There is a lot of speculation as to the difference between Mindfulness and Meditation. Let’s discuss the differences before we begin our discussion surrounding Mindfulness.
Both Mindfulness and Meditation allow you to accomplish three goals:
- Inner Peace and Calm
- Compassion for Self and Others
Contrary to popular belief of late, both Mindfulness and Meditation can be spiritually life-changing practices when you incorporate them into your everyday life.
When you practice Mindfulness, you become fully aware of everything in the present moment. You become Mindful of your consciousness without trying to judge it or change it.
By doing this, you are quieting your mind and allowing yourself a glimpse at some of the ways you have been running your life. In other words, you allow yourself to see that you are running the same auto-pilot reactions time and time again without breaking the pattern.
Being Mindful allows you to take a step back and re-evaluate or re-assess a reaction to something you are experiencing. You can accept the action/reaction by looking at it in this new light which will in turn reduce stress and instead give you a sense of inner peace and happiness. Being mindful means staying in the present moment.
If you participate in meditation, this technique involves you concentrating and focusing on particular exercises to quiet your mind. These techniques allow you to connect with deeper wisdom within ourselves, thereby seeing the auto-pilot reactions as above, and allowing you to make changes.
Meditation also allows you to slow down your mind, focus more clearly and prepare yourself for techniques with much deeper meaning.
With those definitions, keep in mind that there is overlap of the two methods but they are also complementary to each other.
Mindfulness allows you to pay attention in a certain way. Mindfulness allows each and every thing in your life to be different to anyone else’s. Mindfulness brings unique awareness to your experiences. Mindfulness can be used in your sensory experiences as well as your thoughts and emotions allowing you to notice those experiences without over-reacting to them.
Without Mindfulness, you receive a stimulation and you react.
With Mindfulness, you receive a stimulation, you trigger Mindfulness and elicit a response (vs. reaction).
In order to meditate, you need to be Mindful. What do we mean by that?
There are several ways that people practice both and there is no real right or wrong way. It might be a little tricky to explain but you need to be in the present moment in order to practice meditation and Mindfulness is a form of meditation.
Does this make sense?
Both are practiced differently and serve two distinct purposes by they are intertwined with each other. If you try to separate them, one of them won’t work.
Whichever way you spin the meaning of the two words, meditation is a powerful practice if you want to transform and experience all that life has to offer.
On the other hand, it’s really a potato vs. potata type of word play. Both of the words give you an experience and that is the bottom line in Meditation and Mindfulness. It depends on you as to which you are going to experience.
The benefits of Mindfulness are:
- Impulse Control Improvement
- React to Difficult Emotions differently
- Becoming Self-Aware
- Improved Focus and Concentration
- Reduction in Stress and Anxiety
- Empathy and better Understanding of Others
- Natural Conflict Resolution Skills
- Improved Sense of Calm
- Overall Health Improvement
Most definitions you will find on the internet state that, “Mindfulness is a simple but powerful technique to focus attention, manage emotions, handle stress, and resolve conflicts.”
The topics covered in the book are by no means the exhaustive list to using Mindfulness. We have only scratched the surface here.
One note before we delve into Mindfulness: start and keep a journal as you make your way through some of the suggestions here in the book. By journaling you can take a look back and see how far you have come in your journey.