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How to Stay Calm: Wellness Experts Share Their Tips


How often do you feel at peace during your morning commute, act with grace and poise during a stressful work meeting, or stay calm and serene while ushering the kids to school? Take a deep breath and visualise your life without the stress many of us accept as an inevitable part of life – now you’re already part way there!

To help stay calm and savour life, we’ve put together top tips from some leading wellness experts in Australia on how you could achieve peace of mind.

Learn Meditation

The Meditation Association of Australia aims to set the standards for Australian meditation teachers. It does everything from registering and listing teachers to promoting continued professional development.

The association advises that meditation can be easily learned from a qualified local teacher and simple introductions can also be found in books, apps, and online. Once you have the basics down, practising for as little as five minutes a day can actively help you gain a baseline awareness of what you’re like in a relaxed state.

Creating the habit of a regular, short session of meditation is a great tip for anyone wanting to know how to stay calm.

‘Take a small time out of each day to meditate,’ says Ruth Gawler, President of the Meditation Association of Australia. ‘You can meditate anywhere – in your home or your stationary car, on the steps outside your office, even waiting in a queue. When you start to feel out of control just bring yourself back with the method you use for meditating to offer an excellent, stabilising effect to your day.’

Ask Yourself “Why?”

Life-coaching guru Sandy Ewing, leads Life Coaching Melbourne’s team of experienced and passionate lifestyle, wellness, and career coaches. They have been guiding clients toward successful, fulfilling living since 2001, with a firm underlying belief that there is always a solution to any situation. This is reflected in their individualised approach that takes the time to match each client with the right coach.

To help you keep calm, the practice’s life coach experts suggest developing a habit of reminding yourself why you are doing something. Reminding yourself of your short-term goals and the bigger picture can not only give your actions more meaning, it can also help you avoid getting bogged down with irrelevant tasks. A vision board may also help you foster better focus and help keep you calm as you work through your day.

Make the Most of Your Mornings

Sports nutritionist Steph Lowe and her passionate team of holistic health practitioners at The Natural Nutritionist help clients prime their lifestyle for health with real food education, a range of nourishing recipes, and ongoing support.

They recommend you look after your body and mind by starting your day the way you mean to go on. Look at your schedule and take advantage of your mornings to build a foundation of peace and wellness for the day.

It can be as simple as these three tips: eat a nourishing breakfast, make time for exercise, and set aside a few moments to create your goals for the day.

Try Meditation

Sahaja Yoga Meditation is a meditation technique that aims to help users go beyond their thoughts to reach a state of calm. The Sahaja Yoga public program offers free meditation classes around Australia both in person and online, to help people experience the present moment and live a calmer, more fulfilling life.

Once you’ve learned the technique, simply find a quiet spot to practise it for 10 minutes each day. You may find yourself enjoying a peaceful state of thoughtless awareness, and maybe even notice improvements in mental, emotional and physical wellbeing in a calmer life.

Take Three Steps Towards a Focused Mind

Sydney-based training and coaching business CareerBuilders, headed by Executive Coach Greg Dixon, offers tailored programs and services to help inspire motivation, energy and resilience in both individuals and corporations. Their aim is to foster better mental health in the workplace and assist career development so people enjoy what they do.

Greg offers his three-step approach for those looking to achieve a calm and focused mind. Firstly, ensure you actively allow yourself at least 20 minutes a day of self-care by doing something you enjoy.

Secondly, if you find yourself having a bad day, an attitude of gratitude can go a long way in clarifying your purpose and working as a powerful ‘protective factor’ against a bad mood.

And lastly, remember you have the power to choose how you react to certain negative or unhelpful thoughts – see if you can ‘flick the switch’ to change these thoughts to more helpful ones.

Contemplate a Positive Quality

The Melbourne Meditation Centre offers regular meditation and mindfulness courses, workshops and retreats, providing simple techniques so people can develop skills they can integrate into their busy working days that helps them maintain healthy mental and emotional lives.

Matt Young, Director of the Melbourne Meditation Centre, suggests a sense of calm can be cultivated by bringing pleasant qualities to mind. You could remember a time when you felt wonder, warmth, playfulness, or delight.

Or you could try recalling a pleasant memory from your day. It could be something as simple as a good cup of coffee or a kind word from a colleague. You can bask in these sensations as an antidote to the inevitable stresses and challenges of life.

