Girl meditating while sitting cross-legged.

What is the difference between mindfulness and meditation?

There’s not much difference between mindfulness and meditation because they are enveloped by the same idea. However, we can only improve our mindfulness by focusing on bringing more meditation into our lives, because the mind is a vessel that needs to be practiced every single day.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is simply being present in each moment, which can be brought into our everyday lives. Being mindful improves our lives because it teaches us how to stop looking to the past and the future, and to tune into the gratitude we feel for this exact moment right now.

Being mindful isn’t limited to meditation. It can involve different therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy, walking, exercise, and being peaceful, and there are tons of different ways to practice staying present. During every day tasks like eating, walking and conversation, we can practice mindfulness.

It is essentially keeping our minds’ attention to the present. As humans, we are innately programmed to think of upcoming events in the future, or ruminating over the past. However, when we realise that those things no longer exist in this current reality, we realise all we have is now… Welcome mindfulness!

Meditation defined

Meditation is a form of training the mind to reach a higher level of consciousness. It is one of many forms of mindfulness but is arguably one of the best ways to stay mindful. To meditate usually involves taking yourself to a quiet place for 10-30 minutes, so you can practice slow breathing techniques and quieten your monkey mind.

You can bring the feeling of meditation into every day moments, such as brushing your teeth, but it’s much more difficult to stay in a meditative state when conversating with other people. The more you work on this tool, the less reactive you will be, and the more peace you will find in the every day.

To meditate is an action which will help you become more mindful over time. It’s a skill that requires you to realise that we are not our thoughts. We are separate from the goings-on of the mind, but meditating allows us to form that mind-body connection we are all searching for.

Difference between mindfulness and meditation

Mindfulness is a cognitive skill while meditation is a practice that allows us to become mindful. Essentially, meditation is a form of mindfulness, which is arguably one of the best ways to practice staying present in any given moment. We can remain mindful in any part of our lives.

However, meditating requires a certain level of consciousness that can be hard to maintain when we are not in a meditative state. Meditation reels in our thoughts to calm the mind, whereas mindfulness requires us to be aware of what’s going on around us and how our bodies feel in response.

They are closely interlinked as they both aim to improve our wellbeing, but while one encourages awareness, the other is a tool. Both ideas encourage us to live without judgement of ourselves and those around us, and heavily focus on breathing methods, guided imagery and relaxation techniques.

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