Mindfulness is a topic that we hear about more now than ever before. I first took notice of the subject while taking a course towards a master’s degree program in nursing. The author’s discussed how nurses could utilize mindfulness as a way to decrease stress, burnout, and anxiety. They talked about how mindfulness helps nurses not only improve the quality of care they could provide to patients and their caregivers, but also help them better cope with work pressures and resulted in better self-care. The articles helped broaden my perspective about mindfulness as a way of life. However, there are many myths about mindfulness and I want to discuss five of them.
Myth # 1- Mindfulness Conflicts with Being Christian– mindfulness is not connected to a religion. Mindfulness is simply making a conscious choice to add to the quality and overall well-being of your life. It’s about choosing to pay attention, taking a deep breath, and choosing to respond in the most positive way.
Myth # 2- Mindfulness Can Only Be Practiced Through Meditation– meditation is simply a technique of focused attention to acknowledge the mind. Mindfulness on the other hand is simply being aware of what you are thinking, feeling, and doing in your everyday life. It’s about acknowledging what’s going on in your life. Its choosing to take your life off autopilot, slowing down and paying attention so that you can choose more positive thoughts and make more conscious and positive decisions for your life, such as self-care.
Myth # 3- Mindfulness Takes Time Away from Productivity- Quite the opposite. How any times have you allowed stress and negative thoughts get in the way of moving forward towards your goals and dreams? How much time have you spent ruminating over past issues, thinking about all the things that can go wrong based on negative thoughts that pop up in your mind at any given moment. Mindfulness helps you to bounce back from setbacks and stay motivated in the pursuit of your goals and dreams.
Myth # 4- Mindfulness is About Being Quiet and Living a Passive Life– Mindfulness is anything but passive. Mindfulness is paying atention to your thoughts throughout the day and learning to distinguish the difference between a thought and reality. It’s about learning to not judge what’s happening in the moment by your thoughts and determining what is true in that moment, not what happened in the past or what may happen in the future. This will help you not to respond to negative thoughts, thus decreasing stress, and helping you to respond in a more postitive way.
Mindful Living Tip- Consider how mindfulness can make a positive difference in your everyday life.