Is Mindfulness The Same As Meditation?

Updated Jun 21
Meditation is often used in mindfulness practices, but the two are very different when you look at them individually. Let's take a look at those differences.
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It seems that you can't check a self-care and lifestyle page without seeing mindfulness and meditation spread across multiple different articles. Because of this, oftentimes, meditation and mindfulness are considered the same thing. But is mindfulness the same as meditation?

Meditation is often used in mindfulness practices, but the two are very different when you look at them individually. Mindfulness is about being aware of the mind and your surroundings so that you can continue to stay in the present. Whereas meditation is about transcending the mind. In other words, mindfulness is about getting into contact with the inner workings of our mental, emotional, and physical beings. In contrast, meditation is a tool that helps you relax into your natural self.

This might sound confusing to some, so we want to take a more in-depth look at mindfulness and meditation and how they differ from each other. The truth is that both of them are vital tools for helping you find your way to a more balanced and fulfilling life, and though we want you to understand the difference, we highly hope that you choose to utilize both.

Mindfulness: A Way To Be Aware Of Your Life

Mindfulness is a practice that is meant to help build awareness of the present moment. This practice is used during a multitude of different situations and includes actively listening as well as taking in your senses on a moment-to-moment basis. In other words, you're trying to focus your mind completely on the experience that is occurring for you at that time.

For instance, if you are eating, that means taking the time to chew the food, taste the food, smell the food, and use every other sense so that you are fully present when you're eating your meal.

This is important because if you don't have the awareness, it prevents you from listening to your body and mind and knowing what's right for you. It also affects your relationships and how you see the world because you're constantly looking to the moment and not the past or the future. This can help with a lot of different mental health issues as well as physical health issues because it allows you to become more in tune with your body's needs.

When you are choosing mindfulness, you're looking at living your life as a beginner. This means that you're listening and tuning into everything around you so that you are experiencing that moment for the very first time and you're experiencing every single moment in the same way.

Meditation: Insight Into Your Inner Universe

Meditation is more about looking inside rather than outside. Though mindfulness does touch on looking at your feelings within, meditation is more about clearing the mental static and allowing yourself to really hone in on your feelings. There is a multitude of different types of meditation, including guided meditation and focused meditation.

Meditation can be used in many ways and is helpful in building a mindful thought process. It allows you to cultivate the skill of listening to your thoughts, acknowledging them, and letting them go. This will build self-awareness so that you can be able to better align with your inner thoughts and feelings.

Eliminating some of the mental chatter can also help you with mental health issues and relieve stress and anxiety. Along with this, there are a lot of other health-related benefits to incorporating meditation into your everyday practice. But with that being said, you can do meditation without a mindfulness practice. Just like you can do a mindfulness practice without meditation.

Is Mindfulness the Same as Meditation: A Look At The Differences

So now that we've taken a look at each of these individual topics, we can really look at what the differences between them are. Mindfulness and meditation are not the same things. Though they can be used in conjunction to create a more whole wellness journey, they can also be used individually to do the same thing.

There are plenty of similarities when it comes to these two practices. They're both intended to help you relieve stress and anxiety while building a more profound life. But along with that, there are plenty of differences that clearly delineate that meditation and mindfulness are not the same things.

So what are the differences?

The first difference is that when you're doing mindfulness, you're focusing on being aware, and when you're looking to add meditation to your daily life, you're looking to transcend the mind. In other words, mindfulness has you focusing on being present and feeling and listening to everything that your body is telling you at that moment.

Doing this allows you to have more focus and pay more attention so that you stay in that situation. It also helps build acceptance and the ability to be non-judgmental. By being able to pull yourself out of this situation, you can see everything with a clearer mind.

Meditation allows you to connect to your inner thoughts and transcend the mind. This means that it helps you get past mental activity and really align your energies so that you can be in a more peaceful state of being. Another difference is that mindfulness focuses on having an active mind so that you can consistently observe the world around you as well as how it makes you feel.

Whereas meditation is intended to help you expand your mind until you're able to have a clear mind. This basically means you're trying to calm your body and realign your energies so that you can clear your mind of the clutter of the day. Another big difference is the effort that it takes for each of these practices.

Mindfulness wants you to be aware and focused on the situation. This means that you have to make an effort to do this. There are a lot of active processes that go with a successful mindfulness practice. On the other hand, meditation is focused on no effort. You are meant to sit and have a state of blankness to help realign your energies and make you better all around. Though there are many other differences, the last big one is directly correlated to thoughts.

When you are executing mindfulness practices, you are watching your thoughts. You are intended to be fully aware of everything that's happening in your mind so that you can analyze the situation and stay present. On the other hand, during meditation, the idea is to take those thoughts and let them go. This is so that you can control your mind and clear out the clutter so that you have reduced stress and anxiety and can make decisions on a more focused basis.

Final Thoughts

Mindfulness and meditation are not replacements for each other. In fact, some tools often go hand in hand because they work well together. It is a natural occurrence that you will become more mindful if you begin to meditate. Still, on the other hand, if you execute mindfulness practices, you may not have as profound an inner connection to your personal experience in the world without a meditation practice of some sort being included in your practices.

This is why when we discuss the differences between mindfulness and meditation, we want you to understand those differences but to also understand that they are best used in combination with each other. Quite simply, by using these two practices in correlation with each other, you will be carving a path to finding that happier and healthier life most of us are striving for.

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