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Those new to the mind-focusing scene might have heard people discussing mindfulness vs. meditation in many circles. These words might seem interchangeable, but they’re different practices people can use to re-center their minds and bring inner peace.
So what is the difference between the two? When taking a look at both methods, is one of them better? Here is some guidance on these practices!
What’s the Difference Between Mindfulness and Meditation?
While some might use these as if they’re the same word, they are truly unique ways of thinking.
Mindfulness is practicing being present. It means actively choosing to pay attention to the current moment: any surroundings, noises, people and activities. The purpose is to draw focus away from worries in the past or future and bring the mind to the here and now. It encourages people to remind themselves of an occurring situation and remember to think of it without judgment.
On the other hand, meditation has a lot of different forms. There are meditative practices fixated on mindfulness, while others concentrate on emptying the mind to create a clean slate. However, the difference is meditation typically involves a specific time and position. People will often set aside a period where they sit or lie down to focus on an object, a word or their thoughts. Contrarily, they can practice mindfulness at any point during the day.
The Benefits of Each
Meditation and mindfulness have both overlapping and distinct benefits.
These practices are great ways to be more in touch with yourself. They can boost your sense of identity, mental health and moods. Using each method will help you feel more balanced and happy.
Due to its recent popularity, mindfulness has undergone a bit of research. Studies have found it can help relieve symptoms of depression and improve focus. Other positives included participants experiencing improved emotional control and better relationships with partners and family. This was due to the person’s increased ability to address their feelings and communicate with reduced stress and anger. As they grew more intimate with their inner emotions, the study also found participants were more comfortable expressing themselves.
Meditation shares mindfulness’s ability to be in charge of anxiety and find peace in the present. Nonetheless, meditation has some physical benefits on top of emotional ones. It can help ease the symptoms of illnesses such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Heart disease
- Chronic pain
- High blood pressure
By being able to slow down and focus only on the meditative practice, those who meditate have seen symptoms of their illnesses ease if stress is what aggravates them. While this is not a replacement for medication and treatment, it’s possible that meditation could provide some relief. This practice can also help bolster creativity, aid sleep and improve patience.
How to Choose Which One to Use
Mindfulness may be a better option for those who might find it hard to set aside time to meditate. It is a practice people can use anywhere and at any point, so those with busy schedules may find it easier to use.
Alternatively, those same people may find it beneficial to find a stretch of time where they can sit and be present. Everyone needs rest and using that time to meditate could provide those with hyperactive minds some extra relief.
However, there doesn’t need to be a choice of mindfulness vs. meditation! Both practices have significant positive effects and it all depends on how they fit into a daily schedule. People who practice mindfulness and meditation can experience all of the benefits. Others might find one method works for them more than the other. When it comes to choosing, first-timers can try out if meditation, mindfulness or a combination of them is best for their brains.
Use Mindfulness and Meditation to Focus Your Mind
Each of these practices has a ton of positive effects on the mind and body. For the question of mindfulness vs. meditation, the answer will differ from person to person. Those starting their journey to be more centered have the option of trying mindfulness, meditation or both. From there, they can figure out which one worlds best for their self-improvement and lifestyle.
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