You may have heard of mindfulness meditation but not know what it is about. Mindfulness and meditation are technically two different things, but they are also closely related.
Mindfulness meditation involves keeping your mind focused on the present moment. Mindfulness is being fully aware of every sensation working harmoniously. Meditating is when your mind is still and goes to a completely calm state without distractions.
There are various ways to practice mindfulness meditation. If you want to discover more about mindfulness meditation, peruse this article.
Are Mindfulness and Meditation the Same Thing?
Meditation and mindfulness are both based on similar concepts. Mindfulness is the ability to reside in the present moment by utilizing all the senses involved with thinking, feeling, and experiencing. Meditation is where you still your mind and focus in a quiet, peaceful space. Meditation is a mental training technique in which you practice deep breathing and letting go of conscious thoughts.
You can practice mindfulness without meditating. However, you cannot practice meditation without mindfulness. For instance, you cannot be in deep meditation without being mindful of the present moment. You are not meditating efficiently if you allow your thoughts to consume you and do not focus on your breath. Some different types of meditation:
- Mindfulness meditation
- Loving-kindness meditation
- Nature-inspired meditation
- Vipassana meditation
- Transcendental meditation
- Guided meditation
- Yoga meditation
- Chakra meditation
When you fall into deep meditation, you experience a heightened state of awareness. During meditation, if your mind wanders, you will just put the focus back on your breath. You learn to let go of the thoughts that are not serving you and allow your mind to focus on something, whether the flame of a candle or a spot on the wall; you will concentrate and achieve a wakeful relaxation.
What Does Mindfulness Involve?
When you practice mindfulness, the goal is more about being aware of your thoughts during real-life situations. For example, you can practice mindful walking outside, in which you allow yourself to be aware of the sights, sounds, and smells around you.
With mindfulness, there is no judgment. Much like meditation, you want to be as free from distraction as possible. It is the practice of keeping your mind in a calm state and simply observing everything around you. With mindfulness, you are more in the natural act of your daily life.
Examples of Practicing Mindful Meditation
Mindfulness and meditation are so closely related that sometimes it can be difficult to tell them apart. The two practices complement each other well. The essential component of mindful meditation is staying in the present moment. You will be allowed to experience it on a deeper level. The following includes some examples of practicing mindfulness meditation:
Walking Mindfulness Meditation
You could practice mindfulness meditation by taking a walk in your neighborhood. You could take a nature walk during the fall season and experience the assortment of different colored leaves, immersing yourself in the burgundy, scarlet, amber, and burnt orange sea of autumn foliage. Pay attention to the colors and how they make you feel.
It is not only considered mindfulness, but if you incorporate deep breathing, it can also be considered meditation, as walking is an active meditation. It allows you to be fully present and in the moment as you take in the beautiful scenery. You focus on each step and the path you are walking. Allow your breath to become aligned with every step you take. Some tips when you are doing a walking meditation:
- Stand up tall and straight
- Keep your shoulders back
- Relax your gaze and focus
- Breathe from your diaphragm
As you take each step forward, feel your feet touching the ground beneath you. Experience the sensations that come with your movement. Feel the brisk wind blowing around your face and listen to the songbirds sweetly singing. Look up at the blue sky and view the clouds. Feel how you are a part of everything, from the ground to the sky. Walking meditation clears the mind of negative thoughts.
Lie Down and Breathe
Lie down on your back and bend your knees. Feel free to have a soft pillow underneath your head if it is more comfortable. Softly place your hands on your stomach, one on top of the other. Focus your attention on your breathing; inhale and exhale slowly. Feel your stomach gently rise from below. As your diaphragm contacts, your belly will expand. Feel the air in your lungs.
Count your breaths. Every time you inhale and exhale, count. Let the air in deeper and deeper with each count. Pay attention to how mindful breathing is making you feel. Keep the focus on your breath. Remember, if your mind wanders, return to your breath, keeping your diaphragm engaged with each breath. Mindful breathing is a form of breathwork and is mindful meditation.
Feel the Sand on the Beach
The beach is full of breathtaking scenery and sensations. Sit on the beach and dig your feet into the wet sand, feeling the grainy sand between your toes. Immerse yourself in the softness of the surface of the beach. Feel the waves rising and falling and splashing onto your skin. Smell the ocean breeze and relax your body. Experience the warmth of the sun on your face.
A cool breeze comes over you. Listen to the hypnotic sounds of a seashell against your ear. Touch the shell with your hands and feel its texture. Dig your feet into the sand deeper, close your eyes and truly experience the smoothness of the sand. The beach is a beautiful place to use all your five senses and practice mindful meditation.
How Can I Learn More About Mindfulness Meditation?
You can learn more about meditation at https://www.myvinyasapractice.com/ and their Youtube channel. Some other apps for mindfulness meditation:
- The Mindfulness App has guided and silent meditations
- Headspace helps with anxiety and focus
- Better Sleep background tracks for sleep
- Insight Timer guided meditations and sounds
Mindfulness daily also offers mindful breathing and body scans. You can also learn a lot about your emotions. Sanvello: Anxiety and depression is a good app for helping with mental health and overall well-being.
Mindfulness and meditation are closely related and work interchangeably. Mindfulness meditation occurs when you focus on the present moment and experience every sensation. Many apps can teach you more about mindfulness meditation and how it can help your life. Dive more into meditation journey by reading our Introduction to Meditation guide to know Meditation From A Yogic Perspective.