Mindfulness and meditation are two commonly misunderstood philosophies and often believed to be synonymous. However, the truth of the matter is they share similar qualities but are fundamentally different and each philosophy is reliant upon the other. When conjoined, one is able to transcend to a desired meditative state, which is referred to as Mindfulness Meditation. A bit Confusing? I would agree.
You may be asking yourself these questions: What is the difference between mindfulness and meditation? What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Well according to Dictionary.com, mindfulness is “a technique in which one focuses one's full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them.” Meditation on the other hand is defined as: “continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation." The difference between the two is this: mindfulness is necessary for one to obtain meditation; and meditation is the reflection and interconnectedness of the mind, the body, and the spirit. This union is referred to as Mindfulness Meditation and is accompanied with a collection of cognitive and physical benefits that help reduce life stressors and regulate negative emotions which lead to a more healthy and productive way of life.
Today many people are more cognizant of their dietary needs, their exercise, and their physical and mental wellbeing. As a result, ancient holistic practices such as the cultivation and consumption of natural foods, the reintroduction of natural herbs and spices for homeopathic remedies, and other natural methodologies are being rediscovered and vetted by modern day science. For example, scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard Medical School conducted a study regarding Mindfulness Meditation in pursuit to comprehend and measure the benefits of mindfulness-based stress reduction. Participants engaged in this program for eight weeks and the results demonstrated neurological changes in an increase of grey matter concentration in the hippocampus. This is the region of the brain associated with governing and regulating emotion, arousal, and responsiveness, as reported by Britta K. Hölzel,, et al. In conclusion, the research highlighted some of the many benefits of Mindfulness Meditation encompases, to include: attention regulation, body awareness, emotional regulation, and change perspective on the self that enhances cognition and control.
In addition, Georgetown University Medical Center performed a study where participants observed disturbing images right after they meditated for the first time and had much more control over negative emotions similar to the participants who were more naturally mindful. In addition, they also conducted research that indicated that Mindfulness Meditation unlocked the ability to reduce stress hormones and inflammatory responses to stressful situations in people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and showed great potential in the decrease of other autoimmune disorders and physical ailments triggered by anxiety. This phenomenon suggests introductory mindfulness meditation allows participants the ability to reduce life stressors and negative emotions rather quickly.
In summary, researchers are beginning to scratch the surface of Mindfulness Meditation and unearthing numerous benefits to the mind, the body, and the spirit. In addition, once one begins the journey towards mastering this natural ability they are likely to find success by regulating emotions and reducing the impact of life stressors in a much more proactive and instinctive manner. This will lead to a more productive and healthy life.
If you are interested in learning more regarding Mindfulness Meditation or other holistic approaches, please submit your information below, or simply call me for a FREE consultation. I am happy to help!