June 13, 2022

Mindfulness vs. Meditation: What’s the Difference?

little girl relaxes with her eyes closed doing meditation

How do you know if you’re practicing mindfulness meditation or just sitting there? While the two may seem to be interchangeable, it’s important to recognize the difference between mindfulness & meditation in order to achieve your full potential for each practice.

Here are some of the biggest differences between the two practices and how you can use them together to get the most out of your meditation practice.

Difference between mindfulness and meditation

Although there are certain things in common between mindfulness and meditation, such as a focus on quieting your mind, many people use them interchangeably. However, it’s important to understand what makes each unique before committing to either method of stress management. This way you can decide which will work best for you based on how much control you want over your thoughts.

Here’s a breakdown of mindfulness vs meditation so that you can decide which is right for you.

First off, mindfulness is an umbrella term used to describe the practice of reaching ultimate consciousness thought and concentration. Some forms include sitting quietly or taking deep breaths while focusing on an object; other practices allow you to express feelings like gratitude or sadness through creative writing or drawing. You don’t need to be religious to practice mindfulness—it simply helps you appreciate everything around you more fully with all of your senses, not just your intellect.

little girl relaxes with her eyes closed doing meditation

On the other hand, meditation requires more effort than mindfulness does because it also includes concentration techniques like concentrating on breathing or creating positive affirmations for kids (for example “I am strong”).

These techniques clear out distractions until all that remains is a blank slate where your brain can rest. While mindfulness focuses on being still and appreciating nature, meditation allows you to dive deep into your subconscious. Many users say they feel like they wake up after completing a session.

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is observing your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them. It is about living in the moment and discovering what’s happening.


twin girls practicing yoga with mom

Mindfulness Meditation

What Is It? Many people find that mindfulness meditation helps them maintain their focus for longer periods of time. The good news is that there are many different mindfulness meditation practices, including various breathing exercises, body scanning, guided visualization, and walking meditations.

In general, mindfulness meditation involves noticing when your mind drifts away from what you’re doing—even just briefly—and gently bringing it back to your chosen focus.

How to Practice Mindfulness?

Just as there are no wrong or right ways to meditate, there’s no wrong or right way to practice mindfulness. You can close your eyes, focus on your breathing, repeat a mantra , visualize an image of yourself in a peaceful place—whatever method works best for you.

yoga instructor teaches teenage girls in yoga class

What is Meditation? – Types of Mediation

There are many types of meditation that can provide a variety of benefits. Each type of meditation falls into two categories: focused attention (FA) or open monitoring (OM).

  1. Focused attention is meditating with an object such as a candle, your breath, or even a thought or word.
  2. Open monitoring involves just observing things without having to focus on anything in particular.

While everyone has their own preference, it’s best to try all different types and see which one you enjoy most. When first starting out it may be easier to use an object like a candle or stone because it helps keep your mind from wandering too much.

You may also want to practice using FA before trying OM because OM can sometimes be difficult when first starting out. Whatever type of meditation you choose should be practiced daily for at least 10-15 minutes in order for results to occur.

Most people think of meditation as seated, formal meditation.

You can meditate in many different ways – opening your heart, expanding your awareness, calming your mind, experiencing inner peace, etc.

Among the many types of meditation, here are a few: Breath-awareness meditation Loving-kindness meditation Mantra-based meditation Visualization meditation Guided meditation Meditation teaches you to increase calmness, focus, awareness, and emotional balance by practicing.


girl sitting in yoga mat practicing mindfulness

Meditation Practice for beginners

Mindfulness is a practice of living in the present. It can be helpful to beginners of meditation to start with mindfulness, because it’s easier to quiet your mind if you’re not trying to focus on anything in particular.

If you’re brand new to meditation, try these steps: put away all distractions, like your phone or laptop; sit up straight with your feet flat on floor; clear your mind; and focus on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Is mindfulness the same as meditation?

The terms mindfulness and meditation are often used interchangeably, but what is mindfulness? The most common definition is that mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on one’s present thoughts, feelings, or surroundings.

It means being in tune with your body so you can be fully aware of how it feels before you start meditating. On its own, mindfulness is considered to be an important element of various religions and spiritual traditions including Buddhism.

Is mindfulness a form of meditation?

While mindfulness is an important component of many types of meditation, it isn’t technically a form of meditation itself. Mindfulness is a mental state in which you focus your attention on only one thing while tuning out distractions around you.


little boy meditating at home

Many people define mindfulness as present moment awareness – paying attention to what’s happening right now instead of letting your mind wander to other times or places. While meditating can definitely aid with mindfulness (and vice versa), they are two different things.

What is mindful eating Why is it important?

Getting in touch with your senses is a vital part of practicing mindfulness. When you are mindful, you are more aware of what is going on around you—and inside of you. Part of that awareness includes how food makes you feel physically and emotionally.

You start to recognize patterns in those feelings, like when you eat because it’s lunchtime or because stress has caused you to seek comfort in food. It can be difficult to change these habits at first, but by becoming aware of why you eat when you do and how your body feels afterward, it becomes easier over time to make healthier choices.

This type of meditation teaches us not only self-awareness but also self-acceptance: accepting both our physical bodies as well as our emotions.

What does it mean to be in the present moment?

What does it mean to be in the present moment? When we think about a moment, we often view it as a small snippet of time.

If you’re sitting at your desk reading, that’s one moment. If you decide to go for a run after work, then that’s another moment.

In reality, though, every single thing we do—every move we make—is its own tiny instance of time in which our mind is operating. It’s called mindfulness. It’s also called meditation.


kids meditating by yoga

The two are very similar but come from different mindsets: mindfulness (also known as present-moment awareness) focuses on being mindful of whatever happens to be going on around you; meditation centers on being mindful of what goes on inside yourself.

Both are powerful tools for enriching your life, whether it means discovering a new perspective or clearing up all kinds of mental roadblocks along your path toward success.

How do you meditate for mental health?

The practice of meditation has grown in popularity in recent years, especially as a way to lower stress levels. Not only can meditating help you reduce your daily stress, but it can also give you a sense of peace when faced with difficult situations.

Whether you want to learn how to meditate for its stress-relieving benefits or because you’re experiencing negative emotions that are affecting your quality of life, take some time to look into meditation methods that will suit your lifestyle and needs.

You don’t have to be an expert on meditation or spirituality—even just learning mindfulness can help bring more peace into your life.


Both meditation and mindfulness are powerful, effective ways to deal with stress. Although they’re similar, they’re not identical, so it’s important to clarify that you’re speaking of one or both of these practices.

Either way, you can expect both mental and physical health benefits. Studies show that people who practice either or both of these techniques experience reduced stress levels as well as better health outcomes in terms of diabetes, heart disease, stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure.

There are a variety of ways to meditate and many resources available if you want to give it a try – including classes available at most gyms around town!

Regardless of whether you choose mindfulness or meditation, just be sure to commit yourself enough to actually follow through on your goal for improvement.

Don’t fall into old habits; sit down every day for 15 minutes and train your mind. Even 5 minutes a day will make an enormous difference over time.

Taryn Crimi

Taryn Crimi

Taryn is an international intuitive, focused on helping to empower you manifest your best life!

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