Mindfulness and Meditation
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is training the mind to be aware of what is occurring in the present moment within yourself and around you. It can help stabilize the mind and prevent it from being busy and distracted with reliving old memories and projecting thoughts into the future too much. If we can learn to have conscious input into managing our thoughts, we can improve the way we feel and function.
What is the difference between mindfulness and meditation?
Meditation teaches us techniques to help improve our attention and develop inner peace. This will complement the practice of mindfulness. For example, a meditation that focuses our attention on watching thoughts float by like clouds can help us to be mindful of when we grasp at thoughts and start to believe they are real. If the thoughts are negative it can help reduce the impact of these negative thoughts by observing them and letting them pass. By grasping at negative thoughts, stress and unwanted emotions can develop. Therefore meditation can develop our awareness to then practice mindfulness. From here, great results can be achieved.
Why is it good to be mindful?
Mindfulness can improve the quality of our life by learning to be in the driver’s seat of our thoughts as opposed to them running on auto. So awareness is a key reason.
Awareness gives us choice. Being able to choose which thoughts to act upon can reduce the impact of negative thoughts and rumination. Then there is potential to increase positive behaviours and experiences by choice.
Finally, recognising that it is only the present moment that truly exists, we can take time to smell the roses rather than be distracted by endless thoughts. We can become more engaged in the moment.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is an exercise for the mind to help one develop a sense of awareness and stillness which can then translate into practical benefits in daily living. For example the ability to let go of negative thoughts. It has many beneficial effects on both our emotional and cognitive wellbeing.
Meditation is not like sleeping. In meditation one is trying to develop a heightened awareness whereas sleep is a deep unawareness. There are many types of meditation from many diverse sources and usually can be divided into concentration or observation techniques.
How does one do meditation?
Meditation is typically done in a seated position in stillness. There are varieties that involve walking meditation too, however the best technique is the one that works for the individual. It can be practiced as often as one finds it to be beneficial but ideally every day will be the most beneficial starting with just a few minutes at a time.
Why is meditation beneficial?
Meditation can help improve the quality of one’s life by turning inwards and developing focus, awareness and stillness of the mind. This can lead to an increased sense of wellbeing and help with managing life’s challenges more easily. The ability to reflect on thoughts and emotions can also give clarity for personal growth.