Mindfulness is an approach rooted in Buddhism. There is more research in this field than, perhaps, any other aspect of contemplation and prayer. Much of the research is quite positive.
Mindfulness is rooted in the idea that we waste most of our lives by being stuck in the past or the future. This anxiety for the future or perseverance on the past is done by our brains. When we turn our attention to our senses, we can not be stuck in the future or the past. Without even trying, we are likely to find ourselves in the present.
To explore a pair of exercises that slowly take us through a focus on each of our senses, click here.
To explore a simple, powerful breathing exercise, click here.
One of my favorites for quickly settling an anxious mind is here.