Mindfulness vs Meditation... Do You Know the Difference?
Mindfulness and meditation, are these words interchangeable? Well, we do live during a time where Eastern philosophy is beginning to seep into the mainstream Western way of life, so words like mindfulness and meditation are becoming everyday terms, but is there really a difference?
Because these terms are often used in a similar context, confusion about the differences between mindfulness and meditation is totally understandable. In fact, mindfulness and meditation embody many similarities and can overlap, but they are not exactly the same.
While meditation and mindfulness can be explained in many different ways, here is our simplified explanation of the two.
Meditation is an intentional practice, where you focus inward to increase calmness, concentration, and emotional balance. Seated meditation usually begins with deep breathing in a comfortable position, bringing all your awareness to your breath—inhales and exhales—consciously guiding the mind toward an anchor, or a single point of focus. In meditation, you typically spend a focused chunk of time—anywhere from a minute to an hour or more—in which you are tuned inward.
Mindfulness is all about being aware, which of course includes the practice of meditation. When you are being actively mindful, you are noticing and paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and movements, and also to the effects you have on those around you.
You can practice mindfulness anytime, anywhere, and with anyone by showing up and being fully engaged in the here and now. Mindfulness is the simple act of paying attention and noticing and being present in whatever you’re doing. When most people go about their daily lives, their minds wander from the actual activity they are participating in, to other thoughts or sensations. When you’re mindful, you are actively involved in the activity with all of your senses instead of allowing your mind to wander.
Mindfulness can be practiced both informally (at any time/place) and formally (during seated meditation). Where meditation is usually practiced for a specific amount of time, mindfulness can be applied to any situation throughout the day.
At Trini Tribe we incorporate both mindfulness and meditation into our daily practice and work to share both styles with our Tribe in our programs and events. But if you not 100% where to start in your own practice, or need a little reminder how to tune in, here are 3 simple ways you can begin to infuse more mindfulness into your day.
1. TUNE INTO YOUR BREATHING
During a busy day, allow yourself to re-center and feel three breaths move in and out of the body. Then slow down the exhalation which helps to trigger the relaxation response. Extending the breath in this way sends a message to the parasympathetic nervous system (the system that opposes the stress response) to calm down the body.
2. USE TECHNOLOGY WITH AWARENESS
Sitting at a computer all day, or maybe checking in with your phone often? Bring awareness to your posture. Often when we are looking at our screens our shoulders round forward which creates tension in the chest, neck, and shoulders. During these times, check in with your body as much as possible whilst working and try to soften your shoulders down your back to create more space in the body.
3. USE YOUR SURROUNDINGS AS A CIRCUIT BREAKER
Take moments in the day to tune in and direct your attention externally by tuning in to your senses. Listen to the sounds in the room, see the space you are in, notice the temperature and smells. By tuning in to your senses, just for a few moments, you give your mind a micro break from the stress of thinking.
Remember that these are practices, and are to be worked with over the span of our lives. So perfection and goals of being “THE BEST MEDITATOR” or “THE MOST MINDFUL PERSON" aren’t really a thing and do not hold validity. Each day, each moment, we do our best.
If you are looking for some additional guidance on how to incorporate more mindfulness into and guided meditation into your life well look no further than upcoming online program
“COURSE TO CONNECTION”
This shorter 4-week course is designed for women who are wanting to explore a richer connection to themselves and are interested in learning more about:
We will be offering “Course to Connection” at a discounted "beta" price in hopes to gain your lovely feedback for future courses and programs. For more information click the button below!
As always we deeply appreciate you and your support!
Hadley + Mija ( Team Trini Tribe)