5 Steps to Mindfulness: Find the PAUSE BUTTON




Do you feel controlled by your emotions and feel you have no choice about how to respond in the moment? So you automatically react by ‘turning off’ the intensity of your emotions with a behaviour that is destructive?

This can seem hopeless as you may feel deep down like you cannot trust yourself as you break every resolution, promise and well intentioned decision to do it differently next time…

Most of us know what it’s like when it comes to habitually reaching for comfort food either to keep going or to get some respite from a sense of overwhelm from stress. It’s as if part of us wants to be asleep. For some people this autopilot mode can have serious consequences in their life.

Mindfulness practice has been shown to foster the ability to develop the PAUSE BUTTON. Being mindful of your thoughts and feelings without putting any mental activity into ‘good’ or ‘bad’ boxes takes practice. In modern society functioning at digital speed, we are encouraged and very used to being engrossed in our thoughts or feelings about what happened earlier or what we have to do next. So we miss well-being or being-well. Being open and awake in the moment to what is present is an intentional practice that bestows a host of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits.

Ellen Langer, psychologist at Harvard University and author of Mindfulness wrote:

‘When people are not in the moment, they’re not there to know that there not there.’


  1. Start becoming aware of your body right now. DON’T THINK about what you are doing, follow your breath and your sensations. Notice when your mind wants to judge your experience and let that go.
  2. When you become present in your body, open up to your emotions and mental activity. What are you experiencing? This helps you build tolerance for discomfort as you watch your emotions for longer periods of time without reacting.
  3. Accept what is there. The mind’s natural tendency is to avoid pain so we resist thoughts and feelings that we don’t want. Acceptance does not mean that you like what is happening, it simply means you know it’s there, you cannot change it and it’s ok for now.
  4. Keep a not knowing mind, stay awake and curious especially during your routines. It is easy to slip into mindlessness when you take the usual route to work, brush your teeth in the same place or even when your eyes are scrolling down the page when reading a book.
  5. Mindfulness is not a goal to be achieved because achieving is about the future. It is about now as you are reading these words! Breathe and feel yourself awake and present.