When was the last time you stopped – really stopped – and asked yourself this question? The true answer doesn’t come from aching body parts or overwhelmed brain chatter. It is found when you become still, close your eyes, put your hand on your heart and reach deep inside to ask, “Hey there, how are you?”

We should all do this regularly, and today is a good day to start. We’ve been through so much and the need to check in with ourselves is stronger than ever. “I don’t have the time right now” is not an acceptable answer. 

As summer comes to a close and season is upon us, our downtime lessens and it is easy to get caught up in the energy of it all. Establishing and maintaining a sense of self awareness is important, as are the accessible tools we can use to ground ourselves when overwhelm sets in: a deep breath, meditation or simply focusing on the sights and sounds around us.

Recently a friend expressed feelings of anxiety she couldn’t understand. Everything in her life seemed positive and good, but her world was spinning – inside and out. Watching her rapidly devour her meal, I asked her to stop, put down her fork and take a deep breath. Then I asked, “But how are you really?” That single action brought self-awareness and started a conversation about her true wellbeing.

We so often plow through our schedules on autopilot feeling exhausted, behind, restless or down. Having the awareness to stop, close our eyes and find stillness can help ground us in that moment. Using our tools can magically transport us to a place of comfort, peace and gratitude. Repeating the practice teaches our mind and body how to make the shift more easily and automatically.

So, check in with yourself more often. A better place may be just a single breath away.

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