Mindfulness Matters

It’s time for a mental declutter moment! Do you ever replay an awkward chat over and over in your head? And wish you could rewrite the script of what actually came out of your mouth? Do you find yourself constantly making to-do lists for the next day as you try to fall asleep? Do you find yourself watching YouTube instead of putting on the washing? Is overthinking an issue that you overthink about?!

With today’s technology we are basically available 24/7, and we can find it hard not to keep churning over issues. This mental clutter can keep you from being in the moment with friends and family. Worse, it can stop you from productively moving forward. Studies also show that using rumination as a coping strategy for stressful events can lead to decreased mental health… So let’s look at some ways we can mitigate the overthinking cycle!

With the plethora of articles on the internet we have tried to narrow it down to a few key points that you can focus on to declutter your brain and enjoy learning to focus and let go.

The first step is to actually recognise when you are caught in an overthinking cycle. Decide whether your thoughts are actually problem-solving, or if they are just repeating the same narrative over and over. The second step has the fancy name of ‘Cognitive behavioural therapy’ but basically – challenge your thoughts and decide to replace them with a new thought. This override is to manually stop the negative spiral and focus on problem solving. Much easier said than done most of the time, but so effective when you can master it.

Mindfulness and meditation may sometimes feel like the ‘it’ terms for the wellness gurus, but they are mentioned so often because they actually work! Training your brain to switch off and allowing it specific time to rest and rejuvenate can not only boost your happiness levels, it can also help your brain find the solution to that problem you’ve been obsessing about. Going for a walk or picking up a book is a great way to be mindful and mediate without having to pull out the incense sticks and rainforest soundtracks.

The last step is to ‘change the channel’ and focus on something new. An easy example is to complete a Sudoku or grab an adult colouring book. Using a colouring book has proven to change heart rates and brain waves. It has a calming effect while allowing the brain to focus on simple productive tasks. So why not give it a shot? Not only do you get a colourful picture that you don’t need to stick on the fridge, you also shrink your amygdala ‘flight-or-flight’ centre.  If colouring isn’t your thing, you can also get the same benefits from a few rounds of Tetris or by vacuuming the house. All you need is a repetitive task with patterns that has low levels of decision making, and with vacuuming you get the added benefit of a clean house!

With winter closing in and making everyone want to rug up with hearty foods, we found these recipes that use a few simple tweaks to make some of our classic comfort foods a little lighter on the waistline but still just as cozy.

As always, please let me know if there are any particular topics or benefits that you would love us to look into, or if you have any queries or concerns.

You can call me on 03 9963 4832 or email me directly.

-Chelsea King

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