Are meditation and mindfulness the same thing?

Are Meditation And Mindfulness The Same Thing

Meditation and Mindfulness are easily confused. There are so many different types of meditation available to us. Some meditation practices focusing on the breathe and guide us to simply inhale and exhale. Others are mantra based where meditators repeat phrases or sounds such as OM. Then there are are kindness meditations where meditators send messages of loving kindness others or to the world as a whole. And then there is a Mindfulness Meditation – where meditators are encouraged to experience the moment, how they feel, what they can hear and what sensations and emotions are present.

There are so many different types of meditation it can be quite confusing especially to the beginner. Coupled with the fact that you can practice a ‘mindfulness meditation’ it’s easy to understand where the confusion comes from.

Meditation is a practice that you engage in for a certain period of time, but when the bell rings the practice is over. Mindfulness however is a continuous way of thinking. Meditation can be done in so many different ways, you can even meditate whilst walking or drawing as well as the traditional eyes closed methods.

But at its core Mindfulness is a focused awareness. It’s simply paying attention to the present moment, to your thoughts, your feelings, your sensations and the world around you as a whole. Yes, this can be done in mediation, but true mindfulness is done outside of meditation.

Mindfulness and Meditation are often interchangeably used, and the increased confusion comes from the fact there are also ‘mindfulness meditations‘. But if we look at mindfulness as more of a quality of mind, that can help us gain some clarity.

Mindfulness meditation is about not concentrating our energy on the thoughts that permeate the present, but settling into the thoughts of our mind and putting ourselves in a state that goes beyond thinking.

While mindfulness can be defined as a mental state that involves fully focusing on the now so that we can acknowledge and accept our thoughts, feelings and sensations without judgment, meditation can also be combined with other mental states, such as insight meditation or even meditation practice.

I like to think of mindfulness as a conscious way of being. With mindfulness, we are conscious of each moment. The air brushing the leaves, the sound of the car tyres on the tarmac, the warmth of the air as it exits our bodies and our emotion in that moment.

There are so many aspects to mindfulness, and there is no right way to become more mindful other than to practice.

If you’re new to mindfulness, you can start by scheduling just five mintues in your day to stop whatever you are doing and appreciate the world around you.

This can be done by ideally going outside, and witnessing nature. Even if youre in an urban area, being able to see trees, grass or plants can help. Then you simply witness. Look at the colour of the sky, the green of the plants, the air temperature. Think about the miracle of nature, how that tree even got there, how the sun nourishes all things on the planet. How water brings life. How the same molecules in the trees are also in your body.

The miracle of the moment is so powerful when you consciously think about all the things you are able to experience

Ayse Durmush

You see where I’m going here. The miracle of the moment is so powerful when you consciously think about all the things you are able to experience. And that’s just on your own!

Practicing mindfulness around others is incredibly powerful and can dramatically improve emotional intelligence. Being able to use a brain that is well versed in mindfulness when you’re in the middle of a disagreement with someone truly helps to shift anger and confusion into compassion and understanding.

The benefits of mindfulness are widely known, including improving overall mental health and wellbeing. There’s a reason why medical professionals often recommend mindfulness nowadays even the NHS and NICE recommend mindfulness as a practice to help with depression.

But neither meditation nor mindfulness are magic pills. They are tools that can help us in our day to day lives but sometimes we need more, and if you are suffering with something like depression or anxiety then please seek professional advice as well as practicing meditation or mindfulness.

Whatever is going on in your life. You can incorporate mindfulness into your day. And it becomes so much easier the more you do this.

Simple, relaxing practice for entrepreneurs

When I started my own mindfulness and meditation practice, I was in a terrible state. I was recovering from a burnout that left me paralysed, I was also healing from an abusive relationship, and quite frankly I was miserable. I was living my life in a state of fear and hate. But all that was doing, was making my life harder.

But I was determined not to be beaten. So I set about a regular practice. And at first, whilst I tried to appreciate the moment, my brain would still go back to how awful my life was. But by gently going back to appreciating the moment, eventually my brain stopped with that negative pattern. And then I started to discover that I was so grateful for my life. I was grateful for the air I was breathing, for the people in my life, for the money in my account for every aspect of the life I had experienced so far.

