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Play as a mindfulness toolThere’s a huge amount of psychology research material around the importance of play for both children and adults, but much of it focuses on the benefits and positive outcomes relating to stress, relationships and wellbeing etc. What hasn’t been well documented is how play relates as a mindfulness tool. When I play candy crush in the mornings I just love it. It’s a quiet part of my day where I’m just me, not a wife / mother / grandmother / CEO and business owner – just me and the game. Each level of the game has a purpose, and for each game I set an intention and I celebrate the outcome. As I play I observe myself – why am I choosing to make that move? What is motivating me? Am I playing for more of the positives or fighting the negatives? What elements in this game can I see reflected in my day – ie is this game about precision and alignment or is it more about expansion and conversion? And as I play I am stimulated by these questions as well as by the colours, the spatial reasoning and the wisdom that comes with my observations. Every next step I take in that game clearly adds up to a result and each one is completed with utter joy. I learn from the losses and I know when I’m stuck on a level for a spell that it will be reflected somewhere else in my life – somewhere I feel ‘stuck’ but with that awareness can now ‘unstick’. Play reveals thought and can be incredibly illuminating in a way that thinking something through often can’t reach or quite connect to. At the end of my play I’m ready to be a part of the world and later when I meditate, I already have insight into the intention I will set for the day that is mine to create. So you see, I don’t switch off when I play, I switch on… What do you play? Please write in and share what starts your day and why it’s so great? Neroli Jones Personal Life Coach; Founder and CEO Paradigm Switch
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Conscious BreathingThere are several ways to consciously breathe, such as the Kapalabhati (breath of fire) and pranayama yogic breathing. They all share one thing in common, they induce rest in the body, by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.
The Alpha StateWhen we ground ourselves through the breath, we move into a lower vibrational state, close to the alpha state. In this highly focused but calm state, we turn on our creative brain, become more aware of our surroundings and can observe life from a different perspective. Doctors Brown and Gerbarg’s Sudarshan Kriya Yogic Breathing Study in the Treatment of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression found that yogic breathing balances the autonomic nervous system, which influences stress-related disorders.
Breathe to Release Stress and AnxietyBecoming more aware helps us to differentiate between experiences that induce fear or stress and the physiological changes that arise from them. By noticing our perception and physical reaction to them, we are able to enhance and safeguard our health in a more conscious and responsible manner.
Better Mind, Body and Spirit.We are each born with billions of brain cells, and when we deprive them of oxygen, our performance will suffer. For example when we hyperventilate, we expel too much CO2, meaning less oxygen can be absorbed by the body, which leads us into a cycle of breathing even faster. By practicing balanced breathing we allow oxygen to circulate evenly, to saturate the blood - feeding every cell in the body, muscles, brain, organs, and skin, while allowing the metabolism to burn fat and work more efficiently.
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“I was dissatisfied with most areas of my life, I had a job I hated, my health had suffered, the family were in disarray and my self critic made me feel I was failing at everything.”A familiar lament we hear only too often? Steve Grant, PS practitioner, certainly says so. It's hardly surprising, when you weigh up the the multi-tasking, juggling lives most of us lead. He has been using the practice of Voice Dialogues for over 16 years, to help patients suffering from problems ranging from sleep disorders to relationship breakdowns at both home and work. Steve believes it is most important to DEVELOP OUR INNER AWARENESS. “This is critical in understanding who is in control of our personal psychological car.” He explains. According to psychologists, Hal and Sidra Stone, we are all made up of many sub personalities - many selves; each one of them having been programmed as we developed and grew up. This practice of “Voice Dialogue” and the “The Psychology of Selves” was developed more than forty years ago, when The Stones identified each self to have its own agendas, memories, desires, physical needs and prejudices. We switch from one to the other regularly and often everyday, depending on what we are doing. Consider how different we act when we are at the office as compared to when we’re on a dinner date, or how our parenting varies to our friendships. Most of us display the following sub personalities: the people pleaser, inner critic, rule maker, the analyst, clown, rebel, or achiever. We also own the ‘being’ personalities such as being happy, vain, fearful, or sad.
