Mindfulness is “focussing attention to the present moment, in a particular way, non-judgementally” (Jon Kabat-Zinn, 1990)
Many people who decide to embark on therapy actually want to be rid of their psychological problems and this is where Mindfulness differs from other therapies. The primary goal of Mindfulness is to have a different relationship with our thoughts, emotions and physical sensations, not about getting rid of them.
This is achieved by doing a series of formal exercises created especially to help a person notice what they are doing when they have their ‘problem’. For instance, someone who has a tendency to have anxious thoughts tends to think of their thoughts as being real and thus react to them in an anxious way. Using Mindfulness, people are encouraged to notice whatever it is that comes up for them and then notice when it changes. So it is not about not having anxious thoughts, but instead noticing that they are just thoughts which are created in the mind and do not last.
Therefore the focus during Mindfulness training is not on the problems a person may be experiencing, but what they are noticing while doing a Mindfulness exercise.
Mindfulness can be extremely beneficial for those who are suffering from anxiety disorders, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, for those who are suffering from depression and also chronic pain.