Meditation, Relaxation and Mindfulness all need our full awareness to be successful, so how to they differ?
What is Meditation?
Meditation could be described as mindfulness or awareness: being relaxed but focused and aware on what you are doing right now.
Whenever you act with awareness you are also meditating.
Meditation is not about emptying the mind, instead it focuses the mind inwards, to observe our thoughts, to be in full awareness and hold the attention on one thing. This leads to a state of being free of all cares and concerns and a sense of peace and harmony.
What is Relaxation?
With most activities we take part in to relax, there is no focus; we let our minds drift, wandering in whichever direction it chooses to take. Conscious relaxation on the other hand brings the body and mind together drawing awareness to our thoughts and relaxing the body.
Relaxation techniques help us to focus the mind and stop thoughts wandering as well as allow the body to let go of any stress or strain. This calms the mind and relaxes tight muscles relieving aches and pains.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that encourages you to stay focused on the present moment. When we are mindful we are giving our full attention to what we are doing in the current moment – being aware of feelings, sensations, sounds and thoughts – fully aware of each experience.
Being mindful of our thoughts and noticing whether we are thinking about past, present or future events, helps us to return to the present moment and stop our busy minds wandering. We notice our thoughts without being involved with them, just be aware of what we are thinking, without judgment or emotions, we simply accept whatever arises.