Mindfulness in the Age of the Internet


Two of my favorite people on the internet collided this week when Leo Babauta of Zen Habits went on the Rich Roll Podcast. As expected, it was a great episode, full of insight and wisdom, but there was one thing they said that I wanted to expand upon. At one point, Rich asked Leo why he thought mindfulness is becoming more popular and mainstream lately, but neither had a clear answer.

I think the main reason is the internet.

It may seem like people are more stressed, anxious, and depressed than ever, in part because of social media and the 24/7 news cycle, but as long as people have existed, they’ve been stressed, anxious, and depressed. The internet may or may not contribute to our mental and physical health problems (and our need for more mindfulness), but the internet can also be the cure.

In the past, when we had a health problem, we’d go to the doctor, who would give us a pill, which may or may not work. But now, through the internet, we can take our health into our own hands. We can search online for answers to our problems, and find people who have gone through the same exact thing.

That’s why Zen Habits and the Rich Roll Podcast have become so popular. Because people found their work online and learned that it helped them. I discovered first-hand that mindfulness and meditation can treat anxiety and depression better than antidepressants, and a plant-based diet and exercise can help reverse diabetes and other health problems.

When people (like myself) find an idea on the internet that helps us, we use the internet to spread the word. Good ideas tend to spread like wildfire on the internet. And mindfulness and a plant-based diet are really good ideas.

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