Mindfulness is the , "art of observing your physical, emotional, and mental experiences with deliberate, open, and curious attention."  Although it is an "art"', it can be cultivated with simple daily practices!  Mindfulness is like a seat belt for mental health.  It can protect us from life's inevitable mental and emotional hazards -- anxiety, physical and emotional pain, depression and lack of joy.

Because of our brain's ability to change and update itself (neuroplasticity), the regular practice of Mindfulness changes our brain in positive ways.  We can rewire our brain just like an electrician can rewire our house.  Mindfulness practices have moved out of the realm of religion (all of the world's major religions include meditation/mindfulness practices) and have become a secularized tool for exploring the modern mind.  Clinical research into Mindfulness shows that it:  reduces stress, reduces chronic pain, boosts the immune system, aids in coping with distressing life events (such as loss of a loved one or divorce or job loss), aids in coping with difficult emotions (fear, anger, greed), improves attention and concentration, enhances positive emotions (compassion, joy), increases relationship skills, reduces addictive behaviors (eatings disorders, smoking, alcoholism), enhances performance (in sports, work and academics), helps stimulate and release creativity, and positively changes the physical structure of the brain! 

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"Somewhere in this process, you will come face-to-face with the sudden and shocking realization that you are completely crazy.  Your mind is a shrieking, gibbering madhouse on wheels barreling pell-mell down the hill, utterly out of contol and hopeless.  No problem.  You are not crazier than you were yesterday.  It has always been this way and you never noticed."

  --Henepola Gunaratana