Sep 17, 2021

CultNEWS101 Articles: 9/17/2021 (Mindfulness, Meditation, Stress, Research, Collections (mindfulness, meditation, TM))

Mindfulness, Meditation, Stress, Research, Collections (mindfulness, meditation, TM)
"Mindfulness meditation is routinely portrayed as a simple, happy, pleasant mind-hack that can help improve almost every aspect of our lives. Just a few minutes of mindfulness, on a few different occasions, is all it takes to reap the benefits of this life-changing practice. If anyone feels hesitant, we're reminded that it's just like fitness for the mind – and who wouldn't benefit from a little mental exercise?

Yet the way mindfulness meditation is commonly branded doesn't reflect the varieties of ways it's practised or its consequences. While it might be simple, at least in principle, it certainly isn't easy – as the so-called 'father of mindfulness', Jon Kabat-Zinn, has said repeatedly in his books and presentations. While it can lead to positive feelings or pleasant experiences, it can also cause discomfort. Sometimes meditation leads to new or worsened anxiety, depression or other mental illness. It's clear then that the answer to the question 'What's the worst that could happen?' is considerably more severe than most pundits would suggest. What's more, the ethics, values and assumptions behind the practice aren't always made clear. Thus, meditation is less like exercise in general than it is like mountain-climbing – something potentially strenuous that, depending on your objectives, you should approach with caution, training and an awareness of the risks."
"Stress, anxiety, productivity: mindfulness is often touted as a solution to nearly everything. But research shows that you can actually take meditation too far.

For around 20 years, I've struggled with periods of anxiety, and turned to mindfulness meditation as a means of quelling those feelings. At its best, the benefits would often perfectly match the hype. Focusing my attention on my breath or my body would calm my nagging internal voice, and I'd return to normal life feeling energised and invigorated.

Far too often, however, I'd end the session feeling much worse than when I began. Rather than relaxing, my heart would begin to accelerate, or my inner monologue would take a nasty turn, as unpleasant memories and feelings of failure and hopelessness flooded my mind. These events became so frequent that I now only use mindfulness occasionally.

I had assumed that I was just uniquely bad at taming my thoughts. Yet a growing body of research suggests that such stories may be surprisingly common, with one study from 2019 showing that at least 25% of regular meditators have experienced adverse events, from panic attacks and depression to an unsettling sense of "dissociation".

Given these reports, one researcher has even founded a non-profit organisation, Cheetah House, that offers support to 'meditators in distress'. "We had more that 20,000 people contact us in the year 2020," says Willoughby Britton, who is an assistant professor in psychiatry and human behaviour at Brown University. "This is a big problem."

"When it comes to managing anxiety disorders, William Shakespeare's Macbeth had it right when he referred to sleep as the "balm of hurt minds." While a full night of slumber stabilizes emotions, a sleepless night can trigger up to a 30% rise in anxiety levels, according to new research from UC Berkeley.

Researchers have found that the type of sleep most apt to calm and reset the anxious brain is deep sleep, also known as non-rapid eye movement (NREM) slow-wave sleep, a state in which neural oscillations become highly synchronized, and heart rates and blood pressure drop.

"We have identified a new function of deep sleep, one that decreases anxiety overnight by reorganizing connections in the brain," said study senior author Matthew Walker, a UC Berkeley professor of neuroscience and psychology. "Deep sleep seems to be a natural anxiolytic (anxiety inhibitor), so long as we get it each and every night."

The findings, published today, Nov. 4, in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, provide one of the strongest neural links between sleep and anxiety to date. They also point to sleep as a natural, non-pharmaceutical remedy for anxiety disorders, which have been diagnosed in some 40 million American adults and are rising among children and teens.

"Our study strongly suggests that insufficient sleep amplifies levels of anxiety and, conversely, that deep sleep helps reduce such stress," said study lead author Eti Ben Simon, a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Human Sleep Science at UC Berkeley."
CultNEWS101: Mindfulness Collection  (42 Articles)

CultNEWS101: Meditation Collection (31 Articles)

CultNEWS101: Transcendental Meditation Collection (285 Articles)

News, Education, Intervention, Recovery to help families and friends understand and effectively respond to the complexity of a loved one's cult involvement. assists group members and their families make the sometimes difficult transition from coercion to renewed individual choice. news, links, resources.




Instagram resources about cults, cultic groups, abusive relationships, movements, religions, political organizations and related topics.

Selection of articles for CultNEWS101 does not mean that Patrick Ryan or Joseph Kelly agree with the content. We provide information from many points of view in order to promote dialogue.

Please forward articles that you think we should add to


Joe Kelly (

Patrick Ryan (

If you do not wish to be subscribed to this list, or you think you are being maliciously subscribed to the list, or have any other questions, send them to: or send an email to:

No comments: