What is the Difference Between Mindfulness and Meditation?

Everyone seems to be caught up in the wellness trend and concepts like mindfulness and meditation seem to be huge topics for discussion. However, just because you can Google 5,000 different articles on ”How to Be Mindful” or ”Meditation for Beginners” it doesn’t mean you really understand either practice. Well, allow us to clear it up for you. Are you ready? It’s going to blow your mind.

Meditation at its core is the act of doing something solely for oneself. While mindfulness simply equals awareness and is a form of (drum roll, please) MEDITATION! Can you believe it! All this confusion over something so simple.

What You Should Know About Meditation

You’ve put on soft music, are sitting in what you think is a meditation position and have closed your eyes. Now, you’re trying to focus on a breathing technique while clearing your mind of all thoughts and simply relax. PFFT! Yeah right! You’re bored and you feel like you’re doing it wrong.

Thinking you’re doing it wrong is where you went wrong! You thought something was supposed to happen, that your mind would clear and you would have this wonderfully relaxed feeling. Let us be the first to tell you, it’s okay that you didn’t go all zen.

While your brain may still be buzzing, you can’t meditate “wrong” when you are doing something for the sole purpose of your own enjoyment and relaxation. So instead of trying to sit still, set aside time to listen to your favorite album. You can browse the shops in your favorite market or lay in the sun while you read your favorite book. Allowing yourself to do something for yourself is the simplest and easiest form of meditation.

The Best Meditation Practices for Everyday Life

With so many meditation techniques out there, you are probably wondering what the best techniques are to practice every day. The most important thing to remember here is that meditation is about you. While the practices that we or others will recommend are beneficial, at the end of the day, you will have to find what works best for you.

To help you enjoy your moment, we recommend you:

  • Make NO effort to control your breathing in any way. Simply breathe naturally.
  • Be comfortable. Whether you’re curled up in an oversized chair, laying on the couch or wearing your best walking shoes, being comfortable is key to releasing your stress.
  • Focus on your breathing to center your mind when it begins to stray.
  • Let go. Stop trying to control the moment and just be a part of it. Feel it, be aware of it, but don’t control it.

Sounds crazy right! No visualization techniques, candle staring or observing your Third Eye Chakra, just simply focusing on you and enjoying your time. Push away negative thoughts, take in good vibes, and when your brain goes astray focus on your breathing to get back to the now.

What Are the Benefits of Mindfulness?

Being mindful allows you to truly enjoy a moment or to control your reactions and emotions when you need. Mindful meditation is to practice being aware in the moment you are currently in. That means you allow yourself to focus on the now so you can step back to analyze a situation before reacting to it.

Whether the situation is a positive one, that you want to soak in and enjoy, or a negative one that you hope to keep from reacting harshly to, being mindful can help.

How to Be Mindful in Your Everyday Life

Being mindful in your everyday life can be practiced during regular activities. Start first thing in the morning with simple tasks like brushing your teeth or eating your breakfast. Notice the spicy scent of the mint and the hearty, sweet smell of your granola. Enjoy the textures. Focus on the task versus allowing it to be another daily routine.

Let your mind wander. When you notice that your mind has wandered you can focus on how to gently bring yourself into the now leading you to be more mindful. Practice while you’re waiting in the doctor’s office or stuck in traffic. When irritation begins to creep in, focus on your breathing and release your tension. Be mindful of your reactions and let go. It is our need to control a situation that makes it so difficult to relax and move forward.

Meditate and Be Mindful

Always remember that meditation is for you, it’s about you. When you learn to focus on you, your surroundings, your moment, you learn to release stress and maintain focus. Let go, breathe natural and keep in mind that you aren’t perfect. Your mind may wander, but we know that you’ve got this! If you have questions, feel free to contact us today