What is mindfulness?
“Paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, non-judgmentally” Jon Kabot Zinn
Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism and is more than 2,500 years old, but practicing mindfulness doesn't have to align you with a particular religion or spiritual path so is secular in nature…..There are no rituals, incense, or candles and mindfulness practice can be done almost anywhere, even on the bus home from work.
Simply put mindfulness is awareness.
Awareness of body sensations, breath, thoughts and feelings. Practice can be informal for example stopping to watch a bird for a few moments or really tasting a cup of coffee, or formally taking time to sit in meditation each day bringing awareness to each moment.
As well as joining a mindfulness class I will encourage you to develop your own daily meditation practice, even if just for a few minutes as regular practice has been evidenced to show greater mental and physical well being.
Mindfulness has largely become more known in the western world since Jon Kabot Zinn developed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme in the 1970's as a way to help those dealing with physical pain. Elements of this were incorporated into Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy developed by Mark Williams and Danny Penman in the 1990's to help prevent relapse in depression and anxiety disorders.
Some come to mindfulness as part of their own self-care and wellbeing, or just as a way of enriching their experience of life in being more present in the moment... Whatever your reason for curiosity into mindfulness being open to your own experiences of it is the best place to start.