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Mindfulness Made Easy

Are you feeling stuck in the past or feel like you are living in the future?


Maybe you're constantly repeating past traumas in your head, your voices feeding you with insecurity about that one time you fell down the escalator in front of your bully.


Or it might be that you fear the future and all its uncertainty. You might experience thoughts like, "What if I end up homeless because I messed up my future? What if my partner leaves me?".


Then all of a sudden, in a blink of an eye, your present is swept from under you and the true contentment that you so deeply desire never came because you were so focused on the past and the future. Which by-the-way are two concepts that don't exist in the present.


That idea of the present can sometimes feel non-existent even though it’s all that we have. Our lives can become so go-go-go that we don’t stop to think or appreciate what is right in front of us.


Sometimes our schedules can become so busy that we dread waking up in the morning, knowing we have a packed day ahead. The plague of the past and future can be powerful.


We constantly relive our darkest moments and envision our darkest what-ifs. It makes us want to run away, remove everyone from social media, and live far from our worries and troubles to a place where no one knows or expects anything from us.


A busy schedule might translate to burnout, fatigue, or a weak call from your body telling you to care for it and prioritize it. The greatest consequence of being on the go is that we fail to live in the present and end up disrupting our peace.


Living in the present means acting intentionally, being genuine, and taking in every stimuli whilst listening to our internal desires and needs. Practicing mindfulness—the key to self-contentment—means nurturing our inner peace.


Now you might be thinking this all sounds great, but wondering what the steps are to practicing mindfulness. Here are four tips to practice mindfulness:


Tip #1: Check-In With Your Needs

If your body is constantly tired and you are sleeping for two hours on the couch each night because you’re so exhausted that you crash in your living room, then...it's time to tend to your body’s needs and sleep well.


If your busy schedule does not include proper meal times and you’re becoming agitated, sluggish, and confused, it is time to listen to your body and eat a well-balanced meal filled with healthy foods like protein and vegetables. Sleeping and eating well are nonnegotiables.


Tip #2: Hit Pause

If you are constantly moving from one task onto another, or speaking from one person to another, then you will struggle to maintain an equal amount of effort for all your tasks. Choosing to be intentional with your time and efforts ensures that you are putting your best foot forward to excel at your to-do list or with your relationships. Take a moment to stop, smell the roses, and enjoy the breeze before the moment is gone.


Tip #3: Slow The Heck Down

Stop trying to move so quickly and start taking your time. Tune into your emotions, chew your food slower, process your feelings reasonably, make an informed decisions, and pay attention to your body are all ways that you can slow down. The benefits of slowing down are endless. Give yourself permission to slow down and take everything in.


Tip #4: Take In Your Environment

I mentioned the popular saying above, “slow down and smell the roses,” and while it might be a cliché, it's a good one. If we move constantly, we miss all the beauty that comes with the present. Like, the laughs we share, the jokes we make, the kind looks between lovers and close ones, the feel of someone’s hand as they grab yours, and the comfort of a hug as someone pulls you in.


If we forfeit our ability to live in the present, we lose out on all these human moments and inevitably lose sight of how special they are. Disconnecting from the present is dangerous because it disconnects us from ourselves and our emotions, sealing our hearts away from such experiences and feelings.


Trust me, it is normal to fall into this routine of being busy. I’ve had my fair share of experiences in which I found myself at the brink of burnout—unhappy with myself and where I was in my social life. In medical school I was practically working five jobs while completing my finals and I can’t help but look back and utter, “Why...?”.


Try to focus on the present to make sure these moments that make life fun are enjoyed, savoured, and appreciated. Acknowledging that you are human and need time to rest, relax, and hang out with friends is the key to healthy living because when you are present, you are at peace.

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