing a damn; everything that was kept in place will come bursting out. The trauma that has come to the surface could relate to their early years and go back to what took place during their childhood.
A Different Approach
Taking this into account, instead of recommending mindfulness to someone like this, it might be far better to look into why they find it hard to be in their body and to live in the moment and to breathe deeply. Through asking this question, it could gradually become clear that this person is carrying trauma.
As a result of this, the answer is not for them to force their way back into their body and to make themselves breathe properly; no, it is for them to deal with what is preventing this from taking place naturally. This is a time to listen and to acknowledge what is going on, not for force and willpower to be used.
If someone experienced a traumatic childhood and has experienced trauma throughout their adult life, it won’t be a good idea for them to practice mindfulness at this stage of their life. What they will need to do is to resolve the trauma that is inside them, and this is not something that will happen overnight.
For this to take place, they will probably need to reach out for the assistance of a therapist or a healer, for instance. As for mindfulness, this undoubtedly has its benefits, but it has to be used at the right time and in the right way.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.