A patient's perspective

As the Canadian Mental Health Association’s 64th Annual Mental Health Week winds down, I would like you all to Be Mindful of one the initiatives this week.

What is mindfulness, and why do we want it?

  • Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally…Jon Kabat-Zinn.
  • Mindfulness is being aware of yourself, others and your surroundings in the moment. Being closely attentive gives you the opportunity to change unwise or painful feelings and responses quickly. Being truly present in a mindful way is an excellent stress reducer and because of that, can be seen as consciousness conditioning, a strengthening workout for body, mind, heart and spirit…From the book ‘The Mindful Woman’ by Sue Patton Thoele

Here are some key messages to assist us on how to be mindful on a day-to-day basis:

  • Day-to-day mindfulness needs to be practiced with patience and a sense of humour. Getting into a bad mood because we have lost something will only make matters worse. We need to remind ourselves, that whatever it is, “it has already happened”.
  • Day-to-day mindfulness means attending to the small things so that we can concentrate on the big ones. We need to find strategies that help us get on with what is important in life and stop us having to think about what isn’t.
  • Day-to-day mindfulness is about attending to the small things so that we can attend to what is really important. It is a week of setting up the conditions for mindfulness to arise; a week of looking of how we structure our life – how we pattern it, organize it, order it.

From the book ‘Life with Full Attention’ by Maitreyabandhu


Slow down this morning when you walk, know that you are walking. Feel the floor beneath your feet; sense each little movement. When you shower know that you are showering. Listen intently to the running water. Note it’s temperature as it cascades over your skin. This morning, experience what it is like to let nothing go unfelt, unheard, or unnoticed.

From the book ‘One Minute Mindfulness’ by Donald Altman