Mindfulness vs Meditation: How to Easily Practice Both

You might be confused about the difference between mindfulness and meditation.

Start off right by understanding what mindfulness is and how it differs from a traditional meditation practice.

Mindfulness is a byproduct of meditation. The more advanced you become with meditation, the easier it is for you to stay in the present moment.

The present moment is where the magic happens. Mindfulness happens naturally as you ease your way into a meditation habit.

What is Mindfulness?


a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Definition from Oxford Languages

Mindfulness is when you attempt to better your actions by becoming conscious of them.

Often we go through life unaware of why we act a certain way. Some of your actions may be unintentionally harmful to yourself and others.

From overeating to controlling anger, mindfulness is a solution for your everyday well being.

Mindfulness requires active practice. The start of a mindful journey often bears little fruit. Take it slow.

Become more aware is a process that lets subconscious patterns and thoughts become conscious to you.

Next time you are in a situation where you look back and question your actions, ask yourself these questions:

  • Why did I act that way?
  • What caused me to react without thinking?
  • How can I improve myself the next time I’m in this situation?
  • Was my reaction necessary?

Practicing Mindfulness in Real Scenarios

Let’s practice a mindfulness technique with Andy.

Andy has an anger problem. He understands that he has a problem, but he has taken the first step in bettering himself by attempting mindfulness.

He isn’t quite sure what to do yet, but he does understand that practicing mindfulness will benefit him.

Andy is in line at the bank and he has been waiting over twenty minutes to talk to the teller.

As soon as he gets to the counter, he starts yelling at the innocent employee. Andy gets embarrassed and leaves.

Instead of victim blaming or pushing away the problem, Andy begins questioning himself.

“Why did I act that way?

“Well, I’ve already been waiting for an eternity and I couldn’t hold my anger any longer.”

Why did I act without thinking?”

“I’m used to exploding on others, it has become normal for me.”

How can I improve myself the next time I’m in this situation?

“Instead of pushing all of my anger onto an innocent employee, I can practice mindfulness and take a few deep breaths. I can begin to realize when I’m getting angry and question it rather than let it control me.”

Was my reaction necessary?

“Absolutely not, the teller did not deserve an ounce of my anger. They were innocent and I was the person at fault.”

Andy is on his way to better understand his anger issues.

Anger is just a placeholder, any discomfort in life can be explored with mindfulness.

When you’re in the same situation Andy is in, give mindfulness a try.


Meditation is one of the best ways to increase clarity, reduce mental noise and center yourself.

Some of the many benefits of meditation include:

  1. Reducing repetitive thoughts
  2. Minimizing anxiety
  3. Understanding yourself better
  4. Connecting with the world
  5. A deep, unshakable centeredness
  6. Staying present

Headspace has created a wonderful guide if you are a beginner.

Meditation is one of the oldest forms of therapy known to man. It’s free, able to be practiced at any time and the benefits speak for themselves.

Sitting down for a session requires focus and practice. The benefits of meditation do not show themselves right away. Think of it like going to the gym, it requires dedication to see results.

While there are many forms of meditation available, one of my favorite methods is a simple one.

Sit down in a quiet place, close your eyes, and take a deep breath in. Focus on the air going into your nose, down your throat, and into your lungs.

Be aware of the thoughts that appear. Gentle is the key here, don’t attempt to force a reaction. Meditation requires finesse.

Exhale and repeat the process.

There’s not much more to meditation. Simple on paper but difficult to execute properly.

You may not feel like you are getting anywhere during your first few sessions. That’s fairly normal, you don’t expect to bench press 300 pounds the first time you walk into a gym.

Like with any form of art, meditation has a slight learning curve.

Take it easy at first, start with a few minutes until it feels overwhelming.

Add a few minutes to each session.

You’ll be a master in no time!

Mindfulness vs Meditation – Yin and Yang

Meditation is not mindfulness and mindfulness is not meditation

Why do football players lift weights?

So they can perform better while playing.

As your mastery with meditation grows, mindfulness will be easier to execute.

The easiest way to be mindful is to be present. When no thoughts are present, you can get a clear look at what’s in front of you.

Often we go through life with an immense amount of baggage that keeps us within the past or the future.

Meditation builds your ability to be present at any moment.

It’s important to execute both properly so you can reap the maximum benefits.

While only practicing mindfulness can be partially beneficial, a meditation habit enforces better mindfulness.

One of the biggest challenges facing a newcomer in mindfulness/meditation is the act of staying present.

Gaining the maximum benefits requires the presence of mind to actively be centered.

Meditation heals the past while mindfulness takes control of the present.

I would recommend to only focus on building a meditation habit at first. Mindfulness is a byproduct of being in the present moment.

Until you are aware of the present, it will difficult to execute mindfulness efficiently.

The best time to meditate is now.


Next time you find yourself in a situation where intense emotion arises, practice mindful questioning.

At first you may find difficulty exploring what triggers your state. The benefits of doing so are immense.

The rewards of a meditation/mindfulness habit cannot be ignored. There simply isn’t a better alternative out there for the price.

Take it slow at first. Let yourself mess up.

Are you ready to start bringing mindfulness into your life?

About Roy Cohen

Hi there! I'm the founder of Claiming Clarity. My passion in life is helping people live better. If you'd like to learn more, check out the about page.

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