Mindfulness is everywhere these days, but is it really as beneficial as it’s often made out to be?
This interesting question was the subject of a recent podcast by the British Psychological Society. The presenter Ginny Smith interviews clinical psychologist Dr Catherine Wikholm (co-author of The Buddha Pill: Can Meditation Change You?); she visits the Cambridge Buddha Centre to meet people who have taken up mindfulness meditation; and she discusses some of the latest mindfulness research trials with Professor Barney Dunn, a clinical psychologist at Exeter University. The link to the Podcast contains a lot of useful information.
Ginny sees mindfulness as focused meditation and a form of secular Buddhism. It does act as a brake on becoming depressed and helps people to reconnect. Although its proponents perceive mindfulness as one size fits all, Ginny realizes that while Meditation Cognitive Behaviour Theory does provide some promising evidence, and mindfulness meditation could offer a cost-effective way to help many people with mental health problems she also discovers that many trials are ongoing, mindfulness is not risk free, and it may not suit everyone.
I must confess meditation has never worked with me. On my website there is a simple quiz called the PEQAS (Personal Emotional Intelligence Assessment). My resulting graph looks like this.
As you can see my Doublechecker is rock bottom closely followed by the Artist. These are the two components that are most likely to benefit from mindfulness meditation. Thus my low likelihood of taking up meditation is easily explained. I don’t get depressed and I ensure that my participation in decisions particularly visual ones is as little as possible.
If you want to start the journey to increased self-understanding start by taking the PEQAS.
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