When you're dealing with the frustrations and pains of a chronic illness, it can be especially hard to relax. Here, Dr. Gary offers some tips for how we can ground ourselves in the moment.

Get centered. Get focused. And relax. All by using your five senses.

The world is happening all around you, while your mind is stuck in the past and the future. So re-connect with the world through your five senses. Yes, it sounds like a cliché, but ask yourself: Am I in such a rush to get through life that I forget to be aware of what’s around me?


Bring yourself back to earth by laying your hand on something. The smooth texture of a table. The rough bark on a tree.


Savor the taste of the strawberry jam on your toast. How your mouth wakes up with a blast of tomato salsa. Sit with the flavor of your food before you swallow it away to make room for the next bite.


Take a moment to smell the flowers. The air after a rainstorm. Breathe deep. Hold. Identify the scent. Exhale.


What’s up in the sky? Birds, maybe? How long has it been since you noticed? Ever notice those purple shutters on the house you pass every day? Eye candy exists in many forms.


What are you hearing? Music from a passing car. Children laughing. Pause for a moment, listen, take in all that sound going on around you.

Being mindful doesn’t require supernatural abilities. It starts with paying attention.