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Mindfulness is a mental state, characterised by concentrated awareness of one's thoughts, actions or motivations.
Mindfulness is an activity that can be done at any time; it does not require sitting, or even focusing on the breath, but rather is done by bringing the mind to focus on what is happening in the present moment, while simply noticing the mind's usual "commentary".
One learns to become aware of this monologue, e.g. "I wish washing dishes wasn't so boring", etc. Once we have noticed the mind's “talk”, we can stop identifying with it. We can see (for example) that washing dishes does not have to be regarded as "boring” and can perhaps even be enjoyed. Any activity done mindfully is a form of meditation, and mindfulness is possible practically all the time.
Psychology Melbourne offers Mindfulness classes which teach people how to develop mindful awareness on a daily basis. Only five minutes, twice a day are initially required. This approach is particularly helpful when it is difficult to establish a regular meditation practice.
Although mindfulness has its origins in Buddhism, it is attracting increasing interest in Western psychology and psychiatry. Clinical research indicates its effectiveness in managing stress, anxiety and panic. It has also achieved positive results in the treatment of chronic pain, depression, obsessive thinking and other medical and mental health conditions.