In recent years there has been an explosion of interest in Mindfulness. So what is so great about it – isn’t it just the same as any meditation?
The terms “meditation” and “mindfulness” are used interchangeably quite a lot these days but do they not refer to the same thing?
The differences between mindfulness and meditation have been debated and interpreted in thousands of ways, and the debate likely will continue.
Although there is a fine line that separates the two the main difference is as follows:
Meditation is a large umbrella term that encompasses the practice of reaching ultimate consciousness and concentration, to acknowledge the mind and, in a way, self-regulate it. It can involve a lot of techniques or practices to reach this heightened level of consciousness — including compassion, love, patience, and of course, mindfulness. So mindfulness is a type of meditation.
Mindfulness means paying attention on purpose, being in the moment with qualities like compassion, curiosity and acceptance. It is the act of focusing on being in the present, such as focusing completely on drinking a hot cup of tea, taking in its scent, warmth, and taste and removing overpowering emotions from the mind.
People have become interested in this practice as they see it as a pathway to a better quality of life, encompassing greater emotional and mental wellbeing, increased happiness levels, reduced stress and better relationships.
Mindfulness practices can provide this ‘pathway’ and this has increasingly been borne out and validated by neuroscience. Additionally, mindfulness is a tool which alleviates many aspects of physical and psychological suffering, and is a preventative tool to prevent future recurrence.
Research has indicated the main benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation, based on published studies, to be effective in reducing levels of stress, increasing resilience and emotional intelligence. It also enhances communication skills and increases one’s capacity to hold and manipulate information.
If you’ve never tried Mindfulness before – have a try with this FREE meditation.
Don’t forget with anything new it will take time and practise but give it a week and see what you think! You won’t know until you try!
My name is Julie Elder and I am a complementary therapist/yoga teacher at Totally Holistic Health. I am passionate about helping your body stay healthy in a natural and holistic way.