It was in the early 2000s, when mindfulness had not yet hit the mainstream medical world, that trained psychiatrist, mindfulness expert and bestselling author Dr Elise Bialylew attended a conference where leading neuroscientists discussed research supporting the ways mindfulness could transform the body and brain, including improved attention, focus, emotional intelligence and wellbeing.
She felt she was witnessing a paradigm shift in the world of wellbeing and became passionate about sharing what she had learned. When the phrase Mindful in May came to her mind during meditation, she knew she had to act on it.
5 gratitude exercises to stop you spiralling into despair
At times like these, we have to be careful about how we focus our attention.
The news streams about our global situation are relentless.
While it’s important to stay informed, we have to make a mindful effort to not get swept into a fast-moving current of fear, worry and panicked behaviour – which is not only bad for us personally, but terrible for the well-being of our communities.
How to become calmer in just 10 minutes
Time flies when we’re doing less than usual. Although some people say it slows down. Whatever we’re feeling, most of us can spare 10 minutes a day right now to meditate.
While everyone is talking about immunity and hand washing, protecting our mental health is also more important than ever. Think about meditation as hygiene for your head; a way to get rid of unhelpful thoughts and build mental resilience. Doing this daily is just as important as washing our hands.
The Best Cure For
Post-Holiday Blues Is Another Holiday
Working alongside Luxury Escapes to design the space, the company enlisted the input of leading Australian doctor, mindfulness expert and founder of ‘Mindful in May,’ Dr. Elise Bialylew, who believes strongly in the positive benefits of travel. “For those who are fortunate enough, travel can be a powerful way of boosting mental health; time off work to engage the brain in novelty is a potent way to re-energise, recharge and return to daily life with greater focus and enthusiasm.” “The Holiday Lab concept offers a playful way to explore what time off looks like for every individual and… offers a creative solution at a time of year where we’re naturally seeking out our next trip.”
Luxury Escapes launches ‘Holiday Lab’ to help people find their next holiday
The Holiday Lab has been designed with the input of leading Australian doctor, mindfulness expert and founder of Mindful in May, Dr. Elise Bialylew. “For those who are fortunate enough, travel can be a powerful way of boosting mental health; time off work to engage the brain in novelty is a potent way to re-energise, recharge and return to daily life with greater focus and enthusiasm” Dr. Bialylew says. “The Holiday Lab concept offers a playful way to explore what time off looks like for every individual and it was a pleasure collaborating with the Luxury Escapes team to offer a creative solution at a time of year where we’re naturally seeking out our next trip.”
Mindful strategies to manage iso-anxiety
Mindfulness is a practice that trains us in developing greater awareness of what is happening from moment to moment. We need this training because the mind was not designed to be easily present. When we are present to what is going on, we have greater power and freedom to respond to life’s challenges with greater wisdom and effectiveness.
When we are present to what is going on, we have greater power and freedom to respond to life’s challenges with greater wisdom and effectiveness.
Finding Calm: How to manage parenting overwhelm
As a mother of two young girls, I, like all loving parents, do everything in my power to keep them safe. Our role as parents is to keep our children fed, clothed, housed, educated, entertained and loved.
On an ordinary day in an ordinary world, this can be a tough juggle.
Mindful strategies to manage iso-anxiety
Online travel company Luxury Escapes has just launched an IRL experience, the Holiday Lab pop-up, which will help you plan the perfect trip. The pop-up was designed with the input of Australian doctor, mindfulness expert and founder of Mindful in May, Elise Bialylew.
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As a business owner and mother of two and recently just discharged from an unexpected hospital stay (not the best timing!), I can very much empathise with the challenges of our newfound reality. I’m a doctor trained in psychiatry who, for seven years, has been teaching people online how to meditate through my month-long Mindful in May program. Balancing kids and employees and cooking and budgets, tantrums, deadlines and now my own recovery has been overwhelming to say the least!
Dr Bialylew found a lifeboat for challenging times
When you can witness your anxiety or fear with compassion, non-judgment, and presence, it becomes clear that there is a part of you that’s not affected by the anxiety. This mindful witnessing allows you to find some ground and not get completely lost in the fear which can so easily spiral out of control.
Dealing with unfamiliar anxiety
If you've started to feel like you're having panic attacks with all this uncertainty in the world, you are not alone. Mine started the first day we were sent home to work, and I'm still getting them. So I reached out to Dr Elise Bialylew for some advice and to find out whether we should hide our stress from our kids.
Leading medical professionals urge Australians to adopt Mindful in May
April – A coalition of senior health professionals are calling on Australians to adopt Mindful in May to manage the impending mental health crisis that has been triggered by the CV-19 pandemic.
Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Monash University, Dr Craig Hassed, says that health services are dealing with an unprecedented volume of enquiries from Australians experiencing anxiety and stress due to health concerns, social isolation, unemployment, underemployment, financial strain and managing homeschooling and believes Mindful in May is a necessary lifeline.
“A lot of Australians are doing it tough as their lives have been turned upside down. While many people are laid off or stood down without duties to perform, they have an excess of time. Excessive time, especially when isolated, often leads to worry, rumination and if left unchecked it can downward spiral quickly. Now more than ever we need to manage our minds so Mindful in May’s 30-day program can be tremendously helpful for those seeking to manage the uncertainty, ride the emotional rollercoaster, or hit reset,” says Dr Hassed.
The alliance made up of psychologists, general practitioners, psychiatrists, gastroenterologists and nurses has thrown their weight behind Mindful in May stating that the program offers salvation to those struggling with their mental health. With the World Health Organisation stating that depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide, the coalition believes it is essential that Australians build the inner tools to face the very real challenges of life, particularly in light of the pandemic.
