Why switching off helps us to switch on

We all have times where we experience stressful or challenging situations. Our minds are often busy with many different thoughts, and it’s not usual to be juggling more than one task at a time.

If you’ve ever thought that your head is spinning with plans and ideas, then it probably is, and a mindful focus might be for you!

How does it work?

Regularly engaging in mindfulness can help us stay present in the moment, and provide a clear space for us to focus on one task or challenge at a time. This focus can help us to respond or participate in our lives in a calm and connected way.

Mindfulness involves slowing down and focusing on what we are seeing, hearing and feeling. By doing this we can feel more grounded and aware of what is happening at any point in time. Think about the last time that you were totally immersed in a task, maybe you were writing a report, carefully painting a wall or teaching your child to draw. You may not have realised it, but this deep connection to a particular task is mindfulness in action!

With a little practice, mindfulness can help us to purposefully decide how we’ll respond to a situation. It can also open the door to meditation, a form of exercise for the mind.

If you are new to mindfulness it might not be easy at first, but because this can powerfully benefit your wellbeing, it’s absolutely worth giving a go.

The following resources are available to help you get started:

  • Black Dog Institute provides a factsheet with mindfulness techniques to practice at home.
  • Smiling Mind is a free app which helps develop mindfulness skills and can reduce stress.
  • Breathe — ReachOut.com is suitable for young people wishing to manage anxiety through controlled breathing.

For the month of June, Smiling Mind have developed a free 30-day mindfulness program for adults to help establish positive mental health practices for now and into the future. You can register for the program here

Why not give mindfulness a go – your mind will thank you.

Need to talk to someone?

You can reach an OzHelp support officer on 1300 694 357 (9am – 5pm, Mon- Fri). You can access 24/7 support by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyondblue on 1300 22 4636, or MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.

You may also find it helpful to talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.