Mindfulness: Fads

I realise it sounds boring when we bang on about balance all the time. Don’t we want a bit of adventure in our lives? Surely we don’t want to spend all our days striking a balance? Of course not. I don’t expect anyone to focus all their energy on balance or they’re kind of missing the point.

Having extremes in our lives is part of this so called balance. Sometimes we want to drop everything we’re doing and focus all our attention on this one amazing thing that we’ve just found. We’ve all been there. And honestly, that’s part of life. The point is to balance those extremes with the less extreme part of your life. The groundwork essentially.

For example, my basic groundwork is making sure I eat three meals a day and they are as healthy as possible. However, if I go out with friends that’s not to say I’m not going to eat a massive pizza and a big slab of cake! Life is about enjoyment and not about limiting yourself. So balance is about trying to have a great groundwork day in day out but going wild whenever the hell you want to. Great isn’t it?

This is where mindfulness and fads come in. Mindfulness is about being aware therefore trying to strike this balance. Fads are the extreme.

Fads can be good for us. Delving into extremes every now and then is not going to hurt anyone. For example, the mannequin challenge or the Harlem shake didn’t hurt anyone (or that I know of anyway?). However, some fads and mindfulness just simply don’t fit together.

When being mindful and aware you have to contemplate whether the thing you are about to do is actually a good idea. Whether, even with all the good reviews it’s had, it’s good for your mind, your body etc. Being aware is simply taking that step back and actually thinking about what you’re about to do.

So, let’s take the example of fad diets. Think about it. Starving yourself for a week isn’t productive when you really think about it. Depriving yourself of calories, carbs, gluten and so on isn’t achieving anything if your groundwork includes them. What will simply happen is once the week is over and you go back to normal then you will put any weight you lost back on. It’s pointless. Fads are dangerous here. You shouldn’t restrict yourself to anything unless you have to (coeliacs etc.). I don’t eat sugar in a normal day out of choice but if I’m eating out then I don’t restrict myself. This isn’t a fad; this is part of my lifestyle.

We need to be conscious about what fads to follow and which ones do us harm. The next time you get excited about a new craze simply take a step back and be aware of what you’re doing.

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