Mindfulness is being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.
When we are mindful— meaning we give ourselves enough time to see our own reactions and emotions, and enough calm to choose how we’ll respond—everything is experienced as more manageable and less overwhelming.
A few steps into mindfulness
Breathe, Pause, Breathe, Repeat
When you’re stressed, overwhelmed or in the grip of a difficult emotion, the body tightens. A few deep, even breaths can help as it:
- physically by opens our chests and sending oxygen to our blood, and
- emotionally helps us see the gap between what we are feeling and thinking.
Be a Friend to Your Feelings
If a close friend came over to talk about some life challenge, chances are you’d do your best to listen intently and offer your unconditional support. Yet how often do we extend this same kindness to ourselves? When a challenging situation occurs, bring that same loving, nonjudgmental acceptance to your own emotions.
Give yourself the gift of time
So often we are spread so thin that we feel we can’t take time for ourselves. When we honor our own needs and take the time—for yoga, meditation, a trip to the gym or just a silent walk in nature —we return refreshed, more resilient and more present to the needs of others.