Combating stress through mindfulness
Great career. Tick. Busy social life. Tick. Always on the go. Tick. Stressed. Also tick.
In our increasingly connected world, there never seems to be a quiet moment. We receive digital reminders about each appointment, are contactable 24:7 and spend large chunks of our lives engaging with one another online. We live in a click frenzied world, where near instant responsesare the norm, and life can become overwhelming both at work and home.
Meet Josh, a client of mine, whose story I’d like to share.
Josh has a highly demanding job and works long hours each week. He’s a competitive type who is driven, likes to stay ahead of the game and who is well versed at juggling commitments.
As a project manager for a large construction organisation in Melbourne, Josh is responsible for 500+ staff and sees himself working weekends frequently just to get the job done. He’s also a loving partner and has a family he loves to stay connected to.
Through his own reading and connections, Josh discovered that many highly successful people start their day with either meditation or mindfulness. Intrigued and keen to reduce his stress levels as well as become more in tune with himself, Josh signed up to one of my programs.
Speaking about some of the benefits of his 1:1 mindfulness coaching with me, Josh states “I feel my performance at work is better – what I do enjoy a lot more now is actually engaging more in
conversations and meetings and at the end of the day, what I’ve realised is that you can’t do more than what you’re doing in the present moment.”
Josh cites his ability to now have a clearer mind, being more aware of how you’re engaging with others and being more effective in his output and workload as being some of the benefits of mindfulness. Mindfulness allows you to maintain a steady state and training yourself to be present in the moment and not always think about what’s next helps reduce your stress levels. It also makes everything much more enjoyable when you take each moment and interaction on its own merits.
Of course, mindfulness cannot be learnt overnight. It’s a staged process that I take you through and you need to learn to crawl before you can walk, so to speak. From the first foundation phase of my course to the third and final integration phase, I take you through your own personal mindful journey, adapted for your own unique circumstances and experience.
Josh is quick to point out that “It was all new to me, and I didn’t know what to expect or what I’d learn, but its all been positive and has definitely exceeded my expectations for sure.”
The key to using mindfulness to combat stress is that it’s a tool we can all benefit from. As with any tool, you just need to know how to use it effectively to help it to do the job properly.
Fighting the overwhelm – how to find balance in your life as a busy entrepreneur and parent.
Finding time for yourself is often tough. Feeling overwhelmed with business, family and lifestyle commitments is a common problem in today’s busy world. Being on the go constantly, can quite simply be exhausting.
Working on or in a business is a huge commitment and handful which demands your time, effort and hard work to be successful. Adding external commitments such as parenting, ageing relatives and the challenge just increases. Whilst each individual component can be incredibly rewarding, the juggle of keeping all the balls up in the air can stretch your time (and patience) extremely thin. We sometimes put pressure on ourselves to be successful in business, the most amazing partner and if we have children, a loving and attentive parent. Not forgetting the daily grind activities of keeping fit, trying to fit in all our friends and family and keeping a clean and tidy home. It’s no wonder that many of us find ourselves stressed and overwhelmed.
I’m familiar with this situation and work with many clients who feel burnout and who are struggling to keep the balance. It’s particularly difficult for those who are go-getters and are highly driven to realise they have finite resources and over exertion of these can easily cause them to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. My programs have seen clients start unsure how to find success as an individual whilst still giving your all to your family.
Let me share with you the story of one of my clients, Sian.
Sian is a loving mother, a driven entrepreneur, and a successful career woman, working hard to make sure her business thrives while still maintaining a happy home life. We worked together at a time when she felt most overwhelmed.
Sian’s the type of woman who loves her work and finds great fulfillment in reaching milestones in her career. Wired to be on the go with the motivation and drive to be extremely successful, Sian’s able to keep things afloat, but at a cost. For Sian, this meant giving up some time for herself just to make sure that everything else ran smoothly.
Sian stepped into my 6-month mindfulness program. We worked together to jumpstart her mindfulness journey and teach her how to be more conscious in her day to day life and activities. Throughout the 6 months, I guided her and worked hand-in-hand to help her find her personal balance and fight the overwhelming and conflicting emotions and demands, helping to rewire Sian’s mind to live her life in a different way.
“I often end up driving myself far too hard and not taking enough time to relax and unwind,” Sian said. It was such a pleasure to witness such substantial changes in her life. While each step is measured to track her progress, what I loved the most is how she also felt the substantial shift in her everyday life.
Sian describes her daily routine as very busy, hectic, and fast-paced. She’s constantly thinking about the next thing to do on her list while finishing the first item off. Sian says that “There just aren’t enough hours in a day to service clients, run my business, run a house, be a good Mum, and do all the things that I need to do. There’s very little downtime, and I tend to just flake out at the end of the day, exhausted.” Does this sound familiar?
Throughout my carefully stepped out program, I guided Sian address some of her challenges through a meticulous and strategised approach on Mindfulness which is broken down into three phases. After each phase, we measured the progress to make sure that we were on track to what she wanted to achieve.
How did mindfulness help Sian?
Mindfulness is a practice that encourages you to be present and bring your awareness to the present moment. While many people only view it as a means to relax, its immense power spans beyond resting and finding the time to slow down. Mindfulness is a way to help you cope up with the demands of life. Quieting the mind means finding more clarity, focus, and energy for the things that truly matter. It means letting go of unnecessary stress and finding your way towards success and abundance. Many people simply don’t know where to start when considering mindfulness. For all the buzz words in Corporate life and theories on ‘how to be more mindful’, it’s the tangible action plans and realistic advice which often isn’t provided, which is where I step in as the expert to guide you.
