"…to live life as if each moment is important, as if each moment counted and could be worked with, even if it is a moment of pain, sadness or fear." - John Kabit-Zinn
Mindfulness is mental training, a practice that individuals and groups can do on a day-to-day basis. It can enable people to change the way they think and feel about their experiences, whether pleasant or unpleasant, easy or difficult, and especially those stressful experiences.
Mindfulness is also described as awareness and can be used as a tool to manage your wellbeing and mental health.
Mindfulness practices have been around for centuries and have origins in the contemplative traditions of Asia, especially Buddhism. It is in the last 40 years that they have been formulised into the therapies and brought to the West.
Mostly they are delivered in the form of an 8 week programmes called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).
It is a mind-body approach, and can increase our ability to manage difficult situations better and with awareness allowing one to notice repeating patterns of behaviour and make different choices.
Research has shown positive effects on the mind, brain, body and behaviour, as well as relationships with others and found that when people intentionally practice being mindful they feel less stressed, anxious and depressed.