Mindfulness is at the centre of my practice but the term is often seen as a separate approach or treatment available to people.
For most people, the mind is full of daily chatter, thoughts that pop up randomly and which through many years of practice we automatically follow. This provides most people with an endless diet of distraction and daydreaming. Left by itself, this state of being may not alert the person to any particular difficulty as it is a long standing practice and therefore most people consider it normal. It may not be until these random thoughts start to convey the same message that has a disturbing content e.g. thoughts that are focused on future events having disturbing outcomes (anxiety) or past events that are being continuously relived, accompanied by regret and sadness, amongst other negative emotions (depression), that the person identifies the state that they are in as causing them a problem. It is usually at this point that the need for help is identified.
Mindfulness is an awareness of these thought patterns which helps assist in recognising unhelpful thoughts (awareness) and can break the automatic patterning of following these to their conclusion (symptoms of anxiety and depression).
Mindfulness is based on the practice of keeping ones attention focused in the present moment. Whilst doing this, it alerts the person to what are the normal distractions they are experiencing from their automatic thought pattern, and through this process of discernment, they can drop these distracting thoughts and return to the present.
In my practice, I take this to a higher level and have developed a practice that I can easily teach others called Mind Stilling. This allows anyone who wishes to practice this technique to experience mind quieting. This experience is often described in terms of great release of old patterning and relief from symptoms, with some describing experiencing blissful expansiveness.