Top 4 Differences Between Mindfulness And Meditation

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Differences between mindfulness and meditation can be way more than you might think. These two terms can not be used interchangeably. The key difference between the two is there’s only one rule for mindfulness. Where in meditation there can be a different set of rules for each type of meditation.

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What Distinguishes Mindfulness From Meditation Practice?

It will be easy to differentiate between the two after understanding what they mean and how they can be practiced in daily life.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness can be understood as a state of being in the present moment awareness. Being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings.

It is the practice of observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. “Without Judgement” is the keyword here when it comes to observing and being mindful.

You don’t need to have a designated place a time to be mindful. Mindfulness can be practiced at any moment of the day and anywhere. You can even be mindful in your shower or while eating your meal. 

You can even be mindful when scrolling through social media, and it can be a game changer for your life. It’s one of the challenging things to stay mindful of when we are scrolling through social media. The dopamine we get and the way social media is designed to keep us engaged.

This doesn’t mean that you must be mindful every time you scroll. But you can always be mindful of what you are paying attention to and the types of information you feel in your mind. 

For example, you can check your timeline every once in a while. Make an effort to become aware of what kind of content is being suggested to you. Whether these types of content are helping you grow or not. 

This is just an example of how mindfulness works. 

You can use your senses of touch, taste, sight, hearing, and smell in order to be mindful anytime, anywhere. You can also use formal sit-down meditation practice to increase your awareness and ability to be mindful.

Meditation

Meditation, on the other hand, is a more specific practice. It involves focusing your attention on a particular object, thought, activity, or on nothing. 

It’s a practice that is used to train your mind to focus and be more present. 

Yes, sitting down and focusing on nothing can also be a type of meditation. There are many different types of meditation. Mindfulness meditation is also one of those former types of meditation. 

There are meditations for increasing your focus and accomplishing certain goals in life. Some types of meditation can also help you open your heart and understand your emotions. 

There are literally several ways you can meditate.

Related: Best Direction For Meditation: Effects, Benefits, And Alternatives

Let’s take a look at a few categories of meditation and how they help us. 

  1. Meditation with mantras and affirmations: 

You can recite mantras or affirmations during meditation. You can even listen to the mantra or affirmations well you are meditating. Mantras and affirmations have vibrations. When combined with a meditative state of mind, they have a bigger impact. 

  1. Spiritual energy meditation: 

Chakra meditation, loving and kindness meditation, and healing meditation types are under the category of spiritual energy meditation. Religious types of meditation can also fall under Spiritual meditation, depending on their goals. 

  1. Guided meditation: 

There are a variety of guided meditations, including mindfulness, progressive relaxation for better sleep, reducing anxiety, and increasing motivation. The list is truly endless. 

  1. Silent meditation: 

A type of meditation where you remove all the noises from your surroundings. The goal of silent meditation is no noises, no songs, no music, nothing, just being focused and present. 

These are just some of the categories of meditation. You can check out this blog post to learn more about all major types of meditations.

If you are looking forward to trying guided meditation and meditation with affirmations and mantras. You can easily access them online. The Enhanced meditation app has the richest collection of powerful meditation. So, if you wish to try some advanced level of meditation, then you can sign up for Enhanced free.

Mindfulness and meditation are sometimes used interchangeably, even though they are different practices. Both mindfulness and meditation can be useful tools to help you improve your mental well-being. However, understanding the differences can help you choose the right practice for you. 

So, while mindfulness is a state of being, meditation is a tool that helps you achieve that state. 

4 Key Differences Between Mindfulness And Meditation

Let’s look at some of the key differences between mindfulness and meditation.

Mindfulness Is A Lifestyle, And Meditation Is A Practice

Many might consider mindfulness “a practice,” but in essence, it is a lifestyle. The goal of implementing mindfulness is to be able to be mindful of everything we do. Eating food, walking, and spending time with our family can be part of mindful living. 

Let’s look at key points on mindfulness can be considered a lifestyle: 

  • After a while of being mindful, we don’t need to make an effort frosting mindful throughout the day. 
  • Being present and spending more time experiencing each moment start changing the way we live. 
  • Over time we slowly develop the quality of being mindful, and it becomes part of our mental programming. 
  • Adapting to being mindful throughout the day is a lot like bringing lifestyle changes. 
  • Even if you do mindfulness meditation, you don’t stop being mindful after the meditation session ends.

Meditation is a practice because we practice it to develop different qualities. Through meditation, we practice increasing our focus span, having control over our thoughts, and being aware and mindful.

Meditation includes different techniques to help us focus our minds for a specific period of time. Depending on personal preferences, each meditation can last from five minutes to an hour each day. 

The more often we practice meditation, the better we become at focusing on something. It is a lot like training our minds to have more control over how we think and react.