Sub-Personalities have the PowerThe problems arise when many people express only a tiny percentage of themselves, by getting locked into and limited by only a small group of these sub personalities. This creates our whole life experience and forms patterns we repeat in relationships, with inner feelings and emotions, leisure activities, career and financial status. Our health, creative expression, view of the world and so forth is further influenced by these sub personalities. If your life’s experiences are constantly repeating or not playing out in the way you want, don’t look for an outside cause. It is vital to consider the workings of the sub-personalities within your mind. Without having knowledge of these, it is very difficult to alter the dynamics of a relationship, or change other areas of your life to run smoothly. Our rational mind does not understand joy nor does it feel joy. Rather it uses a sub-personality to interpret the experience. Try to notice which sub-personality is being used - only one can be used at a time. The modality of Voice Dialogues allows us to unlock the key to understanding ourselves better. It provides a safe environment to access our subconscious voice, expose patterns and behaviours that sabotage or ‘block’ us from success.
By releasing your fears you become stronger
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” advises Professor Brené Brown, who shows us through her work, how we can turn fear into power.Neroli Jones, PS founder has a more amusing analogy: think Nancy Ganz shapewear – “you can push and squeeze the unwanted pounds around but they won’t just vanish – they have to go somewhere!” A very big thank you to Steve Grant Paradigm Switch Osteopath, Acupuncturist and Voice Dialogues Coach.
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The passing of Louise Hay was indeed a sad day for us all at PS. Even though she died of natural causes and had reached a ripe age of 90, she represents a great loss and will be missed by millions, all over world.Louise has been proclaimed to be founder of the self-help movement as a pioneer in initiating the connection between mind and body as well as bringing spirituality into the mainstream. In 1976, she published Heal Your Body, at a time when self-help was almost unknown. It was an instant success and steered Louise who was 50 at the time, into a thriving, lifelong career. Along came the phenomenal bestseller You Can Heal Your Life, which sold more than 50 million copies and reached the New York Times bestseller list for 13 consecutive weeks. By that time, her affirmations and intuitive self-healing had been proven to be successful. Louise herself had been diagnosed with cancer and by using herself as a guinea pig she replaced traditional drugs and medicine with her affirmations, visualisation, nutritional cleansing, and psychotherapy. Louise healed herself within six months. By revealing how mental patterns can cause physical illness Louise taught us to use visualisation, affirmations, and positive thoughts to help reverse ailments and illness. Through Louise’s healing techniques millions have learned how to create healthier, more positive, pain-free and fulfilled lives. As well as not-for-profit - The Hay Foundation, Louise created Hay House, a publishing company that will continue her legacy of self-discovery, spirituality, and healing. Louise will be remembered for her wealth of illuminating quotes and sound teachings that are more relevant than ever, in today’s world of spiritual chaos, and growing mental and physical disease. She has been pivotal in growing the spiritual groundswell, gaining momentum around the world.
RIP Louise Hay.
We thank you for shining your light.
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“Wellbeing is a combination of feeling good as well as actually having meaning, good relationships and accomplishment."Martin Seligman Paradigm Switch founder Neroli Jones identifies 4 pillars of wellbeing; mental, physical, purposeful and the one that is often the most overlooked - emotional. To experience a true sense of wellbeing we need to balance all these elements. Here are some effective wellbeing practices you can incorporate into your week.
MASSAGEMassage is a recognised way to reduce stress and produce deep relaxation. Consider a massage when you are feeling particularly tense or anxious. The practice of using touch as a healing method began over 5000 years ago as a sacred system of natural healing when ancient civilizations found that massage could heal injuries, relieve pain, and prevent and cure illnesses. Todays therapists practice a multitude of techniques originating from the ancient methods. From those origins comes the inspiration to help with healing physical and emotional wellbeing.