Mindfulness leads to a gratitude unlike any other. My gratitude practice following being consistently mindful exploded! I now have a gratitude practice that includes 20 points a day and I could keep writing!

So in short, mindfulness and mediation are interchangeable but the important thing to remember here is that both are incredibly powerful and beneficial to our mental health and our overall wellbeing.

Sources:

0: https://www.pocketmindfulness.com/focused-open-meditation/

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5: https://medium.com/thrive-global/mindfulness-meditation-whats-the-difference-852f5ef7ec1a

6: https://betterandbetterer.com/difference-mindfulness-meditation/

7: https://www.yellowkitebooks.co.uk/yellow-kite-books-posts/yellow-kite-books-mindfulness/2019/04/26/mindfulness-meditation-whats-the-difference/

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Mindful March – Day 29 – Appreciate your hands

Day 29 of Mindful March

Our bodies are truly amazing. All the things that happen without us even thinking about it. The lungs that breathe, the heart that beats the cell growing and dying each day.  So a simple task today is to just appreciate your hands.  Really think about all the things they enable you to do. Feel that gratitude spread through you throughout the day.  The way you can brush your teeth, or turn a key in a lock. There is so much you can appreciate about your hands today.

Maybe even write down all these things and marvel at your own handwriting. Whatever you do, just take some time to appreciate them.

Special thanks go to www.actionforhappiness.org for their amazing work and launching Mindful March.

Mindful March – Day 28 – Stop work earlier and use the time to be still

Welcome to Day 28 #MindfulMarch

Just a few days to go! So today, the goal is to just take a little time out. We become hypnotized by our daily routines sometimes. getting up at the same time, eating the same breakfast, taking the same route to work and just generally zoning out when we are doing things throughout the day. Today, the goal is to stop work earlier than usual and take the time to be still. Now before you moan that you ‘can’t’, especially if you work for someone else, I’m here to tell you that you can.  Even if you stop just a couple of minutes before 5pm you can stop. The point isnt how early you stop, rather than you stop and be still.  Even if its just a couple of minutes away from your desk where you can sit in stillness, then do that.

However you need to get away, do it, and just spend that time focused on you.

Special thanks go to www.actionforhappiness.org for their amazing work and launching Mindful March.

Mindful March – Day 24 – Make a list of amazing things

Welcome to Mindful March Day 24

There is so much to be grateful for beyond your possessions.

As someone who has had my health taken from me quite brutally, suffering paralysis after a stress-related illness I know all too well how important good health is.

After that period of my life I have given thanks every day to my body for being healthy and all the things it can do. It sounds really simplistic and it is. But the quickest way to really feeling joy in your life is to give thanks for what you already have rather than focusing on the things you are missing.

Mindful March – Day 24 – Make a list of amazing things that you take for granted

Special thanks go to www.actionforhappiness.org for their amazing work and launching Mindful March.

 

Mindful March – Day 22 – Stop to just watch the sky

It’s Day 22 of MindfulMarch

Today’s task is one that is especially close to my heart. As a girl, I was always obsessed with the stars and the night sky. It was the place I would turn to and just get completely lost in wonderment.  Taking the time to just watch the night sky especially for me is almost like meditation. It truly helps to make me feel grounded and puts so much of my life into perspective. It’s hard not to look at the stars and marvel at the existence of not just the earth but us as human beings.

To this day, I still get completely lost looking up at the night sky, trying to count the stars or imagining how far away some of those stars are. I know I’m not the only one that does this too. There’s something truly magical about the night sky and in the knowledge that even we are simply stardust. Absolutely beautiful if you ask me.

So today your task is to simply top and just watch the sky. Now of course if you wish you could just watch the clouds go by at some point during the day. Maybe in the morning when you’re drinking your coffee rather than watch the news, sit in silence and watch the sky.

It’s so simple but a truly wonderful experience that you can incorporate into your day.

Today’s task – Stop and watch the sky

Special thanks go to www.actionforhappiness.org for their amazing work and launching Mindful March.