You Can Practice Mindfulness Anywhere, But Can’t Meditate

In order to practice meditation, you need some quiet and safe space. It will become impossible to focus if you are not feeling safe enough to close your eyes. Most meditations require us to turn our focus inwards. It is essential to feel safe, and the surroundings need to be quiet for that to happen. 

To be mindful means to be present, and you can ground yourself anytime, anywhere. You don’t need to close your eyes. You can always use your Five Senses to ground yourself at the moment. Taking a few deep breaths can also help you get your awareness back to the present. 

You can be mindful even when you watch a movie or when you are at a concert. It is is the art of pulling your consciousness back to the present moment every time it wanders into the past or future.

Mindfulness Can Also Be Practiced As Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is the term for why meditation and mindfulness practice can be confused with each other. 

We live in a busy world, constantly striving for perfection and growth. Many people prefer to prioritize productivity over rest. But some people prefer to take time to sit back and rest for a moment. 

Mindfulness provides us the flexibility to choose. You can choose to set aside time for mindfulness meditation, or you can adapt to mindful productivity. 

On the other hand, formal meditation practice requires us to take time away from our busy schedules. Even if you are engaged in active meditation, you will still need to set aside a designated time. 

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What Does Mindfulness As Meditation Practice Looks Like?

Informal mindfulness practice eliminates the need to pause. You can continue to engage in your daily routine like before. The only thing that change is your intention to be conscious and present in whatever you are doing. It can be as simple as being present when having a conversation with someone instead of worrying about all the things you need to do. 

There can be days when you don’t want to stop working and being productive, and there can also be days when you want to rest. Having a designated time for meditating and pausing can feel extremely rewarding. When you want to rest, taking a break and meditating is a great way to gain your energy back. But it can also feel hindering on the days you want to stay productive. 

The unique thing about mindfulness is that you don’t need to reduce productivity to practice awareness. At the same time, meditation doesn’t provide you with the option.

You Don’t Need Guidance To Practice Mindfulness

There is a lot to learn when it comes to the formal practice of meditation. Most of the time, it’s best to learn from someone who’s been meditating for a long time. 

Many meditations can be so complex that there are many courses available for learning meditation. There is also a plethora of guided meditations available all over the internet because of this particular reason. 

Meditations like chakra meditation, vipassana meditation, and transcendental meditation should be done under the guidance of experts. 

Healing meditations also require a lot of learning before you can start doing them. 

On the other hand, the quality of being mindful can be cultivated by self-learning. It is easier to learn even if you are a beginner in the world of meditation and spirituality. Mindfulness is the easiest point to start your journey with.

You can still start with using guided mindfulness meditation to get a feel of how you can incorporate formal meditation and mindfulness together. It can help a lot to increase mindful attitude and actions in your daily life.

Research-Backed Benefits Of Mindfulness And Meditation

Mindfulness is a part of meditation, and there are various benefits of practicing mindfulness and meditation. The best part of practicing both together is the peace of being present doesn’t end with your meditation session.

  1. Relief From Pain: Research done with a small group of people suggests meditation can provide pain relief. Meditation is definitely not an alternative to treatments, but meditation can effectively reduce pain along with pain relief treatments.
  2.  Helps With Depression: A study published in 2019 says that mindfulness meditation can be helpful in treatment-resistant depression. The research also says the effect of mindfulness meditation on depression can last for six months or more.
  3. Treatment For Anxiety: The same study has also shown that as adjunctive therapy, mindfulness meditation can treat anxiety disorders. 

Anxiety and depression are difficult, no matter the severity. The research and studies done in this direction affirming the effectiveness of meditation can be life-saving. Overall mental health and well-being are significant for living a quality life. Spiritual practices such as meditation and spiritual growth can help enhance our quality of life

How To Make Mindfulness Part Of Your Everyday Life?

It’s alright if you can’t sit down and meditate every day. It is also okay if you often forget to stay mindful. Forgiving yourself and not dwelling on the past moments is being mindful. The first step in making mindfulness part of your everyday activities is to forgive yourself whenever you forget to practice.

You Can Keep These Points In Mind To Practice Mindfulness Effortlessly.

  • Practice non-judgment: It’s very important to practice non-judgment. Being present without getting caught up in thoughts is only possible with a non-judgmental attitude. Practice this not only for others but also for yourself. 
  • Use your senses to ground yourself: Senses can help a lot to be in the present moment. Whenever you catch yourself feeling anxious, tuning into your senses can work wonders. 
  • Observe your surroundings: Observing your surrounding is another easy way to stay present. Take a few deep breaths and sit down for a few seconds, just being an observer.

Conclusion

Being mindful is way different than meditation, even though they seem the same on the surface. It’s beautiful how mindfulness is a part of meditation, yet a lot more than that. 

Practicing mindfulness can pave the path for your spiritual journey and dive deeper into other meditation practices. You can easily start your mindful, spiritual journey right this second with the Enhanced meditation app.

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