GET CREATIVEWhether it’s with arranging a vase of fresh flowers or crafting your own garden, putting some inner creativity into your life will develop a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Not all of us are budding artists but most will take pleasure in cooking a delicious meal, or creating a calm space in the home. Whatever your ‘thing’ - just lead with the heart. In her best-selling book Elizabeth Gilbert explains the untold benefits of living a life creatively –
“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
BORROW A DOGThis is a good one because not only does it provide the value of spending time with a furry friend, but gets your body moving too. The benefits of animal therapy are well documented. According to http://www.pawsforpeople.org spending time with a friendly pet lifts our physical, mental and cognitive focus. Many hospitals now encourage dog visits as a form of natural healing while a number of studies have found that people who spend time with animals experience some real positive effects such as lower blood pressure, a sense of belonging, fewer colds and flu, less stress and elevated moods.
SENSORY BOOSTOur most primal sense is that of smell as it exerts surprising influence over our thoughts, emotions, moods, memories, and behaviours. Scents are experienced in the brain, long before we develop a conscious awareness of it. This is why it's nearly impossible to describe them with language. For this reason, scents can have a powerful influence over how we think, feel, and behave. Try burning some essential oils to suit your mood, match them up to add energy, focus or calm into your life.
BE KINDSomething as small as writing a few thankful words to someone who supports you, or giving a compliment to a stranger can work wonders for the soul. By giving, you boost your internal sense of value and wellbeing. Studies have shown that volunteering promotes better psychological and mental health as well as increased longevity. Next time you’re out and about be ready to offer a seat to someone need or lend a hand to a struggling mum with a pram. It’s tempting to overlook these small acts, while we rush through life, not realising that it’s a simple way of actually making us feel better. Psychologists recognise that doing something positive for someone else can lead to a feeling of well-being in both the helper and the recipient, even a sense of elation. If you develop a balanced wellbeing, other areas of your life will benefit. Kindness attracts kindness.
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When faced with corporate burnout and her own threatened state of wellbeing, Neroli Jones, founder of PS embarked on a journey of personal discovery. She identified four key quadrants that underpin our wellbeing – and realised that it is not until these are in balance, that we can expect to feel a complete sense of health. These pillars, she names - the Physical, Mental, Purposeful and Emotional.
When our Wellbeing Compass is in balance, we can navigate successfully through the pathway of life's highs and lows with ease, effortlessly. On the other hand, when it is not balanced, that is when the problems start. Until now emotional wellbeing has been quite overlooked, with much of what we see in the news focused on mental health. The emotional impact on our lives has traditionally been sidelined or neglected altogether. If mental health is that of the mind, emotional health is that of our feelings and the related aspects of that – our relationships with others and with ourselves. A few years ago, when Neroli was caught in an unexpected downward spiral, her health alerted her to a crisis point before she had worked out that apart from addressing the obvious physical imbalance, it was the emotional side of things that really needed attention. Being a high achiever, placing unrealistic demands on her body, she'd turned to pushing herself harder in an attempt to improve her fitness and physical health. This, in fact proved not to be the answer and had she listened to her body in the first instance, the crisis might have been easily avoided. It was not until Neroli acknowledged her body's cry for attention that she could flip the paradigm and start to give it the love it so desperately yearned for. So, baby steps of self-kindness were taken to get her health back on track; wellbeing became her utmost priority. We are not programmed to be kind to ourselves and it is often seen to be a form of self indulgence, but this illuminating journey helped to navigate her pathway to wellbeing, big breakthroughs and quantum leaps. Learning to love ourselves where we are right now, not where we could be / should be / are expected to be – but right here.
"I call this our Wellbeing Compass"
Emotions are simply feelings with a judgement attached. Once we understand this, the rest falls into place.Emotional wellbeing is about truth – the truth of now. It’s about self-acceptance without judgement and it’s about love. More often than not, we feed ourselves a diet of toxic lies. Our relationship with ourselves is the most profoundly complex relationship we will ever navigate and yet we spend most of our time developing or managing relationships with others, outside ourselves. Emotional wellbeing focuses on your relationship with you…. ask yourself regularly – how does this (person, event, conversation, activity – whatever) make me feel? Do I want more of that or less of that? How you feel tells you everything. You actually do know what you need, you do know what makes you happy, but you do need to invest the time to listen. That's called emotional wellbeing. To understand your personal wellbeing and discover how balanced you are, go to the Paradigm Switch compass tool and spend a few minutes to reveal where you need to focus on improvement. You might be quite surprised at the results. The PS Compass will point to the quadrant that needs most work, so you then can be directed to the best suited therapies.
