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What is the Difference between Meditation and Relaxation?

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

Many people wonder what the difference is between meditation and relaxation.

The answer is to be found in the purpose of the exercise: If the purpose is only physical or mental relaxation, it is a matter of relaxation. However, if the purpose is to reflect on oneself, get to know and understand oneself and accept oneself, it is a matter of meditation.

By becoming aware of ourselves, we can find the roots of our problems, increase resilience, learn to manage our emotions, find clarity and inner peace. Meditation is thus a powerful tool to actively tackle our problems and work on our well-being in the long term.

Here is a little meditation exercise.

  1. Set aside 10 minutes a day for meditation.

  2. Find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably.

  3. Take five deep breaths. Breathe in deeply until you feel the air reach down to the navel. Then exhale slowly. Pay attention to the breath; it facilitates the ability to put thoughts aside.

  4. Review all recent events that have caused you stress or worry. Let them come up naturally without judgment. Consider them without trying to change or stop it. Let them pass.

  5. Visualize how the thoughts disperse like clouds in the sky and experience how the mind calms down.

  6. End the meditation by taking five deep breaths and appreciating the opportunity to let the thoughts disappear.

Difference between mindfulness, meditation and yoga

Through this simple exercise, we have a tool to consider ourselves and our inner life. This consideration leads to increased understanding of ourselves and our world around us, something that is indispensable for achieving inner peace and well-being.

It is thus important not to confuse relaxation with meditation. These are two essentially different activities. Only meditation leads to a lasting change within and a long-term result.

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