What is the difference between Meditation and Mindfulness?

Meditation and Mindfulness have been hot topics lately and these two words have been used interchangeably. This is AnJenette's working definitions and differences of Mindfulness and Meditation:

Meditation is a mind-body practice in which we focus our attention on something, such as an object, word, phrase, music, movement or breathing, in order to minimize distracting or stressful thoughts or feelings. Meditation is practiced for a specific amount of time. There are four meditation positions: sitting, lying down, standing, and walking. You will quickly discover your ideal position and you may eventually choose to incorporate all of the positions.

Mindfulness is an informal practice of moment-to-moment awareness of one's experience without judgment and is also a state of mind.  Mindfulness can be applied to the moments of our daily life to be fully engaged in that moment.

Mindfulness is the awareness of “some-thing,” while Meditation is the awareness of “no-thing.”

What are the benefits of Mindfulness?


"We (American Psychological Association - APA) define mindfulness as a moment-to-moment awareness of one's experience without judgment. In this sense, mindfulness is a state and not a trait. While it might be promoted by certain practices or activities, such as meditation, it is not equivalent to or synonymous with them."

"More specifically, research on mindfulness has identified these benefits: reduced rumination, stress reduction, boosts to working memory and focus, less emotional reactivity, more cognitive flexibility, relationship satisfaction, enhance self-insight, morality, Intuition and fear modulation, all functions associated with the brain's middle prefrontal lobe area, increased immune functioning, improvement to wellbeing, increased information processing speed, as well as decrease task effort and having thoughts that are unrelated to the task at hand."

Please see Benefits of Mindfulness by the American Psychological Association (APA) full article.

What are the benefits of Meditation?

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

Meditation: In Depth

What’s the Bottom Line?

How much do we know about meditation?

Many studies have been conducted to look at how meditation may be helpful for a variety of conditions, such as high blood pressure, certain psychological disorders, and pain. A number of studies also have helped researchers learn how meditation might work and how it affects the brain.

What do we know about the effectiveness of meditation?

Some research suggests that practicing meditation may reduce blood pressure, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, and insomnia. Evidence about its effectiveness for pain and as a smoking-cessation treatment is uncertain.

What do we know about the safety of meditation?

Meditation is generally considered to be safe for healthy people. However, people with physical limitations may not be able to participate in certain meditative practices involving movement.

What the Science Says About the Effectiveness of Meditation

Many studies have investigated meditation for different conditions, and there’s evidence that it may reduce blood pressure as well as symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and flare-ups in people who have had ulcerative colitis. It may ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, and may help people with insomnia.

Please see Meditation in Depth Report by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) full article.

What is a WalkShop?

In its simplest terms, a WalkShop can be thought of as a workshop conducted through walking in an organic and dynamic manner. Growing evidence indicates that prolonged sedentary behavior increases the risk of several chronic health conditions and all-cause mortality. Physical movement should be incentivized in any possible shape or form because it is an essential source of personal wellbeing.

The value of both using the outdoors and walking as a way to stimulate reflective thinking have been appreciated and documented in various fields for some time. There has, for example, been a long association between the practices of walking and philosophy, first recorded in writing as early as Aristotle’s (384–322 BC) Peripatetic School and the walking scholars.

The term "Peripatetic" means "of walking" or "given to walking about”. Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher who became one of the most influential of all modern thinkers walked daily in the forest. Charles Darwin took daily contemplative walks in the woods to think and observe nature.

Who is AnJenette aka AJ?

AnJenette Afridi, MA is a Global Wellbeing Advocate, Inspirational Speaker, and Creator of INHALE EXHALE SMILE® for Children and Adults. AnJenette is a pioneer in cultivating a lifelong personal meditation practice and studying the numerous applications and effects of mindfulness for children and adults. 

AJ's professional credentials include 30+ years in private practice, Doctor of Psychology Student (PsyD), Master's Degree in Psychology (MA) 1997, American Psychological Association (APA) Member 1996, and CEU’s at Harvard Medical School and UPenn's Positive Psychology Center 2006-2021.

AnJenette (AJ) has worked with corporations, hospitals, health centers, schools, and private clientele, including children and adults. She is often featured at public and private in-person and online events, and she hosts events as well. AJ's warmth, credibility, and energetic sense of humor create an atmosphere that supports expansion, creativity, and abundant possibility.


CONTACT AJ to Speak at your next virtual or in-person meeting, event, workshop, or gathering.

Who is Adi?

You'll meet Adi on Zoom, FaceTime, WalkShop, Offsite, and AJ's SF Bay Area Office. Adi is a F1B Goldendoodle with a sweet temperament. She is virtually non-shedding and hypoallergenic. 

The simple act of petting or holding a dog has been proven to provide a human with multiple mental and physical health benefits. When a human pets an animal, hormones such as serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin, that play a role in elevating moods, are released in the brain. Animal assisted therapy also lowers anxiety to help patients relax, provides comfort, reduces loneliness, increases mental stimulation, and provides an escape or happy distraction. (Alliance of Therapy Dogs)