Lately I have been reading articles online about the “dangers” of mindfulness. Most of these articles discuss people who have a lot of personal problems and are trying to use mindfulness as the only tool to fix them. This is “if your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” kind of thinking.
Make no mistake—mindfulness is a wonderful tool. It can counteract the effects of stress. It can help you get in touch with your feelings and accept difficult things. It can do these and many other things for you, but it is not everything you need to know to live a happy life. It is a tool, or rather a set of tools.
I am but one of many individuals who used mindfulness to help recover from depression and alcoholism. However, it was not my only tool. I had to learn about the recovery process. I had to learn to accept myself. I had to learn what my needs are and how to get them met. I had to connect to other people.
I have long believed and often said that if you spend too much time in your own head you get a little goofy. So that, in a nutshell, is what I see as the “danger” of mindfulness. It will not make you crazy. Like any tool, if you rely on it to the exclusion of all others you will not get good results.
However, if you incorporate it into a growing and changing life you will see the well documented benefits like:
- Reduce the effects of stress
- Sleep better
- Better physical health
- Increased compassion
- Increased energy
- Improved concentration
The list goes on. If you want to learn more about how mindfulness fits into recovery or just a well-rounded life click here: