Is Being Mindful and Relaxed the Same Thing?
The short answer is "no". Simply put, being mindful is being aware, and being relaxed is to be free of tension.
Being mindful is to become aware of how you are feeling physically, emotionally, mentally, and increasing awareness of your environment. Being mindful is tuning in to how you are experiencing the present moment and withholding judgment about that experience. That might mean becoming aware that you are pretty relaxed, or the exact opposite, you may be feeling triggered or stresses.
Relaxation is the state of being free from tension. This could be physically or mentally. Many people use mindfulness practices to identify areas of tension that need attention in order to help them relax.
For example, if I sit back, and pay attention to my shoulders and neck, I may notice that I'm tensing up my muscles, and that this is giving me a headache. With this awareness, I decide to roll my shoulders back a few times, take a couple of deep breaths, and purposely allow these muscles to loosen. Often, the outcome of a mindful practice is to become relaxed.
This session below will give a brief introduction to the process and benefits of meditation
and mindfulness, including a number of beginner’s tips to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life. It will also include a 20-minute guided meditation which will provide participants with a real world example of mindfulness and a chance to relax in the midst of their busy work day.
If you are in need of support with integrating mindfulness practice into your life, reach out to your EFAP for support. You can access counsellors and health coaches that can support you on this journey.