Supporting the wellbeing of our residents is one the core foundations behind Smales Farm, and with nearly 50% of New Zealanders likely to experience a mental health issue in their lifetime it’s incredibly important. Mindfulness has become a buzz word, often considered a ‘soft skill’, yet it is an essential component of mental health and emotional agility.
Smales Farm residents enjoy free weekly Mindful Movement + Meditation in the B:HIVE Auditorium with Joyful, every Tuesday from 12:30pm — 1:15pm. This low impact method fuses yoga, pilates and calisthenics to help you build strength and flexibility.
For Mental Health Awareness Week we partnered with Tui Fleming who custom-wrote and recorded several guided mindfulness practices for the residents of Smales Farm. We also have 10 simple tips on how to start being more mindful right now.
To have a productive day, at peak performance, start by tuning into how you want to feel and setting an intention. That’s not as simple as stating “I will…”. This visualisation uses a particular method to activate your Reticular Activating System in your brain, which helps seed your intention in your subconscious so that it – and you – will show up how you want to.
Get present to get focused. Tune out from distractions around you and in your mind, and tune in to your body. This is an interlude that uses a powerful breathing technique to get you centered, calm and clear. Example uses: to re-set between meetings; before you engage in critical tasks; before a particularly challenging conversation to ensure you are present.
We all feel anxious from time to time, and that’s okay. The first step is recognising this; the second, is taking action to help yourself – like using this mindful meditation. In just 4 minutes, feel your breathing change and your nervous system disentangle from ‘fight-or-flight’ to the more healthy parasympathetic mode of ‘rest-and-digest’. The visualisation used is effective with children too, so you can take this practice home to use with your children in times where their anxiety is heightened.
Gratitude practice is scientifically proven to ease anxiety and depression and improve positive psychological resources like optimism, self-worth, resilience. Mental states can become lasting neural traits. The term for this is experience-dependent neuroplasticity. When you practice gratitude deeply, you become—more naturally—a more grateful person and those benefits are amplified. Give it a go!
Think of this as a mindful pep talk. Tui takes you through a practical ‘how to’ to tame your inner critic and help you to believe, truly, that you are enough. It incorporates a breathing practice specifically designed to help you relieve tension and at the same time build energy, known as the ‘victorious breath’. Invite your inner critic along, and take back your power.
Practical tips to be more mindful: