thing to know

The Difference Between Mindfulness And Meditation

...and the importance of both.

Mindfulness is a state that we can enter through meditation. In other words, meditation can be a vehicle towards mindfulness, but you don’t need to meditate to be mindful. You can mindfully walk, eat, and brush your teeth, among other things. Being mindful simply requires your full attention on the task at hand, and softening your mind to be nonjudgemental about the process. We take away the labeling of “good”or “bad” and just accept what is. (This, of course, takes practice!)

The essential element is self-compassion.

In order to cultivate non-judgement and acceptance in our lives, it is important to have a strong sense of self-compassion. Why? Because as humans, we are naturally inclined to criticize and be hard on ourselves, especially when we fail or things go wrong. Without self-compassion, we have nothing to counter the inner critic with. This may worsen already negative experiences, and dim the light on positive ones.

But isn’t my inner critic motivating?

The short answer? NO! Would you motivate a friend or loved one by being hard, mean or critical of them? Probably not. We know that this way of approaching them would likely make them feel worse, thus less motivated. If we approach with kindness, support, and reassurance, we are more likely to progress and move forward.

(Image via Unsplash.)

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