Meditation Versus Mindfulness: Pros and Cons

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Before we begin exploring the pros and cons, it’s important to know the difference between meditation and mindfulness. 

→ Meditation: On the simplest level, this activity is a focused pursuit. It could be paying close attention to your breathing, repeating a mantra or otherwise becoming very still and clearing your mind of everything beyond your chosen focus.

→ Mindfulness: Paying attention to what is going on within and outside of yourself without judgment or attachment. For example, simply listening to all the sounds you can hear without describing, categorizing or deciding if the sounds you hear are good or bad. Rather, you simply listen with an open-minded curiosity. You can mindfully do ANYTHING, and can remain mindful no matter what.

You can practice mindfulness as a part of your meditation practice, but you can’t always practice meditation when you are being mindful, such as mindfully driving or operating machinery.

Getting that out of the way, let’s start with the cons of meditation and mindfulness.

Cons:

Meditation: Requires time set aside in order to effectively meditate.

Mindfulness: The only con I could come up with is if you make the mistake of focusing your mindfulness on one thing and end up failing to pay attention to something else – such as listening to the birds singing and running into the wall in front of you as you are walking (Yes, I’m guilty of this!). Try for remaining globally mindful unless you are sure it’s safe to focus on one thing at a time!

Despite the cons, practicing both meditation and mindfulness daily, even for just a few minutes can help anyone attain the following benefits. OR just practice one or the other for the same benefits. If you only choose one, mindfulness is the best choice because you can do it all the time. Do both for the best results though.

PROS:

Physical Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness:

  1. Lowers oxygen consumption
  2. Decreases respiratory rate
  3. Increases blood flow and slows the heart rate
  4. Increases exercise tolerance
  5. Induces restorative relaxation
  6. Helps regulate blood pressure
  7. Lowers blood lactate levels to decrease anxiety symptoms
  8. Relaxes muscle tension
  9. Helps relieve symptoms of chronic diseases
  10. Reduces Pre-menstrual Syndrome symptoms
  11. Helps promotes post-operative healing
  12. Enhances immune system
  13. Reduces activity of viruses
  14. Reduces symptoms of emotional distress
  15. Enhances energy and stamina
  16. Aids weight loss
  17. Reduces free radicals to promote deep tissue healing
  18. Reduces cholesterol levels
  19. Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.
  20. Improves flow of air to the lungs
  21. Decreases aging process.
  22. Increases levels of DHEAS
  23. Helps relieve pain
  24. Decreases sweat
  25. Relieves migraines
  26. Promotes overall brain functioning
  27. Reduce need for medical care
  28. Reserves energy
  29. Relieves asthma and other types of breathing problems
  30. Enhances athletic performance
  31. Harmonizes the endocrine system
  32. Relaxes nervous system
  33. Promotes enhanced electrical activity in the brain
  34. Reduces stress to help promote fertility
  35. Improves sex life

Mental Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness

  1. Increases feelings of self worth
  2. Boosts serotonin levels for mood support
  3. Relaxes fears and phobias
  4. Helps control thoughts
  5. Increases focus and concentration
  6. Increases creativity
  7. Increases brain wave coherence
  8. Improves learning ability
  9. Sustains an improved memory
  10. Rejuvenates positive emotions
  11. Increases emotional stability
  12. Slows brain aging
  13. Makes it easy to remove bad habits
  14. Increases intuition
  15. Increases productivity
  16. Expands your thinking to see additional alternatives
  17. Decreases reactivity
  18. Increase problem solving
  19. Purifies character
  20. Develop will power
  21. Increases self regulation capacities
  22. Opens up left-brain, right-brain communication
  23. Allows faster response times
  24. Increases perceptual ability
  25. Increases motor performance
  26. Increases intelligence growth rate
  27. Increases feelings of satisfaction
  28. Decreases behavioral health symptoms
  29. Helps in all aspects of recovery, including addictions
  30. Induces more restorative sleep
  31. Decreases insomnia symptoms
  32. Decreases restless and ruminative thinking
  33. Decreases worry thoughts
  34. Improves powers of discernment
  35. Creates a more balanced personality
  36. Increases emotional intelligence

Spiritual Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness:

  1. Provides peace of mind, happiness
  2. Helps gain clarity to better live your purpose
  3. Induces self-actualization
  4. Increases wisdom
  5. Provides a deeper understanding of self and others
  6. Harmonizes the mind, body, spirit connection
  7. Increases feelings of self-acceptance
  8. Helps release resentments
  9. Increases ability to forgive self and others
  10. Improves attitude toward life
  11. Creates a deeper relationship with higher power/God/nature
  12. Allows the attainment of enlightenment
  13. Improves inner strength and fortitude
  14. Increases emotional and mental resiliency
  15. Improves ability to live in the present moment
  16. Leads to discovery of TRUE self, beyond the ego
  17. Allows you to live from an inner sense of knowing
  18. Increases feelings of oneness with the cosmos
  19. Increases experiences of synchronicity

Social Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness

  1. Improves all relationships
  2. Builds tolerance for self and others
  3. Improves patience
  4. Promotes healthy responses versus mindless reactions
  5. Increases capacity for intimacy
  6. Opens abilities to give and receive love
  7. Decreases feelings of social anxiety
  8. Increases self-efficacy skills
  9. Increases sense of personal-responsibility and accountability
  10. Reduces road rage
  11. Increases listening skills
  12. Increases empathy for others
  13. Creates composure to act in constructive ways
  14. Increases compassion
  15. Allows you to be more present for others
  16. Decreases negative feelings such as jealousy and non-productive judgment

Ultimately, practicing meditation and/or mindfulness helps you feel better, look better, work better, love better and experience life on deeper levels. So, what are you waiting for?

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