Health & Spirit

'You Should Forget the Meditation App': True, False or Wildly Misleading?

Marilynn Preston on

Oh, really? You've got an important point to make Ms. Whippman -- and I'll make it for you in a moment -- but it's a mistake to ignore the importance of meditation apps, mindfulness and, God forbid, yoga. It's misleading, and, yes, it made me unhappy.

The path to personal happiness, to connecting with others, begins with self-discovery. Mindfulness and meditation aren't the enemy. They're focusing skills to help us quiet the mind and open our heart. When you know and accept yourself, you are more open to knowing and loving others.

So it's not either-or. It's both, with happiness coming from a journey of self-discovery and a recognition that connecting with other humans is a huge part of human happiness.

"Our happiness depends on other people," Whippman writes, though the italics are mine. "Study after study shows that good social relationships are the strongest, most consistent predictor of a happy life."

"Neglecting our social relationships is actually shockingly dangerous to our health," Whippman goes on. "A lack of social connection carries with it a risk of premature death comparable with that of smoking and is roughly twice as dangerous to our health as obesity."

That's a wow, isn't it?

"The most significant thing we can do for our well-being is not to 'find ourselves' or 'go within,'" she concludes, running off the rail. "It's to invest as much time and effort as we can into nurturing the relationships we have with the people in our lives."


Ruth Whippman is making a crucial point about happiness. But I think she misses the mark when she ridicules "going within." Do both, and if you need a happiness app to get you to your cushion 10 minutes a day, that's good, too.


"There is no way to happiness; happiness is the way." -- Wayne Dyer


Marilynn Preston is the author of Energy Express, America's longest-running healthy lifestyle column. Her new book "All Is Well: The Art {and Science} of Personal Well-Being" is available now on Amazon and elsewhere. Visit Creators Publishing at to learn more. For more on personal well-being, visit

Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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