How to train your brain


Incorporating mindfulness into your routine can help shift your mindset. Emily Arthur from our Psychological Health and Wellbeing team shares her tips.

Your mind is a powerful tool. Incorporating mindfulness into your routine is an effective method to shift your mindset and similar to physical training, the more you do it, the greater the impact. 

What is mindfulness?  

Mindfulness is often practiced through techniques like meditation, journaling, or cultivating gratitude. It’s a practice where we focus our attention on our breathing, sensations in the body, or specific thoughts and emotions. Essentially paying attention to what is happening right now. It brings you to the present, you become aware of what’s happening and are able to just observe. It is a simple act, but one that can help you feel more balanced and refreshed to take on the rest of the day.  

What are the potential benefits of mindfulness, and how can I integrate it into my daily routine? 

There are multiple benefits of practising mindfulness and some of these include reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, better memory, and increasing your confidence. Mindfulness empowers you to respond to situations based on the present moment, rather than reacting out of habit. It can help you to approach each situation with clarity and openness. 

You don't need anything fancy or to be in a specific place to practice mindfulness. Whether you're sitting in a calm room or walking outside, try giving it a go using any of these methods: 

  • Journalling – write or draw whatever feels comfortable, even just 5 minutes of journalling can help you identify negative thoughts and behaviours.  
  • Mindful breathing - check in on your breathing acknowledging the sensation of each inhale and exhale.  
  • Observe your surroundings without distractions - taking notice of colours and textures, acknowledge any thoughts and feelings that arise and accept those thoughts, without judgement.  
  • Build moments of gratitude with your loved ones - try asking them about the best part of their day and then share your own highlights in return. 
  • Discover a useful meditation app and include it as daily practice in your wake up or wind down routine.  

How often are Australians practicing mindfulness?  

Currently, 15% of Australians engage in regular meditation, while 25% express a desire to start practicing but are not currently doing so. We know that journalling or practicing gratitude can also help with our mindset but just 12% of Australians say it’s something they do regularly and 17% say it’s still on their to do list.  

According to the Bupa Pulse Check survey, two in three Aussies aged 18-39 sought support for their mental health in the past 12 months. In addition to seeking appropriate professional help, integrating mindfulness into our daily routine offers a powerful tool to support our overall wellbeing, and something that we ourselves have control over. It’s a great complimentary practice, so why not give it a try today.