Meditation and mindfulness can both offer some massive mental and physical health benefits, from helping to reduce stress to lowering blood pressure.
However, while the two terms are often mentioned together and can even be practiced together, they are actually different and distinct things.
Discover the differences between mindfulness and meditation and see if you could incorporate either in your weekly routine to help you lead a calmer, happier life.
Mindfulness and meditation
Meditation is a method of training and focusing the attention so that your thoughts can become peaceful and your mind rested. It has its roots in ancient times and while meditation is often associated with Buddhism, it has been present in other religions and cultures throughout the ages. These days, there are lots of different ways to practice Buddhism – on your own, in a class or group or with the help of voice recordings and podcasts.
There are two main types of meditation, analytical and placement, both of which encourage you to focus inwards and look at your own spirituality or sense of self. Find out a little more about the process and benefits of meditation on the Enjoy Meditation website.
Mindfulness, on the other hand, is the simple process of making sure that you are remembering to be aware – whether that’s during meditation or at any other point in your busy life. This can boost your experience of meditation itself and also allow you to gain a wider feeling of understanding and acceptance of the world around you and your place in it. Learn more about the ethos behind the practice and pick up some advice from the team at Mindfulness.com.
Applying both mindfulness and meditation
Mindfulness and meditation are natural partners and can be used together in a way that increases the benefits of both. The Perth Mindfulness Centre has put together an excellent article for seeing the ways in which the two separate things are similar and the ways in which they overlap. It’s also well worth looking at The Difference Between Mindfulness and Meditation in The Huffington Post as it offers both a basic and an in depth look at the two ways of looking at the world.
You may also be interested in this piece in the New York Times, which suggests that mindfulness might be more important than meditation when it comes to making a positive change in your life. The author claims that meditation is the ability to focus on one thing where as mindfulness is a more specific ability to observe your own thoughts and emotions without becoming entangled in them. Another useful resource is the Psychology Today website, which offers a guide to embarking on mindfulness meditation that’s full of advice and interesting information.
Whether you try mindfulness, meditation or mindfulness meditation, you may find that an ability to bring greater peace to your mind is extremely beneficial in a fast-paced and often stressful world. Take the time to discover more about the potential benefits and see if it is a practice you’d like to start engaging in.
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