McMindfulness: Mindfulness in everyday life

“Society” has a “one size fits all” approach to so many things.

  • How many times should you be having sex according to science? 
  • Who should you date according to astrology?
  • The scientifically proven way to lose one stone in one week!
  • How many hours do experts say you should sleep according to your age?
  • A quick way to determine your personality using science!
  • Five foods nutritionists never eat!
  • What does your date of birth/ name/ age/ zodiac sign/ say about you according to scientific research?
  • Doctors warn against these foods/ shops/ drinks!

Now this approach is sipping into the newly popular concept of mindfulness. While it has recently been on the rise in scientific research, mindfulness has been around for a long time. Although it has roots in Buddhism, the integration of mindfulness in various scientific approaches (e.g., Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy), therapies (e.g., Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training), workshops (e.g., An Introduction to Mindfulness), classes (e.g., Mindful Yoga), and popular activities (e.g., mindful colouring books), mindfulness has become somewhat of an umbrella term, encompassing a wide range of definitions and applications, some of which may not necessarily be rooted in mindfulness at all. A quick Google/ Amazon search highlights this issue…

 

I am showing these images not to point out where mindfulness is used “wrongly” or “correctly”, but rather to shine a light on the prevalence of the term in everyday life products and services. This phenomenon has been coined in psychology journals as well as newspapers as “McMindfulness”, a concept referring to modern-day mindfulness, which has been stripped of its roots and philosophy, and sold as a lucrative self-help technique. It is easy, then, to be confused as to what mindfulness truly is.

While mindfulness is not a “one size fits all” concept, it is nevertheless important to gain some clarity and unison of what mindfulness is, to avoid mindfulness being used as a marketing term or a sales concept for workshops, products, and classes that do not truly embody it. Science can only be understood by and benefit society if it becomes more accessible to the general public. This needs to happen so that random articles stop quoting “science” to promote their own fads, ideas, and products.

And this is one of the reasons for why this blog exists.

 

If you find any other examples of mindfulness used in adverts, images, or products, feel free to drop me a message so that they can be added to this blog! 🙂

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