Mindfulness  |  Meditation  |  Mindfulness meditation  |  Self compassion  |  Resilience  |  Stress  |  Anxiety

It’s not always pleasant

Mindfulness meditation and exercises are not intended as relaxation exercises. You will, more than likely, have times when meditations feel blissful, however there are also days and practices that will be torture for you. Some days your mind just does not want to comply and some practices are just plain hard; this varies from person to person, so you won’t know until you are there! The good news is that the exercises you find hardest are more than likely the ones that you’ll get most benefit from. You could of course opt for some gentle relaxation exercises instead, however it should be noted that in studies that used relaxation techniques as a control group, positive lasting changes were only ever recorded in the group learning mindfulness. My advice – do your meditations and activities that relax you.

It can hurt

Practicing mindfulness can encourage us to touch our deepest fears, emotions and unfulfilled desires that we have kept buried deep inside us for a long time.  Acknowledging these is a hugely transformative process that gives us opportunities to live a happier more fulfilling version of our lives, but it does main some short term pain.

You may lose friends over it

Awareness of negativity in our lives starts on the inside and a side effect of increasing positivity is that it raises our vibration and sometimes makes us more aware of the energy of the people around us. You may be aware of energy drains, the people who are negative and who try to pull us down to their level to keep them company.

People may call you selfish

Mindfulness also helps people increase self compassion and self esteem and sometimes, out of self compassion, we need to say no to others and put ourselves first. No is a complete sentence and we learn that we don’t need to make up excuses or lies about our behaviour and sometimes other people would prefer you to put them first and to show you they son’t like it, may accuse you of being selfish. Doing what’s right for you from a place of love and self compassion is not selfish and only selfish people see it that way, so if you find yourself in this situation remember what Dr Suess said, ‘The people that matter don’t mind, and the people that mind don’t matter.’

It takes time and effort to get results

There are no shortcuts for practice; natural ability counts for nothing, you can’t buy mindfulness or use hacks to speed it up. If you live by the motto, minimum input, maximum return, you will be disappointed in the results you get. The only way to get mindful is to be mindful and that means practicing on a regular basis.

Mindfulness will teach you that you are in charge

There is no one else to blame, you are responsible for own thoughts, actions and feelings about them. It can be hard to accept this, but we all have the ability to choose our thoughts and to start afresh with every new breath, regardless of what happened in the past.

Mindfulness can’t stop stress or change

Stress and change are constants in our modern lives and regardless of how mindful we are, we will not be able to push stress out of our life. Mindfulness will however build resilience to stress and anxiety and can help you respond in a better way to stressful situations that enable you to keep your body from entering into the stress response. This is kinder to your body and helps you escape from the worry and anxiety that stress often brings.