Mindfulness goes mainstream

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MINDFULNESS CONTINUES TO BE ON THE AGENDA; ARE WE IN A POST-MINDFUL WORLD TO COPE WITH POST–TRUTH?

Mindfulness is currently being touted as the answer to all society's problems: the solution to child misbehaviour, bad health, poor exam grades, recidivism, anxiety, depression, financial underachievement, relationship breakdowns, work related stress… what can't it achieve?

Given the world's state of flux and post-truth garnering a lot of headlines (shouldn't it just be called lying?), a continued movement to something more soothing seems reasonable. A modern progressive company in 2017 can't call itself that unless it is implementing some form of mindfulness program for it's staff. (Ikon ran one in 2016 and will continue to this year).

Google, the BBC, even the UK government is running training for their people as the benefits are shouted from the rooftops. I believe it can be no bad thing where perpetual connection to work emails and other stressors is the norm. France has recently legislated against employees being expected to answer emails outside work hours. However, the watch out is that companies could use mindfulness as a band aid solution to poor management.

No amount of mindfulness training or encouraged practice will redeem a company which doesn't treat its staff well in all areas. Using it as a way to boost profits and productivity also feels uncomfortable, but as this is the new corporate snake oil, multiple corporate mindfulness experts are cropping up, all too happy to promise that as the main benefit for employers. 

Tech can enable insight into personal well being, and there are a plethora of mindfulness apps. Yet in it's pure form mindfulness is about turning away from technology. We are seeing this shift in other sectors; a restorative green is Pantone’s colour of the year and Dr Libby’s book was a top seller in January. I’m personally excited, as a fan of Ariana Huffington, to see clean sleeping appearing in the mindfulness vernacular. Here's to a less stressful year than 2016. OM.