This is going to sound ridiculous, but it’s the truth: when I visited Martin Paulus’s neuropsychology lab at the University of California, San Diego in October 2013, less than five short years ago, I had no idea what “mindfulness” was. This was way back before the hype cycle had kicked into overdrive. In a way, I guess I contributed to that early hype, because I then wrote an article for Outside about Paulus’s brain-scanning studies of elite athletes and Special Forces troops, and how this bizarre thing called mindfulness training could seemingly alter your brain activity so that, in stressful situations, you’d react more like these high performers. Things are different now, of course. We’re all so sick of hearing about the wonders of mindfulness that another article about it seems more like satire than science. But sometimes you have to make exceptions, and I think this one is worthwhile.