The Downsides of Mindfulness Practice
Mindfulness practice is getting very popular in the western world in recent years, tons of researches have proven the benefits of this practice to the mental well-being of a person. The important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment, enabling us fully focus on “the now” so we can acknowledge and accept our thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment. In return, can help us enjoy our life more and understand ourselves better.
However, not much research has been done on the negative effects of practising Mindfulness. Maybe the overlooking of something important affect the way of practising it, especially in the western world.
The Migration Of Mindfulness
As we all know that Mindfulness is developed as part of Buddhism and intimately intertwined with its spiritual teachings and morality. Whereas in the west, it is taught and practised in purely secular terms, mainly as a technique to help focus attention and improve the overall well-being of a person.
The concept of Mindfulness developed in Buddhism and the culture in Asia made a huge difference between the definition or interpretation of Mindfulness. In the West, the main focus is always about themselves, often in independent terms with “I” as the main focus. But, in Asia culture, they think of themselves in interdependent terms with “We” as their focus. Therefore, the cultural differences are subtle and easy to overlook. That could be the main cause that alters the effects of practising Mindfulness based on the different understanding of the “Self”
For interdependent-minded people, what if mindful attention to their own experiences might naturally include thinking about other people – and make them more helpful or generous? And if this were the case, would it then be true that, for independent-minded people, mindful attention would spur them to focus more on their individual goals and desires, and therefore cause them to become more selfish? In other words, the effects of mindfulness can be different for people depending on the way they think about themselves.
It Is Just A Tool
In fact, there’s a relatively simple way to get people to shift their thinking about themselves. Try making time to listen to yourself. Listen to your internal voice as often as possible. Pay attention to your thought patterns: do you talk yourself into feeling selfish? Do you use self-judgment when you make decisions? By listening to your inner voice, you can begin to address your self-centeredness and develop a more positive approach to life.
As you begin to listen to yourself, also try to take note of how you respond to certain events in your life. For example, are you overly critical of yourself? Or do you tend to believe that others are too involved with their lives and opinions? How many times each day do you talk to yourself about how bad things are going around you? Or, do you find yourself procrastinating and not putting much effort into your day? These negative self-centred thoughts are evidence that you need to change your way of thinking.
To change your perspective towards self-centeredness, you will need to start to focus on your blessings, your talents, and your good fortune, be contented. Instead of thinking about what you are missing out on, or what is being taken from you, remind yourself that you have the skills and resources that can lead to happiness. You are a powerful individual that is capable of bringing good to others. By focusing on your talents and blessings, you can create the future that you want.
When you change your perceptions of mindfulness as interdependent and practise it daily, you will start to notice a shift in your mood and attitude. You will begin to see situations and people differently. You will become aware of when to be compassionate and when it is best to be confident. Mindfulness practices are the perfect way to change the way that you think. Once you begin to experience more abundance and more peace within yourself, you will be able to see the world in a whole new way and this will help to transform your relationship with the people and circumstances in your life.