Meditation and mindfulness are two words frequently used interchangeably, but their meanings are drastically different. Then, what makes the confusion arise? As both are interrelated and meant to better your lives, such puzzlement may come up. The debatable topic of how to define and differentiate mindfulness and meditation may never be solved, but you can definitely learn the basic difference between the two. The 7 basic differences between mindfulness and meditation are compiled on this page. Check them out and start your journey to healthy and peaceful living with a sound mind. Before knowing the difference between mindfulness and meditation, you should know what they actually mean. So, let’s start with understanding what mindfulness and meditation denote.
The word mindfulness is a straightforward one suggesting a mind that is attentive and aware of the surrounding and reacts to everything without being overwhelmed.
The definition of mindfulness may sound simple, but attending it is a long process requiring sincerity and dedication. There are many barriers you need to pass by to have a victorious situation.
The mind has its way of tricking you and loitering in an imaginary world. It thinks of things without physically experiencing them. Engrossed in its obsessive thought, many a time, you are not capable of comprehending things that are physically happening in front of you. In short, you lose your mind in several instances. When you win over your mind and maintain a precise moment-by-moment awareness of your bodily experience, feelings, surroundings, and thoughts with a thoughtful nurturing gesture, you attain mindfulness.
You cannot achieve mindfulness in a day’s time or two. It requires patience and practice; it needs you to focus and concentrate on things important without getting distracted. Along with focus, mindfulness seeks acceptance; it requires you to attend to your thoughts without having a judgemental mind. You can sense mindfulness when you cherish the present without rehashing your imaginary world or your past.
How to attend mindfulness? What are the practices that can help us achieve it? Here is when meditation comes into play. Read further to know about meditation and how it fuels the process of achieving mindfulness.
Meditation is a practice that calms your nerves and helps you relax and experience good emotions like joy, peace, and love. When you make it a part of your life, it enables you to have deep rest. It is a way of life that helps you win over stress and maintain mental hygiene.
In today’s world, where agility and stress are the only constants, meditation is a necessity. It can improve your life on multiple levels. From calming your mind to increasing your concentration, it offers benefits in manifolds. It helps you improve your skills of communication and balance our emotions. Not only does it give clarity to your thoughts, but it can increase your inner strength and numerous healing powers.
Take one step at a time to witness the power of meditation. Start with meditation, suitable for beginners; even if you manage to concentrate and keep your mind at peace for even 10 minutes, it will have ample positive effects on your body. Keep doing this and keep increasing the time you dedicate to the same each day. Within a few sessions, you can make out a difference it makes in your life.
7 Mindfulness and Meditation Differences
Meditation vs mindfulness is an overwhelming discussion difficult to answer. To make it easier to understand the difference between mindfulness and meditation, here are 7 key attributes.
1. Mindfulness is a behavioural quality, and meditation is an activity
Meditation vs mindfulness should not be something you should focus on. Your focus should be on making both these a part of your life. According to Dr Lagoy, mindfulness is a way to fight negative vibes and thoughts. It helps you to assess any situation in a neutral position. On the contrary, researchers define meditation as an exercise of your mind that helps you live free from anxiety and fearful mental encounters. While mindfulness can be described as a way of living, meditation is an exercise that can help you lead a mindful life. In other words, meditation is a way to achieve mindfulness.
2. Meditation is one of many paths to achieving mindfulness
Meditation is an ancient practice that can be tricky to learn. It is the way to control your mind and develop a sense of living a peaceful life. It is an unchartered territory, many of whose benefits are yet to be found. One of the most prominent benefits of meditation is attending mindfulness. The practice enables you to control your senses and act wishfully, implying you develop your personality in such a way that helps to tolerate and comprehend things at various levels. You do not react to everything around you, and you gain the calm required to achieve success in complex situations. From self-actualisation to avoiding self-judgement, you learn to love yourself more and be a grounded person who can assess situations and come to a clear conclusion. In other words, meditation aids in achieving mindfulness.
