Leonard Street Counseling Center : Advice

I’m hearing the term mindfulness being used a lot lately. I sometimes feel funny when contemplating meditating. Is there a way of being practicing mindfulness without meditating?

Mindfulness and meditation overlap in some ways that compliment each other. Meditation involves a variety of techniques that attempts to help one in reaching ultimate consciousness and concentration. When meditating, you are purposely setting time aside to do something good to yourself, usually in a controlled environment.

Mindfulness, in turn, is a form of meditation where you bring full attention to the present moment. You are just being aware of what is happening in the present moment with out judgment. You are participating with awareness. This can be practiced formally and informally.
For instance, formal mindfulness practice may be sitting on a park bench, feeling the warm breeze blow on your face, see the reach details of the trees. You may turn your attention inward on how you may feel connected to this universe around you.

Informal mindfulness, may be doing any activity with awareness . Take driving. All drivers have driven mindlessly. Have you ever missed a turn to a destination very familiar to you? Mindfully driving may entail turning that radio off and devoting extra attention to noticing what is happening inside and outside of you. Do you detect tension in your stomach? Are your hands clenched tightly on the steering wheel? Are you cursing silently at the slow driver ahead of you? Driving mindfully is being aware of thoughts, sensations and feelings you are experiencing in that moment. You can be aware of your surroundings and just being a casual observer of your emotions. Just notice your irritation toward the driver ahead of you without judging yourself or the other driver.

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