Mindfulness

Support your body & mind

Supporting the wellbeing of our residents is one the core foundations behind our Next Generation Neighbourhood, 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 — which influences organisational agility.

Smales Farm residents enjoy free weekly Mindful Movement + Meditation in the middle Q4 glass pavilion 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.

 


 

Start your day right

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 focused

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.

Anti-anxiety

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

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!

Tame the inner critic

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:

  1. Take a couple of minutes to notice your breathing. Sense the flow of the breath, the rise and fall of your belly
  2. Notice what you are doing as you are doing it and tune into your senses. When you are eating, notice the colour, texture and taste of the food.
  3. When you are walking, tune into how your weight shifts and the sensations in the bottom of your feet. Focus less on where you are headed.
  4. Don’t feel that you need to fill up all your time with doing. Take some time to simply be.
  5. When your mind wanders to thinking, gently bring it back to your breath.
  6. Recognize that thoughts are simply thoughts; you don’t need to believe them or react to them.
  7. Practise listening without making judgments.
  8. Notice where you tend to zone out (e.g., driving, emailing or texting, web surfing, feeding the dog, doing dishes, brushing teeth, etc.). Practise bringing more awareness to that activity.
  9. Spend time in nature.
  10. Notice how the mind likes to constantly judge. Don’t take it seriously. It’s not who you are.