Mindfulness – noun –
the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Mindfulness and meditation are two terms that are often used interchangeably. And sometimes we are not able to understand the difference too. While they share many similarities, they are not the same thing.
Many years ago, as part of a talk in school towards the end of the year, I heard two young individuals share some of their experiences. Of course, they were part of a cult group which was gaining popularity towards then. Not being one given in to godman and their type, I listened in as it was necessary to be part of it. Today I do not remember what the topic was nor what those young fellows had said. But I do recollect that their account brought into my focus and consciousness these two words to mean different things and led me to explore their meanings for me in greater details in the years to come.
I thought as I wrote another piece for the Blogchatter A2Z challenge that with the letter ‘M’ I will explore the connection between mindfulness and meditation, and how mindfulness can be thought of as a form of meditation.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice that involves training the mind to focus and redirect thoughts. It is often associated with the Eastern spiritual traditions such as Buddhism, but it is not inherently religious. There are many different forms of meditation, but they all involve some form of mental training or discipline and guidance for the mind.
Meditation has been shown to have numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve concentration, and focus, and increase feelings of well-being and positivity.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a state of awareness that involves paying attention to the present moment with an attitude of curiosity and non-judgment. It is often described as being fully present and engaged in the here and now. Something which after the pandemic has become all the more relevant than it ever was.
Mindfulness can be practiced in a variety of ways, such as through meditation, yoga, or simply by bringing awareness to everyday activities such as eating or walking. To be knowing where we are as in this very moment, being aware of how and what of our mental being viz a viz with our environment and surroundings.
The Connection Between Mindfulness and Meditation – Is it there?
While mindfulness and meditation are not the same thing, they are closely related and linked. In fact, mindfulness can be thought of as a form of meditation.
When we practice mindfulness, we are training the mind to focus on the present moment and to be aware of our thoughts and feelings without judgment of any kind. This requires the same mental discipline and training that is involved in traditional meditation practices followed from time immemorial.
Also, many mindfulness practices involve formal meditation techniques, such as breath awareness or body scanning. These techniques are similar to those used in traditional meditation, but are often adapted for modern, secular settings making them more relatable and usable by everyone across the world irrespective of their religious beliefs and other societal affiliations.
The Benefits of Mindfulness as Meditation
Practicing mindfulness as a form of meditation is a deliberate attempt at reflection within ourselves and a conscious attempt to introspect deeply but truthfully. This can have numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. Here are just a few examples:
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Mindfulness meditation has shown to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. By bringing awareness to the present moment, we learn to let go of worries and concerns about the future or past and learn to enjoy the ‘now’!
Improved Concentration and Focus
Mindfulness meditation can also improve concentration and focus helping us to train the mind to focus on the present moment, become better at staying focused on tasks and activities on hand, right then and now.
Mindfulness meditation increases our self-awareness and helps in emotional regulation as we become aware of our thoughts and feelings and we learn to respond to them in more constructive & practical ways.
Greater Feelings of Well-Being
Mindfulness meditation increases the feelings of well-being and happiness within us by cultivating a sense of gratitude and acceptance as our learnings increase and we come to appreciate the present moment and find joy in everyday experiences.
I guess I can safely say that mindfulness is a form of meditation which helps our mind to live in the present, enjoy the ‘now’, enhance our curiosity and helps us deal with situations and people by being non-judgmental. By understanding mindfulness as a form of meditation, each of us can reap numerous benefits for our overall physical and mental health. So, whether you choose to practice mindfulness through traditional meditation techniques or through other activities such as yoga or walking, the essential principal idea is to bring awareness for ourselves to the present and to encourage our mind towards a journey of inquisitiveness and candidness.
This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023
1 thought on “Mindfulness is Meditation: Understanding the Connection”
Your article on the connection between mindfulness and meditation was a great read! I loved how you explained the difference between the two and how they complement each other. Your insights on how mindfulness can help with anxiety and stress were particularly helpful. Keep writing!
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