What’s on your mind? winter 2018 issue 3
You will have noticed in the media recently that there is a big push for everyone to take care of their mental health as well as their physical health. Poor mental health is costing the economy up to £99 billion per year with 300,000 workers leaving their jobs every year on account of a mental health related issue. Mindfulness is one of the tools that is being recommended for those who want to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
Sarah Mayo, is one of 3 co-founders of a total wellbeing company that promotes both mindfulness and movement as effective ways to manage mental health and overall wellbeing.
This is a term that most people will have heard through the media recently but what exactly is mindfulness and how does it help mental wellbeing?
According to John Kabat-Zin who is considered one of the founding fathers of the resurgence in modern-day mindfulness, mindfulness is: “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. It’s about knowing what is on your mind.”
Life happens in the present moment. Yet how often are we living in the moment? Mindfulness is about bringing one’s awareness fully into the here and now. And when we do this we can’t worry about what’s past or what’s to come in the future.
There is much research that shows mindfulness improves memory, concentration and productivity, and decreases anxiety and depression, amongst other things.
Is mindfulness only suitable for those suffering with poor mental health?
Mindfulness as an awareness and as a practice is suitable for everyone. We all have mental health, and mindfulness is a means of maintaining our mental health, a means of maintaining balance and control. We all experience stressful situations – be they at work or in life – and both awareness and the practice of mindfulness can help us respond to situations that unfold, as opposed to react. As with many things in life, the more aware and more practiced we are in something, the more we can use those skills to adapt and cope when needed.
You are a ‘total wellbeing’ company, what does that mean?
We define wellbeing as a state of flow where you’re happy, healthy and thriving and able to cope with all that life throws at you. There are many things that affect our wellbeing – in a positive or negative way – and this is personal to us all. Through the work that we do, we aim to raise awareness of people’s individual wellbeing needs, as well as provide tools and techniques to help people manage their wellbeing better.
How can you practise mindfulness during work hours?
Mindfulness is both an awareness and a practice. During work hours, there are a number of things you can do. Number one is to take time to focus on your breathing. Number two is to reconnect with your senses. And you can do this through the everyday things that we need to do during the day. When eating for example, eat more mindfully. When walking, walk more mindfully. The more you do this, the more you will notice and see the benefits of slowing down and being aware.
For those that would like to try a mindfulness meditation, YouTube has a couple of guided mindfulness experiences. Also, there are many apps out there, such as Headspace and 10% Happier which offer guided mindfulness.
Your wellbeing services range from ‘suitable for all’ talks and workshops to the very physical sounding bootcamps and workouts. Are you able to accommodate a wide range of abilities within your groups?
Absolutely. As a company we hope to motivate and inspire as many people as possible to Move More Mindfully. All our workouts are suitable for all fitness levels. We encourage people to workout at their own levels.
Our workouts typically combine both mind and body fitness – through movement and mindfulness – as we believe this is a powerful combination for optimising mental and physical health and overall wellbeing.
What would be your best piece of advice for people who would like to start being more mindful each day?
Be open-minded and start by being more aware of everything you do. Sounds simple, but as human beings we do tend to overcomplicate things, and love to add distractions into our lives. By being curious, and aware, that is being mindful! It’s as simple as that.
Keep an eye out for Sarah and the team in our 2019 brochure. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for your copy.