November has come and and so to has the amount of filthy moustaches walking around the Melbourne CBD. Movember is a great foundation which raises money for mental health programs In Australia. 1 in 5 people aged 16-85 will have a mental health illness each year. With the Covid-19 pandemic that 2020 has brought, it is even more important to look at some mental health strategies to help you in your day to day life.
I’ve never been on to practice any mindfulness or gratitude but after listening to the Dylan Buckley podcast [Dylandfriends] which had a Melbournian by the name of Hugh Van Cuylenburg. Hugh wrote a book called The Resilience Project (also the name of his company) which travels around Australia working with schools, corporations, sporting clubs etc sharing the benefits of practicing the three principles of Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness. These three principles are incredible and can have an amazing effect on your mental health. So what are they all about? Here is a quick summation
So what is gratitude? Gratitude is about being thankful for the things we have now, and importantly paying attention to those things. You can practice gratitude by noticing the positive things around you, those people or places in our lives that make us thankful. For example I keep a journal where I write 3 things I’m thankful for every day. It’s quick and easy to implement, it only takes 21 days to form a habit. I have formed this habit and now I never miss. (There’s also a cool resilience project app you can download for $3)
There is a close link between empathy and kindness, similarly there are close links between empathy and compassion. To be empathetic is to put ourselves in the shoes of others, to feel and to see what they are. You can practice this by being kind to others, saying thank you or listening.
Practicing mindfulness helps us be present in the moment, to be still and help create a feeling of calm. You can practice this by focusing on one thing at a time without distraction. Think meditating, colouring in or doing a puzzle.
All three of these principles are research backed and show positive effects on our mental health.
If you don’t know what to get your loved one, your colleague, family member or even yourself for Christmas, you won’t regret buying the Resilience Project Book. I’m very thankful that I did!