Popular concepts of mindfulness often misinterpret the essence of this practice, as highlighted by recent research from the University of Waterloo. Many people realize that mindfulness has many stress-reduction benefits, but often overlook that it actively engages with current challenges. They view mindfulness as a passive endeavor, when it’s the opposite.
Originating from Buddhist traditions, mindfulness involves two main dimensions—awareness and acceptance. Researchers says that usually it’s the willingness to deal with stressors in your life that often leads to stress relief. However, many people confuse acceptance with passivity or avoidance.
Learn more about the study below:
“The research team conducted an extensive empirical project that examined the meaning of mindfulness in three parts: analyses of the semantic meaning of the term mindfulness in the English language, meta-analysis of the results from a widely used mindfulness measure, and empirical tests of association with markers of wisdom and effective emotion regulation.
‘While we found that people seem to conceptually understand that mindfulness involves engagement, the general public is not walking the talk. Our results suggest that laypeople may understand what awareness is, but the next step of acceptance may not be well understood — limiting potential for engaging with problems,’ said Ellen Choi, lead author on the paper and an assistant professor of organizational behaviour at Ryerson University.
Using social media as a topical example, Grossmann says that with algorithms curating increasingly hateful content, the ability to be mindful of others’ perspectives has never been more critical. ‘Mindfulness might not provide an easy answer to the divisiveness that surrounds us, but an accurate understanding that includes the practice of acceptance may herald the re-emergence of sincere discussion and authentic connection.'”
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