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Mindfulness meditation is touted as a beneficial practice that can significantly help reduce stress, anxiety, depression and negativity. There's no denying that it can be a very effective form of meditation, but can it also cause you emotional harm?

What Is Mindfulness Meditation?

Mindfulness meditation is a specific type of meditation that focuses on developing the skills that are needed to recognize and accept both inner and outer life experiences.

It teaches acceptance of all emotions, even those that are stressful, painful or negative. It involves learning how to mindfully pay attention to what is happening in the present moment in an effort to consciously direct awareness of self.

The theory is that by mastering awareness and being mindful of each moment, individuals can become more in-tuned and live a fuller life because they are consistently present in every moment in their lives.

How Does it Work?

Mindfulness meditation works by teaching individuals how to become aware of and then release any negative emotions or thoughts they may have. By doing this, it encourages the awareness of only positive feelings and emotions.

Is it Effective?

Although it may not work for everyone, current research suggests that mindfulness meditation can be effective for individuals suffering from depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. A recent study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that mindfulness meditation was equally effective as traditional antidepressant medications in treating depression.

Can it Cause Emotional Harm?

Although mindfulness meditation can be a highly effective tool for handling stress, it is not a magic cure for negative emotions. Although this type of meditation can help you, it cannot be relied on as a sole source of problem solving.

It can be highly effective as a tool for becoming mindful and aware of your emotional state, and helping you to regulate your emotional experiences. When used incorrectly, as a shield for negative emotions, mindfulness meditation can cause emotional harm.

If you avoid all negativity rather than learn how to handle negative situations (which are a normal part of life), it can lead to unrealistic attitudes and ultimately do more harm than good. To address negative emotions, you must first become mindful of them so that you can pay attention to what they are telling you. If instead you detach from negative emotions and ignore the problems that come with them, in the long run things will get much worse.

Is There a Downside to Mindfulness Meditation?

There can be. Because mindfulness meditation encourages individuals to learn how to accept all situations they encounter, it contradicts opposing theories that state that you have to go through negativity to get over it. When it comes to stressful situations, emotional pain and suffering, physical discomfort and pain, or any other unwanted condition, many professionals believe that there are more effective ways to work through these situations other than just acknowledging and accepting them.

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