“We have thrown our endorsement behind Mindful in May because it is soundly based on techniques with strong scientific backing and it has a great track record. There are all manner of mindfulness apps and gurus out there, but very few are led by medically trained experts with such strong mental health and mindfulness credentials.”
Research undertaken by Dr Neil Bailey, a neuroscientist and Research Fellow at the Epworth Centre for Innovation in Mental Health at Monash University, showed that Mindful in May participants experienced greater focus, improved stress management, increased levels of self-compassion, greater positivity and reduced negative emotions.
“Our study also showed that daily mindfulness practice (as per the Mindful in May program) lead to more common experience of positive emotions than less frequent mindful practice,” says Dr Bailey
Led by Dr Elise Bialylew, a doctor trained in psychiatry, and a world class panel of global experts, the 30-day program consists of 10-minute daily meditations teaching the skills of mindfulness so that Australians can reclaim their minds and manage spiralling thoughts of worry.
“We are grateful to have the medical profession stand behind the program, it’s further endorsement of the measurable, positive health benefits that just 10 minutes of meditation can have on the mind. The program’s success is thanks to many years of rigorous assessment and research and a highly engaged mindful community,” says Dr Bialylew.
The medical profession has thrown its weight behind the global program with over 100 nurses at the Alfred Hospital participating in the challenge, along with staff and students at Monash University and RMIT.
“In the past 12 months, there were close to 1500 peer reviewed journal articles published that have reinforced the science behind mindfulness, and Mindful in May is a structured ‘brain training’ to train the mind away from rumination and worry about the past and hypothesising about an unknown future. It can help us to focus on what we need to focus on now and also to connect with others in more meaningful and compassionate ways,” says Dr Hassed.
Dr Bailey echoes Dr Hassed’s assessment, stating “stress and anxiety have been shown to reduce brain function. Our research shows that practicing mindfulness improves brain function, leading to more accurate decisions while at the same time less energy is expended, suggesting increased brain efficiency”.
“Our colleagues work in high pressure, roles at the coal face where distraction, complex multitasking, and rumination can have catastrophic impacts, so learning a practice of mindfulness is an important life-saving skill,” says Dr Hassed.
For the broader Australian society, the benefits are well evidenced. The practice is proven to shift the mind away from catastrophising, the mindless excessive use of technology, and living on auto pilot – all behaviours linked to a steady increase in rates of depression.
“There are any number of benefits to mindfulness including deepening our joy in living, improving our connectedness and relationships, improving memory and mental health, even driving our cars more safely, and of course lowering rates of depression and anxiety,” says Dr Hassed.
The alliance urges Australians to take the antidote to today’s global pandemic.
Health professionals around Australia will join Dr Elise Bialylew for 10 minutes of meditation each day for the month of May.
Alliance of mindfulness advocates
- Dr Craig Hassed - Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University
- Dr Neil Bailey, neuroscientist and Research Fellow at the Epworth Centre for Innovation in Mental Health, Monash
- Dr Richard Chambers, clinical psychologist and leading mindfulness expert
- Professor Marc Cohen, registered medical practitioner with degrees in western medicine, physiology, psychological medicine and PhDs in Chinese medicine and biomedical engineering
- Dr Ilana Prideaux, gastroenterologist
- Dr Emily Walsh, general practitioner
Registration and fundraising now open, registration open until 11 May.
About Mindful in May
Mindful in May—the world’s largest online mindfulness meditation and fundraising campaign—is set to return for 2022. Every May, thousands of people worldwide join the program featuring the world’s best experts and build mental resilience through committing to 10 minutes of meditation per day, while also raising funds to address the world’s most urgent global issues. To date over $1,020,000 has been raised to transform the lives of more than 31,843 people in urgent need of clean, safe drinking water!
Along with establishing a sustainable, evidence-based mindfulness practice during the month of May, participants gain access a world class mindfulness and wellbeing program featuring global experts in well-being, mindfulness and the brain, climate change, including John Kabat Zinn, Kelly Mcgonical and many more. Along with many leading experts, Mindful in May has also had the support of ambassadors such as Magda Szubanski and partners such as Google HQ in Silicon Valley.
About Dr Elise Bialylew
Elise Bialylew M.D is a mindfulness meditation expert, doctor trained in psychiatry, social entrepreneur and published author who’s on a mission to improve the wellbeing of our society and our planet. She was recognised by the Australian Financial Review as a 2019 AFR Women of Influence and was a Telstra Business Awards finalist. Find out more about her Amazon bestseller, The Happiness Plan here.
In times like these, we really can't afford to lose our mind. Spend a month training your mind through Mindful in May and step into greater calm.
Download images: http://bit.ly/2R0fki5
Monash Research: https://bit.ly/2u5295K
ARTICLES ON MINDFULNESS TO SHARE
Below are some articles written by the Mindful in May founder Dr Elise Bialylew. You can share them as guest posts on your website and share on social media with #mindfulinmay
If you’d like to publish them on your blog as guest posts, just copy and paste them. Please make sure you attribute any article to Mindful in May and the writer Dr. Elise Bialylew, Founder and host of Mindful in May. If sharing on social media please tag @mindfulinmay and #mindfulinmay.
- 12 ways to show love to yourself today
- A Lesson on being supported by others
- Four ways that mindfulness can help you manage the emotional roller coaster of motherhood
- Five scientific benefits of mindfulness meditation
- Four ways mindfulness enhances your happiness
- Overcome your social media addiction with mindfulness
- How to mindfully manage a tantrum