Mindfulness

“Mindfulness can prove to be a great coping mechanism when facing day-to-day challenges of working at sea”, or so says the author of this article:


Do you agree, or have a different opinion?
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From the article:

"Personally, I do between 10 and 60 minutes every morning. As you see the benefits, you may bring mindfulness to your daily activities, making it less a practice and more a way of being.

What are the benefits? Research on this subject is solid and voluminous. Some benefits include lower anxiety, stress, exhaustion, and depression; increased mental stamina and resilience; better memory, creativity, focus; faster reactions; reduced pain; better mood; reduced self-destructive and addictive behaviour; greater self-awareness, empathy and attention; improved health and immunity. This is partly why mindfulness is considered a ‘superpower’."


I 100% agree that it works & has been for thousands of years. But I don’t think most people know it as, “mindfulness”. Others have called it prayer, meditation, yoga, stretching, walking, etc. There’s countless articles & studies that claim all of these things are great for mental health & helps people become better centered & productive.

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ah. look. This is a spiritual exercise. Its not something that can be or should be mandated. Also, its not harmless: some people are damaged by the practice. There’s a relationship (causal or otherwise) between this practice and suicide, for example, even when taken up in a supported and guided setting. I’m not pleased to see this marketed as a panacea that aught to be tried in an unguided, unsupported environment. There are reasons why these techniques have be taught for thousands of years. Taught, not blogged about or learned from airport bookstore pulp.

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I never heard that mindfulness can lead to suicide. Could you elaborate?

I didn’t say ‘can lead to.’ I said ‘relationship’. Teasing out cause and effect in the case of a suicide is something survivors do to assign blame, perhaps as a way to deal with their own distress. Its not that productive to point fingers when someone has taken their own life. And perhaps it isn’t fully knowable, and perhaps it is but the answer is so mundane that we are neither comforted nor satisfied.

So if I may reword the question: why is there an association between suicide and mindfulness practice? Mindfulness asks the practitioner to be honest and take down defences (which turns out to be the same activity). It can be a lot of work, and you don’t know what you will discover along the way. I think it was Shunryu Suzuki who compared it to LSD: you can have a bad trip. And people who are already in distress seem to pick up the practice with the idea that it will bring relief. Its not an opiate.

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But you can associate suicide with virtually anything.
I thought mindfulness was about paying attention to others and actually become less focused on yourself and more in tune to the life around you. Like getting “in the zone” doing a drawing or a painting, or playing an instrument. I guess I’m wrong and will have to try this mindfulness stuff.

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I can’t imagine a person in good or normal mental health would try to off themself after trying “mindfullness”, breathing techniques, meditation etc. I would suspect those who resorted to suicide were already suffering from some type of mental health issue before looking into mindfulness & meditation. To say people shouldn’t try “mindfulness”, breathing techniques, tai-chi or meditation without proper training is akin to saying people shouldn’t eat cake or drink wine without consulting a dietitian first because some people will get fat & become alcoholics. I don’t need to consult with my physician before I take a jog around the neighborhood or do a pushup. That’s a bunch of lawyer-speak rubbish.

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