Mindfulness Vs. Meditation

Meditation versus mindfulness

Being mindful is innate. It is a natural part of our being. We are born with the ability to be mindful. But that doesn’t mean it is something that we are always doing.

Some certain techniques and practices can make mindfulness easier to achieve and make it something we can fully benefit from. One such technique is mediation.

There are many types of meditation—moving (like yoga or meditative running), sitting, standing. The art of meditation can take minutes, hours, or in some cultures days. Meditation is about the mind-body connection. It is a scheduled practice, similar to taking a shower or cooking a meal. It is about taking a break from our thoughts and focusing our brains solely on our bodies.

It is all about taking the time out of our days or weeks to focus on breath, to let go of stressors and worries that we are hanging on to, to focus on the movement of our bodies, the feeling of our hand on our leg or resting on our heart. The sensation of our lungs increasing in space while we fill with them with air, and decreasing as we let that air go.

The practice of meditation helps train our brains to be fully present in the moment. The very act of focusing on breath and allowing ourselves to let go of everything else is relaxing to our bodies and our minds. Those feelings of relaxation can be achieved in a short five-minute practice.

Other Mindful Practices

If meditation doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, there are other ways to practice mindfulness throughout your day.

You can wake up with an intention. Before you get out of bed (and check emails or phones) take a minute to focus on an intention for your day, something you can revisit throughout the day in moments of stress. This practice can help cultivate a mind-body connection.

Eat mindfully. Focus on the taste of food and the feel of the food as you chew it. Breathe in the smell. Think about the feeling of the food in your stomach, how it is sitting with you.

Pause throughout your day. This can be established by setting a reminder on your phone or sticking Post-it notes around your home. It only takes a second but pause to look around and take in the feelings in your body, bring yourself back to earth.

Workout mindfully. Rather than letting your mind wander as you lift weights or run (or whatever your workout is) focus on the feeling of your muscles, the sweat on your face, your breath, etc.

Drive mindfully. Focus on the road and the way it moves, the sound of the turn signal, your foot on the pedal, your breath. You will be calmer and more focused on the practice of driving.

Whatever technique you choose to use to engage your brain and be more present in your daily life is up to you. It might feel difficult to get started but once you get into the practice of being mindful you will find that your brain will go there more often without prompting.

The psychologists at Wellness Psychological Services are uniquely and expertly specialized in helping you learn and apply various types of mindfulness and meditation skills. We welcome the chance to discuss an individualized plan to meet your needs. Contact us for an appointment anytime.

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