Meditation versus mindfulness

In our last post, we detailed how mindfulness at work can help you lower stress and improve your health. However, we’ve received a few emails asking for an explanation between mindfulness and our other passion, meditation. You’re used to seeing us discuss meditation on this blog, and there are some similarities especially with the end goal in mind.

Mindfulness is living consciously – that is, we are in control of our decisions. Decisions are not motivated by stress, fear or any other kind of negative reaction. Have you ever experienced a traumatic event, or sympathized with someone who did, and it caused you to look at things in a different light? Perhaps the petty stressors in life didn’t seem quite so daunting after that. That’s similar to the goal of mindfulness, without having to have your perspective changed by an unfortunate traumatic event. Meditation, on the other hand, is reaching clarity and mental focus, at the same time as feeling refreshed by reaching a relaxation standard through daily practice. Don’t be confused; mindfulness and basic meditation practices are very, very similar.

Mindfulness is the clinical term that’s been adopted by many in the psychology field. Meditation has more spiritual connotations, being more carefully intertwined in Buddhism and Yogiism, and goes back thousands of years. In science’s resistance to adapt to many ancient traditions, many of the core tenets of meditation were rebranded and focused to the stressors of the modern world. However, the concept now has valuable scientific and psychological credibility, and is gaining traction as a valuable tool to help everyday people.

In summary, there’s actually many similarities between meditation in the basic sense, and mindfulness. They both certainly compete to reach the same goal, that being a more peaceful, focused life, and each one can help you in gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of your life and all that’s in it.

Do you prefer one or the other?