How mindfulness can make you a darker person

The Journey of Building Resilience in an Endemic

For the past two years, our minds have been flooded with negative news and experiences—from new COVID variants to social injustice and global conflict. This consistent stream of direct and indirect stressors can lead to a range of responses based on one’s own history and resources, and may vary over time. To transition from a pandemic to an endemic—and accept the lingering, long-term presence of COVID-19 and other chronic stressors in our lives—we’ll need to find ways to collectively build up our mental and physical capacity for resilience.

“One way to prepare for current and future challenges is by making a list of resources that have been helpful to cope with adversity in the past.” 

Matt Scult, Ph.D

Resilience is not a stable trait, but an ongoing process influenced by the personal and collective resources available to us. Therefore, we must focus on continuing to set the stage for ourselves and others to increase the capacity for resilience in the context of adversity. So where do we start…READ ON

Lake Powell is about to drop below a critical level never reached before, as drought rages on.
The Dangling Rope Marina in Lake Powell as seen on February 3. The marina was temporary closed due to low water. (Mark Henle/The Republic/USA Today Network)

How mindfulness can make you a darker person

Whether you are a school teacher, a hospital worker, a Google programmer, a US Marines officer or even a UK politician, you’ll have been encouraged to embrace mindfulness by colleagues and supervisors. Even my smartwatch regularly reminds me to take a “mindful minute”.

The scientific research, however, paints a more complicated picture of mindfulness’s effects on our behaviour, with emerging evidence that it can sometimes increase people’s selfish tendencies. 

The immediate outcomes of this popular form of meditation are meant to be reduced stress and risk of burnout. But listed alongside these benefits, you’ll often find claims that mindfulness can improve your personality. When you learn to live in the moment, the proponents say, you will find hidden reserves of empathy and compassion for those around you. That’s certainly an attractive bonus for an organisation hoping to increase co-operation in its teams…READ ON

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