We are in the midst of a pandemic. Let’s imagine that you sit still to practice mindfulness – the simple art of non-judgmental awareness. You observe your breathing. You notice that your breathing is tight and that your body is tense. You feel anxious.
What do you do next? Do you continue to sit and observe? Do you label your emotions? Do you get up and do something else? What is a wise and compassionate response to an observation of a body and a mind filled with stress?
This story begins with an essential element—the power of observation. But what we do when we notice distress - whether we continue observing, try to ignore it, or take an action to intentionally calm our nervous system - is up to us. Small positive choices can make a big difference over time.