3 Common Mindfulness Myths Debunked

Ready to clear the noise? Start by ditching these misconceptions.

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Although the concept of mindfulness has grown in popularity, there are still several misconceptions associated with it.

The practice may seem intriguing to explore, but certain inaccuracies can result in hesitations to move forward.

Luckily, positive psychology expert and wellness coach Pax Tandon is here to separate fact from fiction with key insights from her book Mindfulness Matters.

Ready to clear the noise? Start by ditching these 3 mindfulness myths:

1. Myth: It’s time-consuming.

Busy professionals with packed schedules will often write off mindfulness, perceiving it as another task on their to-do list.

The idea may seem promising in theory, but they ultimately decide that they don’t have enough time in their day to make it a habit.

In reality, a dash of mindfulness is a great way to take a breather from the hustle.

“The busier you are, the more you need it,” says Tandon. “Mindfulness isn’t as much a lengthy process, as it is a quick reset button to let yourself just be.”

A simple way to hit the reset button is by giving yourself small reminders throughout the day.

Tandon suggests “placing sticky notes on your bathroom mirror or in your desk drawer as cues.” These serve as a reminder to pause from what you’re doing, take a deep breath and let it out, and then move on with your day.

Another easy method to make mindfulness a habit is by attaching it to an instrumental task, such as brushing your teeth in the morning.

By pairing the tasks together, mindfulness will become as customary as dental hygiene.

In addition to implementing mindful cues, you can incorporate the practice into your life by simply listening more.

“In your next conversation with someone, notice how actively you’re listening to them,” says Tandon. “Make an effort to be present, rather than running through your to-do list or thinking about what you’re going to say next.”

Despite what you may have heard, mindfulness doesn’t require a significant time commitment on your end.

Simply weave these exercises into your daily routine, and you’ll start recognizing how a small adjustment can have a big impact.

2. Myth: My mind wanders too much, so it will never work for me.

After their first attempt at mindfulness, some people become intimidated or frustrated by the apparent lack of progress and quickly give up.

Because they are unable to halt their mind from wandering, they will conclude that they must be doing it wrong.

In actuality, it’s quite the opposite.

“As long as you’re noticing your mind wandering, you’re doing it right,” says Tandon. “When this occurs, work to keep your mind anchored on the breath.”

As with any new initiative, this process takes practice. Therefore, it’s okay to start small. Tandon recommends to “avoid trying to sit for 30 minutes before you can master one minute.”

Still struggling to get started? Swap the app for in-person instruction.

Tandon stresses that beginners should work with a teacher before going digital, allowing the ability to ask questions and address concerns.

Along with feeling intimidated by the process, the variety of mindful methods can be overwhelming.

Since focusing on your breath can be challenging for beginners, Tandon recommends starting out with the body scan meditation.

This involves focusing your attention throughout your body, and taking the time to relax and release tension from each part.

3. Myth: Mindfulness only helps you relax.

Mindfulness is often linked to relaxation, and regarded as a way for people to escape from life’s chaos.

However, it’s much more than a stress-buster.

Being mindful can also boost your focus. By keeping your mind trained on the task at hand, this leads to improvements in performance.

Additionally, mindfulness can help you live in the “now.”

“Most suffering is rooted in being dragged into the past or the future,” says Tandon. “Mindfulness helps you stay focused on the present.”

Rather than fixating on factors outside of your control, mindfulness helps hone our attention on the present moment – the only reality that actually exists.

This helps us to praise the current day, and appreciate it for what it is.

“When we start thinking optimistic thoughts, our thoughts become our reality,” says Tandon. “This is the foundation for thriving with mindfulness.”

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