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Recently our CEO Neroli Jones, had the privilege of attending a prestigious HR summit in the Gold Coast which proved to be enlightening on many levels, one being the growth and acceptance with which meditation and mindfulness has been accepted into the workplace. What might once have been judged as all a bit too ‘out there’ or ‘kooky’ within this environment has now become widely embraced as a proven technique to manage stress and enhance productivity.
INCREASE YOUR PERFORMANCE BY CALMING DOWNThe term “stress” was coined in 1942 by neuroscientists and was identified as a common life event placing physiological overload due to undue pressure. This potentially leads to long-lasting effects on our health and behaviour. Source Think of an ocean that can be choppy on the surface, but is always calm underneath. In a similar way, stress works on the surface, on our frontal lobe of the brain provoking the fight/flight reflex. If we are to bypass it, we need to delve deeper. Sadly, we live most of our lives on the surface. This is where meditation comes in, allowing us to access this calmer part of our brain, by shutting down the limbic brain and frontal lobe. Stop being busy by staying on the surface While our fight or flight activation was important for survival, traditionally it was intended to be used only once a month or so. However today, in 2017 we tend to live there far too frequently - just like having our foot on the accelerator continuously, without using the brakes! Meditation helps us to take a break and heal. With meditation our mind forces the body to slow down, allowing it the time to heal. Meditation lowers the body metabolic rate by 24%, while sleep lowers it by only 8%. When we meditate we cause the heart rate and lungs to slow down, as well as dropping our body temperature. This means less wear and tear on our body organs and cell mechanisms, less toxic chemicals are produced, more energy is saved and the natural processes of repair and rejuvenation are allowed to flow easily.
MEDITATION GIVES US PERSPECTIVEAs meditation is soothing our overheated metabolism and slowing down body function, it allows us to look inside and see how we have allowed ourselves to speed up in the first place. We are given a new perspective by becoming aware of our roles, how we have been taught, trained and conditioned to act in set patterns without perhaps questioning them. Meditation first teaches us to be aware, and then gives us the capacity to slow down, take control, and focus. Meditation promotes mental clarity and coherence, as shown when we have an MRI that can measure transcendental consciousness - a state of restful alertness or meditative state. The body is allowed time to repair, the mind can focus and our general state of wellbeing is brought back into balance. It is no wonder the workplace has joined the rest of the world and is implementing the power of meditation. What works on an individual level is just as effective in a workplace.
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If you look around at the people you admire, the ones that inspire you, that make you feel good, and the ones who have that contagious energy you just wish you could catch…. What is it they have in common? Chances are, you’ll find that they have a reason to get up in the morning. In other words they are motivated by an innate purpose or sense of moving forward to achieving something they feel passionate about. Being happy can take on a number of disguises – it deceives us into thinking we’ll get happy if we:
“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” Helen Keller
Get a new car
Go on holiday
Find a partner
Eat our favourite food
Go to the gym
Go partying with friendsThese are all enjoyable but temporary happiness moments. More often than not, once the holiday is over, we are faced again with having to find another happiness distraction. And so the cycle spins around and around. Continuous research findings have shown that a lasting sense of happiness or contentment comes with being useful. If we are being useful to ourselves, friends, family, the planet or even our pets, our sense of identity or pride is lifted, thus inducing a feeling of achievement and satisfaction. You just need to look at a new mother to witness a purpose surge of happiness. According to Volunteering Australia, 96% of volunteers said it made them happier people. It’s also worth noting that volunteers are healthier and sleep better. They experience a ‘helpers’ high’ akin to an emotional and physical sense of wellbeing. Financial security, a sense of purpose in life, and good personal relationships are said to make up the "golden triangle" or 3 pillars of happiness according to one of Australia's largest wellbeing surveys. Unfortunately, the toughest one to harness is to find your purpose, which essentially underpins the other two happiness pillars. Finding your purpose can be both challenging and elusive, often taking many years to discover.
