To me mindfulness is simply kindness and awareness, being aware of the present moment, but also being very kind to yourself, accepting how you are feeling without telling yourself you shouldn’t feel that way. 

If we act with kindness towards ourselves this is a very positive step forward. Mindfulness is also a way of being and behaving in our daily lives. 

We don’t have to set aside time to sit quietly on the highest mountain in lotus position and burn incense to pratice mindfulness – although sometimes it’s wonderful to try that too! We can pratice mindfulness anytime, anywhere. From staying calm when we’re stuck in a traffic jam; to having a heart-to-heart conversation with a friend; to making scrambled eggs; to taking an exam, enjoying a view, walking down the street, cleaning our teeth.

While this kind of practice is not suitable for people with serious mental health problems, it does have huge benefits 
for those with stress, anxiety, pain or depression. 

The idea of mindfulness is that we use our awareness and kindness that we learn to practice in meditation and take that 
with us through the day, generating positivity and gratitude. If we are kind and gentle with ourselves then we can only gain benefits.

Many people avoid any type of ‘mindfulness training’ because they think that it’s complex, new-agey or are afraid that they ‘aren’t doing it right.’ 

Albert Einstein believed, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” I know that my description of mindfulness is basic but I simplify it to 
encourage more people to get into the habit of practicing 
mindfulness regularly throughout the day and reap the 


Being fully present in the moment creates mindfulness no matter what you are doing. Mindfulness is about being aware of your surroundings, connecting, and then guiding your 
thoughts in a positive and constructive direction. With practice you’ll get better at guiding your thoughts to fine tune a state-of-mind that best fits whatever circumstance you find  yourself in. 

Elisa Williams teaches yoga in West London and runs numerous overseas holidays and retreats