What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is about being aware, noticing what is occurring at the present time and experiencing the sensory world as it occurs. It teaches you to focus your attention and to live within a moment to moment awareness.
(If you’re new to mindfulness click HERE to receive my Beginner’s Guide—Practicing Mindfulness to its Fullest Potential)
(If you already practice mindfulness, you might be interested in my recent post on the update to the RAIN technique of helping you be present in difficult moments)
Though Mindfulness is a heightened state of awareness and is often practiced in conjunction with meditation, the two are not interchangeable. Mindfulness is more than just meditating. It’s viewed in a much greater context.
Practicing Mindfulness is a way of living and being in the world. Mindfulness teaches you how to interact in a positive way, how to live in the moment and how to enjoy life to its fullest.
Mindfulness influences how you behave in relationships, how you concentrate and function at your job, how you react to adversity and stress, your decision-making skills, your interactions, your speech, health and so much more.
Moreover, unlike most meditation techniques, you are encouraged to practice Mindfulness during everyday tasks and functions, such as eating, driving, and walking.
Mindfulness is a technique that asks you to stay in the present moment. Living in the past or trying to foresee what lies ahead in your future are places where Mindfulness does not want you to dwell.
Living in the present, experiencing each moment fully and staying in touch with your everyday life and moments is what practicing Mindfulness is all about.Some people believe that Mindfulness is another type of meditation. It is similar but you are not actually meditating per se. You are more becoming aware of each and every thing that is happening in your life, focusing on the present and awakening your senses to enjoy the present moments fully.
How Mindfulness and Meditation Work Together
It’s easy to confuse Mindfulness with meditation or vice versa. The reason for this lies in the many definitions for both “activities” as well as the way both practices often intersect.
Mindfulness Meditation is a type of meditation where you focuses on your thoughts or on bodily stimuli, such as your breathing or sensations in and upon parts of your body and as a whole but you are also aware of outside stimuli.
Central to Mindful Meditation is observance and awareness without judgment or emotional involvement. You are merely an observer.
Mindfulness is an overall approach to how you live your life, whereas Mindful Meditation is one of the tools you use to live a mindful life. Mindful Meditation helps you practice being mindful with controlled or guided exercises.
Through this practice, you become more skilled at being mindful in your daily life.
You learn to ignore distractions and focus on experiencing the here and now. You become skilled at gently guiding yourself away from stray thoughts and back to what you are actually doing at the time.
You learn to disassociate from negative feelings that your thoughts can foster and become kinder and more understanding of yourself and others.
All of these lessons and skills are taught and learned through the practice of Mindful Meditation.
If you would like to receive bi-monthly mindfulness mini-lessons directly to your inbox, you can do so here.
Do you think you’ll try mindfulness meditation? If so, what is your one big question about it? Let me know in the comments below so I can get you your answer!
You might also want to check out my FAQ section for answers to your questions about mindfulness.