Colouring books, apps and meditation centres are popping up everywhere. There are almost monthly articles in the newspapers proclaiming its benefits.
These benefits have been understood in eastern traditions for centuries. What is mindfulness and meditation and how could it help you?
Firstly, let’s establish an understanding of the two words.
Mindfulness is about being present in the moment. Choosing not to live life on autopilot, but become more engaged in your daily life. This could be anything from noticing the sunrise, to becoming aware of how you feel in a certain situation, or being deeply engaged in conversation.
Meditation is then defined as a technique to encourage and develop concentration, clarity and a calmness to allow us to see the true nature of things. There are many different types of meditation. It is important to understand how these 2 words are different but are also intricately linked.
I like to use a sports analogy when discussing this with my clients.
Meditation is the training. This is comprised of consistency, focus and a willingness and openness to learn.
Mindfulness is the game (of life). With the training you are more confident to produce a better, more balanced and consistent performance on game day.
Acknowledging that I have over simplified these concepts, I find it helps to differentiate between the two. It also demonstrates how they are linked and one without the other will not allow for the full potential.
By engaging in meditation you begin to learn the patterns of the mind. These patterns are often learnt behaviours, habits, which without realising will effect how we interact in our daily life.
There is now an abundance of research on the positive benefits of regular meditation practice and this is starting to change how some practitioners and doctors talk about pain, stress and chronic inflammation.
Do you have any stories of how regular mediation has had a positive impact on your life?