What’s the difference between mindfulness and meditation?
Meditation is a formal practice usually done sitting down in a comfortable position with an erect posture. The objective is to stay focused on your breath or an object, interrupting thoughts as they arise and moving yourself back to your breath or an object.
Mindfulness means bringing a meditative focus to simple daily activities such as washing up, or cleaning one’s teeth, or taking a shower, so that you remain focused on what you are doing and don’t allow your mind to wander all over the place. This is achieved by really noticing the physical sensations as they are happening e.g. the warm water flowing over your body in the shower.
Is Mindfulness religious?
No, you are asked only to be curious and accept only what you experience for yourself.
How long does it take to do?
You can spend as much or as little time practicing as suits you. When you first start it can help to practice regularly even if only for 1-2 minutes a day and build this up. With practice, it is possible to become increasingly mindful of just about everything you do and be mindful anywhere, anytime!
What if I find it isn’t for me?
That’s ok, everyone is different. We each need to find what works for us as individuals. Talk to your GP/consultant and get their advice on what else might be helpful.
How will I know if it is working?
It is best not to focus too much on results or be waiting for change. You could try taking a mental note of how you feel before and after you practice an exercise, and again after a week. Then after 3-4 weeks you take ‘time off’ practice to assess for yourself if there is any difference in yourself when you practice Mindfulness and when you don’t.