By: Eve Gottesman, MSW
Hectic schedules. We all know them, we all face them and we are all too familiar with the feeling
of overwhelm. As our schedules continue to get busier, we tend to lose touch with ourselves and
check in with how we are feeling. When this occurs, we are not allowing ourselves the time to
take a step back, acknowledge our thoughts and emotions and give ourselves a tight squeeze
when we need it.
Oftentimes we hear the term, “mindfulness”, but what does this really mean? Although
mindfulness has been around for thousands of years, this practice did not start gaining much
attention until the mid 90’s. Mindfulness is defined as, “the quality or state of being conscious or
aware or something”. Furthermore, mindfulness can be used as a type of meditation to help one
focus intensely on the present. In this, it allows the individual to become aware of what they are
sensing and feeling in that moment without any judgement.
So, you’re probably wondering, “why is mindfulness good for me?” Well, there are many
benefits that come with practicing being mindful. Mindfulness has been found to improve overall
well-being, physical health, and mental health. In addition, mindfulness can be used to help
relieve feelings of stress and cope with anxiety and depression, and even help us to gain better
control of our focus.
Techniques for practicing mindfulness:
Mindfulness can be practiced through movement such as yoga or Taiichi, however the most
popular form that is used today is through meditation. Here is a list of simple ways in which we
can incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives:
● Wake up in the morning and set your intentions for the day. Upon waking up, take a
few moments to take some deep breaths and think about what you hope to achieve today.
Ask yourself the following, “what do I need to take better care of myself?”, “how might I
show up today to have the best impact?”
● Take a mindful pause. Our minds are constantly racing, which is why it is important to
take a pause and slow down our brain. By gaining control over our fast brain, we are
allowing ourselves to take a step back and create new patterns to help increase
● Mindful exercise. Oftentimes when working out, we become so focused on the workout
that we forget to listen to our bodies. When working out, try to be aware of the sensations
you feel throughout your body. How does the sun feel beaming on you? How does it feel
running with each step?
● Mindful eating. Listen to your body. Before each meal, take a deep breath. As your meal
goes on, tune in to how your body is feeling. Our bodies tell us when we are hungry or
not hungry, which is why it is so important that we check in with our bodies and give
ourselves food and water when needed.
Learning how to become mindful is not something that happens overnight, but as your practice
continues, your abilities to become aware of the present are getting stronger with each day. As
we get into a routine of checking in with ourselves, we are further allowing ourselves the space
we need in order to continue growing and learning as humans.