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Is this a 'mindfulness revolution'?

Monday, 12 May 2014 Chris Cox

Chris is digital communications manager at Mind. Today he blogs about the rise of mindfulness.

Celebrities and MPs are practising mindfulness now...are you? Do you think a mindfulness revolution is taking place that will make it 'mandatory'?

It's Mental Health Awareness week this week - and there is good reason to think that our awareness of mental health problems and how to tackle them is on the rise.

"It very quietly and slowly revolutionises lives."

Those who would like mental health practices like mindfulness to become more mainstream will be pleased by the fact that Ruby Wax joined a group of MPs in Parliament to take part in a mindfulness session last year. As reported in the Guardian,

"...mindfulness meditation stepped into the political mainstream on Wednesday when MPs and peers gathered at Westminster, closed their eyes and went silent for a minute [...] It was just a taste of what 95 MPs, peers and parliament staff have already experienced on mindfulness meditation courses inside parliament."

Journalist Madeleine Bunting also wrote in the Guardian under the heading "Why we will come to see mindfulness as mandatory",

"Mindfulness is both astonishingly simple and, for most of us who live in our heads, very difficult. It is also immensely rewarding, as plenty of people are discovering. [...] The point is that, diligently practised, it very quietly and slowly revolutionises lives in multiple ways – sometimes small, sometimes big."

More recently, The Guardian has reported that mindfulness may be "as good as drugs for preventing depression relapse" - and here's how NHS News clarified that report.

​However, as the awareness of mindfulness increases, does the understanding of what mindfulness really means decrease? As @BipolarBlogger puts it,

"Have you tried mindfulness?" to someone who's not been taught those skills is like saying, "Have you tried butterfly?" to a non-swimmer."

— Charlotte Walker (@BipolarBlogger) April 23, 2015

So are we at the beginnings of a "mindfulness revolution", or do you think is this a passing fashion? Has mindfulness helped you? Are you worried that it is being used too glibly?

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