Sarah Strohmairer

Breaking Down Mindfulness Myths: The Role of Dose and Practice with Dr. Sarah Strohmaier

This week on The Kintsugi Podcast, I sit down with Dr. Sarah Strohmaier, a psychology and mindfulness researcher, to discuss the intricacies of mindfulness practices and the concept of “dose.” Sarah delves into her research findings on how varying lengths and frequencies of mindfulness practices impact mental health, shedding light on why shorter practices might sometimes be more beneficial than longer ones. They discuss the importance of personalized mindfulness practices, the role of organizational structures in employee well-being, and the potential adverse effects of mindfulness.

Key Themes

  1. Mindfulness and Organizational Well-being :
    • Sarah emphasizes that mindfulness should not be a quick fix for organizational structural issues.
    • Companies often use mindfulness as a band-aid solution without addressing deeper systemic problems like overwork and inadequate compensation.
  2. Dose Response in Mindfulness :
    • Sarah’s research indicates no significant dose-response relationship, suggesting that longer, more intense mindfulness practices are not necessarily more beneficial than shorter, less intense ones.
    • Shorter mindfulness practices may be more effective for beginners and can help reduce feelings of guilt and overwhelm.
  3. Quality Over Quantity :
    • Michael and Sarah discuss the importance of the quality of mindfulness practice over the quantity.
    • They explore how shorter, consistent practices can be more sustainable and beneficial in the long run than sporadic, longer sessions.
  4. Personalization of Mindfulness Practices :
    • Different individuals may require different mindfulness practices to suit their unique needs and circumstances.
    • Finding a mindfulness practice that aligns with one’s personal lifestyle and mental health goals is crucial.
  5. Potential Adverse Effects of Mindfulness :
    • Michael and Sarah touch upon the possible adverse effects of mindfulness when practiced without proper guidance.
    • They stress the importance of qualified instructors and tailored mindfulness programs to ensure safe and effective practice.

Memorable Quotes by Sarah 

  • “Mindfulness is not a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one person may not work for another.”
  • “Putting the responsibility solely on individuals to manage their stress through mindfulness without addressing structural issues in organizations is unfair and ineffective.”
  • ” The quality of the mindfulness practice matters more than the duration. Shorter, consistent practices can be incredibly powerful.”

Resources Mentioned

  • Pause, Breathe, Reflect: Michael’s mindfulness app is designed for busy individuals with shorter, more manageable mindfulness practices.
  • Books :
    • “Atomic Habits ” by James Clear: Discusses the importance of small, consistent steps in habit formation.
    • “Thanks a Thousand ” by A.J. Jacobs: A book about gratitude and the many people involved in creating a simple cup of coffee.

Connect with Sarah Strohmairer

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