States of Mind II: Those Who Go

Mindfulness: Past the Peak or Just Getting Started?

Interest in Mindfulness WorldwideAt the height of the pandemic in 2020, mindfulness had quite a moment. In some corners of the world, the peak of the pandemic may have passed. Has the peak of interest in mindfulness passed, too?

If our searches on Google are any indication, this may be the case. Perhaps people are more interested in getting a vaccine and getting back to a renewed pattern of life. However, the research on mindfulness suggests that this approach to well-being may yet have some life in it.

A Systematic Review Across Diverse Settings

Comparisons of Mindfulness InterventionsSimon Goldberg and colleagues recently published a systematic review of mindfulness interventions across a range of different settings. Despite prevailing skepticism about hype, these researchers found promise for some interventions in some problems. Notably, they found that mindfulness appeared to be neither better nor worse than other options for treating problems with weight and eating. No miracles, maybe some possibilities.

They conclude that scientific evidence “at least partially” supports using mindfulness for some clinical problems. But, of course, more rigorous research is necessary.

The App Economy for Mindfulness

The market for mindfulness apps boomed with the pandemic. It has become fused with wellness woo-woo that sells so well. Jenna Wortham explains in the New York Times:

“Wellness, the way our culture chooses to define it, has become synonymous with productivity and self-optimization. But wellness isn’t something that can be downloaded and consumed, even if the constellations of sun-drenched photos on your Instagram feed indicate otherwise.”

In a vaccinated world, our troubles will be different, but they will not just melt away. People who have gained weight in the pandemic are already thinking about what they want to do about it. So you can be sure that entrepreneurs will be offering you solutions with a dollop of mindfulness in the mix.

If you can see past the hype, you might find some helpful options.

Click here for the study by Goldberg et al and here for more from Jenna Wortham. For further perspective on the evolution and commercialization of mindfulness, click here and here.

States of Mind II: Those Who Go; painting by Umberto Boccioni / WikiArt

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May 17, 2021