3. Mindfulness can be formal and informal, unlike meditation
Meditation is a paradox as it requires you to practice something while doing nothing. In layman’s words, it is the journey you explore to observe and understands your inner self while being in an idle state. This can be a tiresome process for most people as work is something we prioritise the most, and meditating indirectly supports the stagnation of work for a certain period. In such a situation, achieving mindfulness requires other measures, rather informal ways. Thankfully, there are multiple ways to achieve mindfulness, like mindful eating, mindfully communication, and mindfully walking. In short, you can attend mindfulness while doing your day-to-day activities. However, it requires you to be watchful of your actions and the way you do things.
4. Mindfulness is a powerful attribute used in the treatment that does not include meditation
Mindfulness is an attribute that helps you stay mentally fit and evaluate and increase self-esteem and acceptance. Many psychiatrists set achieving mindfulness as a goal for their patients as it is something that solves most mental health issues. One fine example of treatment using mindfulness as a key feature is dialectical behaviour therapy (DPT). This is a therapy that includes specialised steps to help people build a wise mind. This is done by inculcating skills as defined by Kabat Zinn, the founder of Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Every DBT therapist helps people to reach a state of mindfulness without indulging in any formal practice like meditation. This keeps you going without having to make space for additional practice.
5. Meditation is a broad discipline, while mindfulness is a part of it
Meditation and mindfulness are interchangeable entities but can have separate standpoints. Meditation does not only focus on achieving mindfulness; it is an activity that promotes thoughtful living with divine intervention. It promotes a sound mind for a stress-free living besides increasing concentration. It helps our wandering mind to find a place of solace and focus on the essentials of life. Meditation has the potential to train your mind to concentrate and live a fruitful life while concentrating on matters of higher importance.
6. Meditation impacts our physical well-being, but mindfulness cannot
Meditation is proven effective in reducing various physical ailments like palpitation and sinus issues. On the contrary, mindfulness has no such effects on our bodies. Meditation has helped people with high blood pressure patients to decrease it without the intervention of any medicine. It reduces headaches, back pain, and many other problems. It improves sleep and helps enhance cognitive functions.
7. Mindfulness can be a way of life, but meditation needs time to practice
Mindfulness can be your partner in every aspect of life, while meditation is a practice that requires a certain time. You can implement mindfulness in your life while you do your everyday chores. In every segment of your work or your personal life, mindfulness can play an integral role. It helps you understand the situation, analyse how to behave, and act accordingly. It teaches you to tackle complex situations in a thoughtful manner without taking out time to practice them as it becomes a part of your life.
Meditation and mindfulness are two distinct practices you can use together or separately to improve your overall quality of life. An amalgamation of both helps improve mental health, physical well-being, and emotional balance. Mindfulness encourages you to observe your thoughts and emotions without judgment or bias, while meditation provides a peaceful and focused avenue for self-reflection. Ultimately, it is your choice to decide which practice is best for you. With mindfulness and meditation, you can achieve greater clarity of mind, increased psychological resilience, and a calmer sense of being.
Mindfulness VS Meditation FAQs:
What is the difference between meditation and mindfulness?
The primary difference between the terms mindfulness and meditation is that the former, that is, mindfulness, is a state of being or mind, but the latter, meditation, is a physical activity.
What is the relationship between mindfulness and meditation?
Meditation and mindfulness are interrelated as mindfulness is controlling and accepting self-behaviour, which can be attained by the practice of meditation.
How do I practice mindfulness and meditation?
To practice meditation, it is important to find a peaceful place and sit in a relaxed padmasana posture. Close your eye and focus on your thoughts. Concentrate on your mind rather than the physical world. Practice this every day for at least 15 minutes to attain composure and calm. Mindfulness can be achieved by being watchful of what you eat, how your talk, and how you do the things that you regularly do. Try to be the best version of yourself without being too hard and judgemental. Step by step, you will attain mindfulness.
What is better, meditation or mindfulness?
That depends on what you seek in your life. If your actions and words are hampering your life, achieving mindfulness is your answer, whereas if you want to live stress-free with a calm mind while being mindful, meditation is the key.