The madness of mindfulness

The madness of mindfulness is a lovely article by Hattie Garlick for the FT, on a sector that I’ve long pondered the value of.

That’s not to criticise the practice of mindfulness itself, but rather the app based, annoyingly interrupting, socially sharing, micro-mindfulness variety. One particular point of note from the article:

…the fast-paced schedule of bringing apps to the market is at odds with the snail-shuffle of clinical trials. In 2015, research from the University of Liverpool, published in the journal Evidence-Based Mental Health, indicated that a lot of mental health apps display a “lack of scientific credibility and subsequent limited clinical effectiveness”. Some can even lead to over-reliance and anxiety.

A scary thought. That our self medicating of wellness apps and services could actually be causing harm, like taking untested drugs without the guidance notes.

Illustration by Harry Malt

And toward the end, this incredibly conscious and accepting realisation which I think is the most important starting point on the road to mindfulness:

…I began to get the feeling that I might be putting a plaster on a bullet wound. My life, ordinary as it is, is clearly so out of control that it is beyond the power of any app to fix. Or else, there is nothing especially wrong with the daily chaos in which I find myself swamped.

“There is nothing especially wrong with the daily chaos in which I find myself swamped.” Now that’s a mindful mantra.