Mindfulness and Meditation are words that are commonly used and interchanged as it’s assumed they are one due to their similarities. Meditation and Mindfulness do differ from each other and it will be better for us to understand the differences.
Meditation is a practice where you focus inward to enhance concentration, calmness and emotional balance. We try to train our mind and thoughts because it is easily distracted, with the past or the future, worrying, and stressing. Through meditation, we find the tools to be more centered, less stressed, calmer, focus on the present and in general have more control over our emotions. Meditation is a seated practice where depending on your intention (expanding awareness, experiencing inner peace or calming your mind) you steer the session. It can range from breathing-awareness meditations to mantra-based mediations, or visualization or guided meditations. These sessions begin with deep breathing in a comfortable position and through inhaling and exhaling it brings awareness to your breathing and directing the mind to a single point of focus. Meditation is when you tune inward and be in the present with balance and clarity.
Mindfulness is the practice of meditation continued, it simply means being aware and paying attention to anything you do. You are actively mindful by paying attention to all your thoughts, behaviors, movements and how it affects those around you. Practicing mindfulness can be done anywhere, with anyone by showing your engagement and awareness of being in the present. Usually, our thoughts wander to 1000 different places but if you’re mindful all the senses and focus are directed to the activity you’re involved in and the mind does not wander. It’s been proved by a Harvard found that 47% of people spend their time thinking about something rather than focusing on the current activity. Researchers also said that “A wandering mind is an unhappy mind” as we keep worrying or stressing and simply not focusing.
Meditation is the practice through which you gain the skills of being more aware and mindfulness is applying this practice in real life. Mindfulness and meditation will have a positive effect on you and everyone around you.