Make Time for Yoga Each Day

InYoga, based in Sydney’s Surry Hills, likes to remind its students that the effects of yoga are often cumulative: the more you do it, the more likely it is that you will feel better, and the chances are you will find it easier to keep calm.

The studio offers different types of yoga classes from energetic Vinyasa to rejuvenating Yin Yoga, to help people tailor their practice depending on how they feel. Their regular workshops and inspirational events aim to offer extra motivation beyond feeling fantastic.

Setting aside time to flex your body and mind each day can help you enjoy a healthier body, increased vitality, and a more positive outlook on life.

Transform Your Morning Cuppa

For many people, the morning caffeine ritual is the one thing they do every day to put some pep in their step. But did you realise it could also be leveraged to help you slow down?

That’s the top tip from the Lifeflow Meditation Centre, an Adelaide-based organisation that has been offering practical meditation skills through a variety of courses and retreats to a wide range of people and at varying class levels for the past 30 years. They work with everyone from teens and kids to adults and offer a range of class levels from beginner to advanced.

For an easy lesson on how to stay calm, they recommend you transform your morning cup of tea or coffee into a daily meditation. Slow the whole ritual down: pay attention to the water boiling, the aroma, the warmth of the mug in your hands; savour the flavours while you sip; and bring your whole attention to the physical experience.

Adding a simple practice like this into your daily routine can help teach your body and mind to relax more deeply.

Nourish Your Body

Informed Health is a team of qualified and experienced nutritionists using nutrition to promote physical and mental wellness and help address common health problems like stress.

And eating right isn’t just about your physical health, says Fiona Kane from Informed Health. It can also help support a balanced mood and encourage a calm, clear, and focused mind throughout the day. Poor food choices, on the other hand, are often behind those energy slumps, mood swings and feelings of a foggy brain.

Informed Health work with clients in-person from their Penrith and Hawkesbury clinics, as well as over the phone or via Skype. They also actively speak and run workshops to teach people the power of nutrition for both physical and mental wellbeing.

Seek Help from a Professional

To master any meditation technique, it is easier to continue practicing if you are first guided, says meditation expert and family therapist, Pauline McKinnon, from Melbourne’s Stillness Meditation Therapy Centre.

At the centre, professional therapists teach Stillness Meditation Therapy (SMT), a meditation practice pioneered by Australian Psychiatrist Dr Ainslie Meares that helps reorient your mind towards a state of calm.

Guided Stillness Sessions may help people learn how to reduce stress, enhance concentration, and become calm faster and for longer, by addressing symptoms of excessive stress that can affect the nervous system.

Eat Oily Fish

Tabitha McIntosh from Awaken Your Health, a complementary medicine and natural health clinic based in Sydney, recommends adding more omega-3 rich foods into your diet as this essential fatty acid provides building-block components for our brain cells. Oily fish like trout and wild salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and have been linked with boosts to mental performance and mood.

McIntosh also advises making a point of exercising daily, even if it is only 15 minutes. Movement can vastly enhance creativity and focus, and is essential for good mental health.

Practise Your Way to a Zen-like State

Urban Yoga offers a more up-beat way to enjoy the movement and physical benefits of yoga, with DJ-mixed tunes to accompany cat and cow poses.

The teachers at Urban Yoga also suggest a regular practice of clearing your mind. Start by focusing on your breathing; then as you notice your thoughts, don’t engage with them - it’s like overhearing a conversation at the table next to you in a café and not joining in.

The keyword here is 'practice' - you might not experience a zen-like state right away but it could help you on the pathway to calm.

Look After Your Gut

Dr Jaci Barrett and Michelle Holt are dietitians heading up a team at Diet Solutions with a focus on evidence-based dietary strategies. They aim to help clients achieve nutritional goals, address common health issues like food intolerances and high blood pressure, and improve overall wellbeing.

One of their strategies is based on research that supports a link between gastrointestinal wellbeing and brain health, known as the brain-gut axis. They believe that supporting the health of your gut by achieving a healthy intestinal microbiome may help stabilise mood and boost energy levels to help people get more out of each day.

Help to live healthier, happier, longer lives

Hopefully these top tips can help you make changes for a better state of mind and transform your life. Knowing how to remain calm, centred and at peace can help you achieve greater success in your life. Say goodbye to stressful, hectic living and say hello instead to a more empowered you.

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