The Myth of Mindfulness

Musing over a cranberry is not going to improve my mental health

Consider the cranberry. Smell the cranberry. Chew the cranberry. Feel better yet? Neither would I when first introduced to mindfulness in this way.

Mindfulness is flavour of the month, but it’s awful.

It offers no real solutions or proper coping strategies for emotional and mental distress. When you have real problems and everything in your life seems to be hanging by a thread the last thing you need to be told is to stare at a Cranberry and reflect on it.

The Cranberry still looks like an extremely unsatisfying meal. It does not look as if it is going to offer you a solution to your problems, nor does it look like it is going to confer some greater wisdom by reflecting on it.

Mindfulness often has the opposite effect to the one intended. Calm down, consider this fruit.

What the f&%k you’re making me stare at fruit when I’m undernourished, low on rent and exhausted. I want dinner.

See my point?

Meditation and taking time to breathe I will defend to the hilt when the chaos of life brings you to a panic. However, when you are not panicking, but in pain. Real world initiated, excruciating pain, you need something more than to be told to sit and reflect, on a Cranberry for God’s sake.

I can sit and stare at a piece of fruit for ages before scoffing it down, even when hungry, but it does not help me tackle my problems. It does not bring me inner peace. It just winds me up.

Would you please Mindfully stop suggesting this nonsense to people who are suffering?

Be mindful for 10 minutes and see if it works for you:

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Sarah Morgan

I am an experienced journalist. My first joint book on mental health recovery was published in 2011. I was short-listed for aviation journalism awards in 2010.