Summary of Is Mindfulness Making Us Ill?

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Is Mindfulness Making Us Ill? summary
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Mindfulness is meant to help individuals to calm down and relieve stress, but sometimes the practice does the opposite. In this article, The Guardian reporter Dawn Foster interviews individuals who suffered from mindfulness’s unexplored negative side effects, as well as researchers and experts in the field. After her well-balanced analysis, Foster concludes that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to stress reduction can – and often does – lead to adverse outcomes. getAbstract recommends Foster’s insights to doctors, policy makers and stressed individuals.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why mindfulness has grown in popularity,
  • Why mindfulness can prove harmful to some individuals and
  • How to improve your chances of having a positive mindfulness experience.

About the Author

Dawn Foster is a writer on politics, social affairs and economics for The Guardian, a regular political commentator and the author of Lean Out.



In recent years, the popularity of mindfulness – the practice of focused self-examination, typically, through meditation – has swelled immensely: The amount of books, apps and programs that teach mindfulness has surged, and companies offer it as an employee perk, extolling the virtues of a focused break. But mindfulness doesn’t have only positive effects and can be damaging, especially for individuals with pre-existing psychological disorders.

In a 1992 study, 63% of participants (some more, some less experienced in meditation) said they had suffered ...

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    Justin Standfield 2 years ago
    Having read the full article, I think the author Dawn Foster is missing the point of practising mindfulness. It isn't to relax. The discomfort she felt while being asked to eat a sandwich mindfully is an experience - made up of thought, emotion - and the very focus of mindfulness is noticing without judgement our moment by moment reactions. If relaxation comes sometimes fro being mindful, that's a bonus (although there are some guided mindfulness meditations that aim to bring about calm and relaxation).