Mindfulness vs. Meditation: What’s the Difference and Which One is Better for You?

Mindfulness Vs Meditation Woman Meditating
Photo Courtesy of Pexels – cottonbro studio

Mindfulness and meditation are principles that have valuable advantages for the mind. Though they may be closely related, the two are different. Thus, you might be wondering which form is better for you regarding mindfulness vs. meditation. Therefore, let me help explain.

Meditation is an ancient practice that some believe originated in 1500 B.C.E. (before the Christian Era) India. Another school of thought credits the Chinese for starting it around the 3rd or 6th century BC.

On the other hand, meditation is a fairly new technique for mastering the mind. It became popular around 1979 based on the work of Jon Kabat-Zin with his mindfulness-based stress reduction concept.

First of all, meditation is more about hushing the mind and blocking out all the interference in the brain. Mindfulness, however, is more about learning how to channel thoughts and redirecting your focus. Though this may sound the same, meditation also involves positioning the body and slow breathing as added tools that work together to soothe and clear the mind.

With mindfulness, you know consciously what you’re trying to do with mind. This sounds confusing because the two concepts can blend together at times. For example, you could be using mindfulness by trying to concentrate on seeing yourself in a new position in your career. You are aware of what are doing by envisioning yourself in that bigger corner office, but you don’t have to breathe differently to paint that picture in your mind. Then again, you could be concentrating so intensely practicing mindfulness that you also slow your breathing and incorporate meditation as you close your eyes focusing on that office with yourself discovering it and your new surroundings.

Something else that differentiates the two concepts is that you can have more overall health benefits with meditation compared to mindfulness. Utilizing meditation, you are calming the mind, but also lowering blood pressure, stress levels, refining heart rates, managing chronic pain to inflammation. In contrast, mindfulness is especially useful when stressed, building self-esteem and motivating yourself or overburdened with to many tasks or distracting noises for instance that your mind begins to wander. Exercising mindfulness can help guide your mind back to the present.

Meditation usually is best done the first thing in the morning or before you’re ready for bed. The reason is because the mind is quiet without thoughts and still not totally awake when you first crawl out of bed or shutting down from tiredness at night to calm and set the mood. Having said that, there is no wrong time to practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness vs. meditation both can enrich the quality of your life whether used alone or together. Until you give one or both of these concepts a try, then you will be glad that you did from the changes that you will see.

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