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Shh, Silence is golden, and speech is silver

In a world of constant activity with a steady onslaught of attention-grabbing distractions, the idea of a silent mind can seem like a distant and unlikely possibility. However, the need for silence is profound and can be crucial across life circumstances. 

 

As children we were often told by my mum ‘Shh, silence is golden”, I’d never heard the second part until today. Growing up I never quiet understood the phrase “silence is golden” until I had my own children. While they weren't particularly noisy per se, it felt very noisy to me. And how I would yearn for silence when they were young. And now as an adult juggling multiple projects at work and at home, I have found myself regularly seeking out silence in the form of a 10-day silent retreat to help me rejuvenate and get back to myself. It quickly became one of my annual self-care activities. 

 

I attended my first retreat in 2015. This was not by choice, rather it was a...

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10 Ways to incorporate mindfulness in your life

Mindfulness is a skill that can be learned by anyone; you don’t need to be a specific type of person to be good at it and nor do you need to hold certain beliefs for it to be effective for you. As one of my teachers told me, “You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it.” Mindfulness in simple terms is the art of paying attention and noticing what is occurring around you. Being distracted or busy often undermines your ability to pay attention or notice.

 

Mindfulness is a process of centering your thoughts to bring peace, equanimity, and calmness to your mind. Practicing mindfulness is a lifelong endeavor that allows you to live life more in the present by quieting your thoughts and tuning in to the desires of your heart. I was first introduced to this practice by a colleague nearly 15 years ago and I have been exploring and experimenting with mindfulness ever since.

 

What I have found from my own practice is that mindfulness is a journey best...

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De-stress with mindful colouring

This Sydney lockdown, I have found myself itching to craft and colour. Something I haven’t done in a while. Last week I dusted off my colouring pencils and printed off some mandalas and set about colouring for a couple of hours. It was heavenly!

 

Mindful colouring burst onto the scene almost 20 years ago and has since grown into a whole industry. The research indicates that mindful colouring combined with stress reduction techniques decreases stress by 46%, compared to 28% after a month. Nearly every newsagent I visit has a mindful colouring book of some description. And while the research as to the effectiveness of mindful colouring is mixed, it continues to thrive as a strategy to decrease stress.

 

What is mindful colouring?

Mindful colouring is the very act of colouring pre-drawn illustrations, providing an opportunity to suspend your inner dialogue and engage in an activity that disregards the flow of negative thoughts that can dominate our lives.

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The calming effect of nature

As humans we have become less connected to nature and as a result risk losing our essential health buffer.

When you have a busy work week and a family to care of, any opportunity to take care of yourself is precious. One of the easiest ways to do this is to step out into nature and let it do the rest.

 

How it works

When something happens and we perceive it as a threat, or we are asked to do more than we perceive we're capable of then we experience stress, i.e. a mismatch between what we can and have been asked to do. Once we have this thought our sympathetic nervous system, the ‘fight or flight’ branch of our autonomic nervous system, is activated. When we experience nature, our parasympathetic nervous system is activated, ‘the rest and digest’ branch of the autonomic nervous system, and its activation counteracts the already activated sympathetic nervous system. When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated more than our sympathetic nervous...

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Mindfulness practices to integrate into your day

breathe calm mindfulness Dec 31, 2020

One of the joys of mindfulness is that you can do it anywhere! You don’t need to sit in silence for hours, chant mantras, or even close your eyes. Mindfulness means bringing your complete attention to the present, where you are right now, not distracted by memories of the past or anxieties about the future.

Right here, right now.

Here are some great mindfulness principles you can use to practice mindfulness no matter what time of day or where you are. These suggestions will help you to stay grounded throughout your day so that you can transition to your evening easier.

 

Breathe!

Before you start a practice, notice where you feel your breathe most vividly. No matter where it is, attempt to move your breathe towards your belly with each subsequent breath. This will help you to send a calm message to your body, even if you don’t feel stressed.

You can use the 3 Breaths technique to anchor your awareness firmly in the present. It’s so easy you can do it right now...

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