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Daily Mindfulness

Healthy Living Spaces - Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I have just spent an amazing weekend at the Gawler Foundation on an Essence of Health Retreat with Dr Craig Hassed. In two days I gained incredible insight and information to help me continue on my journey towards greater wellbeing.

Over the course of the weekend we covered the seven pillars of wellbeing:

  • Education

  • Stress Management

  • Spirituality

  • Nutrition

  • Connectedness

  • Environment

For me it brought back to the forefront just how important exercise, good nutrition and a feeling of connectedness to those around us is. I have had periods of my life where I have regularly meditated but often life seemed to get in the way, things got busy and one of the first things that seemed to fall of my wagon was practicing meditation and mindfulness and incorporating into my everyday practices.

After these two days away I can once again see how vital and beneficial this practice is and how much of a difference it can make to our productivity levels and a healthy state of mind. Stress is so much a part of our modern world and although we seem to be more connected then ever before, via the devices we use, in fact more people now feel disconnected and isolated than ever before. Rates of depression are increasing dramatically particularly amongst adolescents with depression and anxiety predicated to be a leading burden of disease in Australia. 

By doing activities with a partner we discovered how ineffective multi-tasking really easy and how the brain really doesn’t operate that way at all. I often practice an hour of power when I am working and I am always amazed at what I can achieve in that time, and I only ever focus on one thing and give it all my attention. That doesn’t mean you can’t be interrupted it just asks you to stop what you are doing focus on what ever the next situation is and then come back to the other one. 

I know from the studies that I have done over the last decade that what we give our attention to has a profound effect on our body but it is easy to forget about this in everyday life and sometimes it takes just taking a couple of days out and attending a retreat like this one, that can help bring it all back to the forefront. 

The most empowering thing I took away this weekend is to know that we have control over our bodies and we can bring them back to good health even when faced with health challenges. The body is capable or re-regulating and re-calibrating itself and is in fact an amazing and complex machine that never ceases to amaze me. We just need to follow the seven pillars of health, feed it well, exercise daily and be mindful of our thoughts and take time just to be still. Of course we need to be aware of our environment and what we are being exposed to on a daily basis and taking measures to avoid anything that could be undermining our immune system and ultimately affecting our health.

Dr Craig Hasseds book The Essence of Health – The Seven Pillars of Well Being can be purchase from the Gawler Foundation and it is a fabulous read.

  • Incredibly toddlers can put things in their mouth up to 76 times per hour and may ingest up to 10 grams of dust per day
  • Every day around 17,000 litres of air pass through our lungs
  • The CSIRO estimates that the cost of poor indoor air quality in Australia may be as high as $12 billon per year (SOK, 2001).
  • More than 80,000 chemicals have been developed and released into the global environment since the 1950’s. Today the World Health Organisation (WHO) attributes 36% of all childhood deaths to environmental causes.
  • Most European countries don’t chlorinate their water supply and about 97 percent of countries don’t fluoridate their water supply because of health concerns.
  • Use indoor plants to reduce VOC’s from your indoor air.
  • Perfumes may contain many chemicals, one being phthalates which mimic the hormone oestrogen which has been linked to breast cancer.
  • Choose safer plastics such as polypropylene (PP), high density polyethylene (HDPE) and low density polyethylene (LDPE). Never reuse plastic drink bottles and definitely don’t leave them in cars in the hot sun.
  • Waiting for high levels of scientific proof before taking action on electromagnetic fields can lead to a very high health and economic costs, as was the case with asbestos, leaded petrol and tobacco (Council of Europe, 2011)
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