Mindfulness is a state of deep concentration on the present moment. The individual will learn to bring his or her complete attention to what is happening in the here and now. This will be both internally, which includes the person’s thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, and externally, through focusing on sights and sounds around them.
Mindfulness is non-judgemental, so instead of questioning the thoughts or feelings that arise, the individual will merely notice and accept them. It is not about doing, but is about being. Mindfulness thus encourages the individual to slow down and sit with who they are now, in the present, instead of allowing past experience or anxiety about the future to cloud their current reality.
Mindfulness is meditative in approach, and although drawn from Buddhist and other Eastern religious traditions, it can be regarded as wholly secular. Mindfulness is holistic in that it focuses on both the mind and body and subsequently allows the individual to become more in touch with the fullness of his or her being. This occurs through self-observation, self-inquiry and mindful action.
Mindfulness can lead to an improved sense of wellbeing and reduced levels of anxiety and depression. This is because it takes the assumption that poor mental health is the result of rumination and worry, so by learning to still the mind, the individual will find effective release from negative mental states.