The Answer is always Inside YourselfSpiritual teacher and Hindu Priest, Dandapani gave up a promising career in engineering, to train with a guru in a cloistered monastery for 10 years. It wasn’t until he settled in New York City, before he could pinpoint the key that unlocks our authentic purpose, lodged deep within each one of us. The challenge of course, is to allow it to surface. “We are all too busy distracting ourselves to let our true sense of why we are here become apparent.” Dandapani tells us. “How can we hear what’s within if we don’t listen? You can’t meditate however unless you are taught how to concentrate or focus and that takes practice. Purpose is hard to find for many of us and there’s no easy shortcut to find it.” One tool that will help you to measure how in touch you are with your purpose is by completing our Paradigm Compass test, which you will find by clicking here. We invite you to talk this simple exercise that allows you to assess how far you are from finding your true purpose, and then will direct you to the most appropriate help, if necessary.
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We asked our talented team at PSU HQ to come up with their personal tips to make sure Christmas runs smoother, happier and healthier.
Neroli Jones, CEO breaks it down to collaborate and sing …Don’t stress… it’s just one day. We keep it simple, everyone pitches in and contributes and that way we all get to enjoy ourselves. Who doesn’t love a Christmas carol?! You’re likely to get pointed looks if you sing Noel in September, but the whole month of December is a month to go for it. Singing has to be one of the best stress busters ever, so belt out a falalala while you’re stuck in traffic and see if it doesn’t make you smile…
Shelley Seddon, our synergy manager focuses on some year in review and personal observations …During Christmas Lunch we have a (hopefully) fun “Year in Review” discussion. Everyone is emailed questions in advance so they have a chance to really think about their answers.
Family/holiday conversations can sometimes be awkward or dominated by a few people. I have found that if you give people time to prepare, it gets everyone involved, including children who can sometimes feel left out or embarrassed by being put on the spot. It’s a great way to actually connect with people instead of just making small talk.
What was your favourite movie, book, TV show this year?
Best travel story.
Highlight of the year
What do you hope to accomplish next year?
What are you most looking forward to in the New Year?
Hannah-Florence Macgregor, video producer advises us on how to keep our bodies healthy this season …Drink lots of water especially in these hot months. 3-4 litres a day, will keep you hydrated and balance out the excessive sugars and other indulgences we enjoy during the festive season. If you feel like going one step further, add little Apple Cider vinegar to alkalize the water and detox while you hydrate.
Anna Barr, Director of Awareness focuses on staying calm…
Helen Kingsmill, Ground Control, has discovered a real crowd pleaser…Here’s a handy recipe that is a whizz to make and sooo healthy and fresh!
Prawns with blended Xmas mango dipFresh, green Aussie king prawns 2 x plump Christmas season mangoes Generous handful of fresh basil leaves Garlic and chilli infused oil (for marinating prawns) Spritz of lemon juice Shell the green prawns leaving tail intact and marinate in the garlic/chilli oil Peel mangoes and whizz in a food processor with basil and lemon juice. Cook the prawns on the barbeque, brushing with oil – they cook in a flash so don’t look away! Serve warm, with mango dip, then stand back so you don’t get injured in the crush for more!
Nadia Superina, Mission Control, shares her diet tricks…
*Eat a healthy breakfast with loads of fruit/veggies and healthy fats. Either a big smoothie or eggs with avocado. This means that even if you have a fabulously unhealthy lunch and dinner, you’re charged with one healthy meal. Plus, fats will make you feel fuller so you’ll eat less of the bad stuff.
*Stick to three meals and avoid snacking. All the snacks add up and you’d be amazed how they pile on the weight.
*Drink lots of water between meals. NOT with meals. Water dilutes stomach acid, which needs to be strong to digest meals (particularly loaded with carbs and protein). Drinking between meals will help you feel full as well as prevent snacking.
Merry, healthy Christmas to all!
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