The problem with believing myths is this: you shut down life-changing opportunities or miss out on the full benefits of them. Take the example of mindfulness meditation. If you buy into the myth that this practice is passive, your active personality may assume it is not a good fit.
So, how do you best determine if an activity such as mindfulness meditation is for you? Do your research. Check it out. Get the facts. Gather information. Maybe even participate. Then, and only then, can you make an intelligent, informed decision.
After all, the only result you get from believing myths is an uneducated response. So, begin with the mindfulness meditation myth-busting facts below. Add more data to them. Then decide whether this discipline benefits you.
Because what you don’t know about mindfulness meditation can hurt you, it’s time to learn about the myths.
Mindfulness is Meditation
Because the words are often seen together, the common assumption is that mindfulness and meditation are the same. Even the basic definitions suggest potential overlap. However, you can have one without the other.
According to Yoga International, meditation is “a precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness…different from the normal waking state.” Conversely, Mindful.org defines mindfulness as the “ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing.”
Mindfulness is Simple
The idea that mindfulness is a natural, daily occurrence may lead you to brush it off. While the premise is straightforward, the busy, loud world distracts and drives us away from mindfulness. And remembering to be mindful may prove the most challenging part.
Have you tried focusing your mind on the present with your kids calling your name, the smartphone buzzing, and dinner on the stove? Mindfulness requires practice to become a habit. Mindfulness meditation sets time aside to develop this mental discipline.
Mindfulness Meditation Involves Breath and Mantras
Some meditation practices focus on breathing. Not so with mindfulness meditation. As a part of your training, you may notice if your breath is shallow or slow and deep. The point is to come into the present moment, not to focus on the breathing itself.
Furthermore, these observations make you aware of your physical and emotional state. Shallow breaths may reveal anxiety and allow you to explore its sources. Calming breaths may indicate a relaxed mood.
Mindfulness Meditation is Rest for the Mind
Often non-meditators believe meditation involves emptying the mind. The inability to clear the mind of all thoughts usually ends the practice for these people. If you are one of these frustrated meditators, hear this.
In mindfulness meditation, you discover the thoughts that fill your mind rather than try to eliminate them. Rest comes from recognizing what draws you away from the present moment rather than the meditation itself.
Mindfulness Meditation Breeds Joy
The core benefits of practicing meditation may indicate that bliss and joy are the objectives. While science confirms the stress-relieving benefits of meditation, this is a bonus, not the goal of it. Relaxed and altered states of being are not the point.
Instead, mindfulness meditation increases your awareness of the present moment. Unfortunately, this includes the joyful as well as the unpleasant. By focusing on the here-and-now, you discover more about yourself and how you live.
Mindfulness Meditation Cures Psychological Issues
Relieved stress, reduced anxiety, lowered blood pressure and more are the benefits of meditation. Raising awareness of past pain and poor coping methods happens as well. Mindfulness meditation prepares you to face the change required in these cases.
However, healing these issues requires more than daily focusing on the present. Therapy and counseling address the conflicts and patterns which come to light as a result of meditating. Furthermore, mindfulness meditation proves to be a useful tool in the therapy process.
Mindfulness Meditation is Religious
No religious belief system is connected to mindfulness meditation. It is that simple. While several religions practice meditation techniques, this tool helps all individuals engage in the present, with or without a religious tradition.
Also, nothing in this practice contradicts religious traditions. In many cases, mindfulness meditation is practiced without such connections. Even mystical spirituality plays no essential role in this discipline.
So, there you have them. The debunked myths about mindfulness meditation. What will you do with them? If you need additional information, check out our blog for insight.
Otherwise, use the above information to make an educated decision. Likely, the next step is to begin practicing mindful meditation in a way that works for you. Without giving it a try yourself, the benefits are going to be just words on a page. Personal experience supplements your knowledge.
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