David Brendel is concerned that mindfulness is gaining a cultlike status in the business world.
As a physician, psychiatrist, and executive coach, Brendel doesn’t have anything against mindfulness and meditation techniques. He knows the benefits mindfulness poses for stress levels and life-threatening illnesses. He’s well aware of the growing neuroscience research that demonstrates the positive effects mindfulness has on the brain. He incorporates a lot of cognitive psychology into his own work to help clients transform their mindsets and work on important behavioral changes needed for career success.
The problem he has with mindfulness is that everyone seems to be for it, and Brendel is worried we’re all just blindly following the leader.
“I’ve been struck by the growth of different mindfulness approaches over the years, and I recommend them to many of my clients,” Brendel tells Fast Company. “At the same time, I’ve noticed over the past year or so, [mindfulness] has just sort of exploded in the popular press and popular imagination, and you see almost nothing about it that’s critical, negative, or cautionary.”
Brendel says this kind of “blind acceptance” can prevent people from using the constructive critical eye so desperately needed when thinking about potential risks of a practice that’s gained so much traction, it was called a “revolution” by Time magazine in 2014.
Below are the risks, according to Brendel, of a blanket acceptance of mindfulness in the office:
People Might Avoid Overwhelming Situations And Difficult Conversations
Brendel’s biggest concern with mindfulness is that it can lead to avoidance in thinking through overwhelming situations and having difficult conversations. Instead of pushing through internal barriers to change thoughts and behavioral patterns, people accept them. Continue reading >>