From the perspective of someone practicing or developing the Noble Eight-Fold Path (versus an Arahat who has removed all cankers), a difference would the mindfulness.
When you are meditating, you are withdrawn from mundane bodily and verbal actions and contemplating on the Four Noble Truths. And you have more mindfulness about the body, feeling, etc. So when a feeling arises (whether it is painful, pleasurable, or neutral), you are quick to identify them as part of suffering. And they become the object of contemplation. Instead of reacting to them, you investigate - what is the arising phenomena, what is the cessation phenomena of what has arisen.
And how do you contemplate on the arising phenomena? You contemplate according to what the Buddha has said - one seeks delight in form, welcomes it, remains holding it. As a result delight in form arises. Delight in form is clinging. With clinging as a condition, existence come to be. With existence as a condition, birth. With birth as a condition, aging, sickness, death, etc. and this whole mass of suffering come to arise. Same for feeling, etc.
That way you see the origin of the pain or distress you have now.
Then you can contemplate on the cessation phenomena. Again you contemplate according to the Buddha - one does not seek delight in form, does not welcome it, does not remain holding. As a consequence delight in form ceases. When cessation of delight comes cessation of clinging. With cessation of clinging, cessation of existence. With cessation of existence, cessation of Birth. With cessation of birth, the whole mass of suffering ceases. Same with feeling, perception, etc.
That way you see the cessation of the pain or distress you have.
The amazing thing is, when you contemplate this way, your actual pains subside and joy & rapture starts to flow (due to seeing the Dhamma within your self). However, you have to be mindful again to apply the same investigation to the (now) pleasurable feeling due to joy and rapture.
You also start to value the cessation of bodily, verbal & mental actions that you do in day to day life instead of giving value to them. You also start to see the only real solution is Nibbana. All else cannot be trusted to last (even the concentration from meditation).