Smile, breathe, and go slowly

“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the biggness of issues that I care most about, especially given today’s political climate in the United States. Education. LGBTQIA+ rights. Women’s rights. Black Lives Matter. Healthcare. Global warming. Just typing this list, I can feel my blood pressure rising and paralysis setting in. When this happens, I find it most helpful to get back to the basics. The basics can then guide my very next move and motivate me to action. And it doesn’t get much more basic than this suggestion from Thich Nhat Hanh Sanga.⁣

Smile, breathe, and go slowly

Published by Emily P.G. Erickson

Emily P.G. Erickson is a writer with a master's degree in psychology. Her service journalism and personal essays about mental health, mindfulness, and motherhood have appeared in The New York Times, WIRED, Romper, Elemental, and elsewhere. You can find the latest from Emily at

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