The end of the year is often viewed by some as an encroaching reminder of unfulfilled aims and goals. And as working people, we all deal with the stress of everyday life. It can become so overbearing for some that they are unable to take a moment to free themselves from their worries by taking a moment to contemplate the small pleasures which we are all surrounded by. Yes, this may seem like a rather Dalai Lama-esque perspective of life however who’s to say it isn’t effective?

The mindfulness journey

There are many reasons as to why we, as people with numerous amounts of worries and responsibilities which often at times feels like an unbearable weight on our shoulders, need merely a moment of peacefulness to escape from this.

And all it takes is take a moment to do so, a mere few seconds to pause and to breathe. Yes. I want you to breath. Not because I believe you’ve forgotten how (if so then I would rightly be worried) but because in that moment we can embrace mindfulness. Even if just for a few seconds, we can appreciate the small pleasures in life.

We've all heard them cliche expressions of, 'Live in the moment', 'stop and smell the roses', 'you only live once'. The common and excessive use of these phrases implies their success in encouraging a positive outlook on life.

Now, I’m sure I’m not the first person who has said this, and no doubt will not be the last. And often at times, people ask you to do something without the instructions of guidance of how to do so.

Well, not me. There are many ways in which a moment of peace can be achieved, however then one I favour is the indulgence in the small things in life. Moments when drinking a hot drink on a cold winter’s day should be embraced.

That momentary warmth as the heat of the drink begins to radiate throughout your body is temporary yet fulfilling in that moment, making those few seconds so blissful.

Even taking a moment to enjoy the feeling of soft cotton when wearing a new pair of socks (I know I’m not the only one who thinks this!), a moment often viewed as irrelevant in meaning yet the feeling of comfort is no doubt pleasing. This concept of embracing the moment of content is a common practice in Danish culture. If interested, then an excellent book to read would be Louisa Thomsen Brits ‘The book of Hygge: The Danish art of living well’, as I personally learned quite a lot from it.

The positives of meditation

If you’re not fond of that idea, then consider Meditation. Start off with a minute or two and see how it makes you feel. The main thing with meditation is perseverance, once you are willing to let go of your present worries, a task easier said than done, you’ll start to see the beauty of taking a moment to breathe and distance yourself from your current worries.

And I’m sure you are probably contemplating the question of ‘why’? Why is there a need to take a moment to breathe and separate one’s self from current worries? Well, I find that as the year reaches its end, people often feel like they’ve failed themselves if they have not achieved their goals. People sometimes forgot to look at the bigger picture of life, to step back and view life rather than focusing on one temporary period in which there may be struggle.

In which case, taking a moment to still your mind allows you to acknowledge the transitory nature of worries and stress, allowing one to simultaneously accept the both the good and the bad of the present moment whilst looking forward in hope of a better future. Taking a moment to breathe doesn’t have to be associated with the practice of mindfulness; it can just allow you a moment to contemplate your thoughts and to help you think your problems through.

Whatever the reason, the end of the coming year isn’t the closing of a door.