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 2020. 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. Over the last eight years, Mindful in May has taught over 40,000 people to meditate while raising $800,000 to bring clean, safe drinking water to the developing world. Due to the unprecedented and catastrophic bushfires in Australia, this year Mindful in May’s fundraising efforts will be directed toward this cause.
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 recently 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.
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Monash Research: https://bit.ly/2u5295K
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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
SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
- PAUSE. Close your eyes. Count three breaths – You just meditated. Want more? Sign up to #mindfulinmay @mindfulinmay
- This May I’ll be transforming my mind – and the world. Will you join me? #mindfulinmay @mindfulinmay
- #meditating for 10 min/day is proven to sharpen your focus. I’m trying it out for #mindfulinmay. Join me? @mindfulinmay
- #mindfulinmay – a global one month #meditation challenge to fund clean #water projects. I’m in. Are you? @mindfulinmay
- Clear mind for you. Clean water for others. This month I’m joining #mindfulinmay – will you? @mindfulinmay
- Your #mind is your biggest resource. What are you doing to #nourish it? Here’s an idea: @mindfulinmay #mindfulinmay