Sian found the mindfulness techniques in my programme essential to help her enjoy the little moments and fight the overwhelming demands of her busy life. She also said that she appreciated having the time to be fully present and to bring her full attention when she’s looking after her daughter. The changes didn’t commence overnight, but helped shape Sian’s ability to find personal growth, not only as a Mum but also as an entrepreneur.
“I think it’s made a really big impact on my ability to relax in my business and I’m probably making more money because of that,” she adds.
“The practice was thought-provoking, and at times challenging, in the sense that it was challenging my mindset around things,” Sian mentions. More than feeling lighter, mindfulness also brings about a change in perspective and mindset, increasing the positive effect of creating space for those items which matter most.
“I think the way that I think about things has changed considerably since working through the program. If anything, I am more mindful of myself. I’ve fully taken on board everything you’ve taught me throughout the program.”
If you want balance and calm, start your journey to mindfulness.
“If you feel like you’re stressed, overwhelmed, and life is getting the better of you and you’re not having a lot of fun, then I absolutely [recommend] this program. Sabina is amazing at what she does and so gentle in her approach. [The experience] is so non-judgemental.” – Sian
My mindfulness programs focus on providing a long-term change in your life. It’s not a band-aid solution to make you immediately feel better — it’s about providing you with confidential, practical actions to lead you on a journey to a calmer, more successful future. My role is to guide you through that pathway, through a series of tried and tested programs, tailored for your unique circumstances.
Mindfulness and meditation are not another task to tick off from your to-do list; it’s a way to help you achieve a sound mind and body, and to find the focus and balance you’ve been missing.
Hands up for a calmer, more balanced life?
Meet Paul McNamee, a former professional former athlete client of mine.
As a former athlete, Paul was highly driven and successful. Not shy of hard work and training, Paul has always been aware that consistent effort reaps benefits and has used this awareness to reach a high level in sport.
Paul was attracted by the ability to use meditation to assist in his mindfulness journey of looking within himself by having an anchor for a daily discipline of introspection. His interest in holistic, mindful work and in greater self-awareness in his daily interactions with people, drew Paul to engage Sabina’s talents in mindfulness, particularly in meditation.
Paul has noticed a significant positive shift in professional and personal relationships since completing Sabina’s 1:1 coaching. He sees meditation as his daily anchor to ground him and form the foundation for each day.
Commenting on how Sabina’s program has changed his own awareness and outlook, Paul said “Sabina has a terrific program with a holistic approach and a really engaging delivery style. I’m very happy with the results I achieved through meditating daily and committing to a greater level of self-awareness and discovery.”
“Friends and associates have noticed that I have less of an agenda and am much more adaptable in my personal and professional life.”
Mindfulness is a practice which encourages you to be present and bring your awareness into the current moment – like Paul, you don’t need to use it for stress management, but instead to gain greater self-awareness and clarity. Paul’s successful outcome derives from his ability to commit to meditation and mindfulness on a daily basis, using the tools and techniques taught by Sabina.
Mindfulness can be life affirming when practiced properly and in the words of Paul, “I really know myself better. Life has opened up in a positive way. I highly recommend Sabina’s program.”
A successful retired school principal and Mum of several teenagers, Vicki was also Chair of a local school board and led a very full life. Constantly kept busy with school life, the needs of her children and with very few chances to sit down and relax, Vicki was unrelenting in her determination to keep juggling all the balls in the air. After a particularly prolonged and hectic few months, Vicki felt on edge, exhausted and unable to cope with the extreme demands of all her commitments. Struggling to sleep, Vicki was lying awake worrying at night and felt herself being unusually short with her family during the day. Vicki felt unable to make decisions or to know which way to turn to change how she felt and reacted. A Doctor’s visit revealed Vicki’s high blood pressure and stress levels were far too high and were leading her down the path of a serious medical incident or stroke, if the root causes of stress weren’t addressed.
Vicki joined Sabina’s 1:1 program with the aim that Sabina’s coaching would help her regain a more mindful, less stressed life and finally enable to turn off her ‘on switch’.
Living on a farm around an hour away from a big city, Vicki was able to complete the entire coaching program online over zoom, instead of needing to trek into Melbourne.
Initially signing up to a three-month program, Vicki quickly started to feel the benefits of mindfulness; becoming noticeably less overwhelmed and more in control, but decided that she’d like continued support from Sabina for a little longer. For the next three months, Sabina and Vicki worked together on building up Vicki’s mindfulness and meditation toolbelt.
In providing Vicki with the skills and knowledge she needed, she started to naturally incorporate mindfulness into her daily routine, including a short meditation in the morning and the evening. One of the biggest positive results has been the increase in clarity of mind and the ability to make decisions easily, without feeling overwhelmed or unable to take control of her own life.
The results from Vicki’s Doctor have been astonishing – her blood pressure has come down, and Vicki no longer feels stressed and overwhelmed – positive results which are all a direct result of starting to practice mindfulness. To this day, Vicki still incorporates mindfulness into her daily routine and credits Sabina’s coaching for her new and improved way of living.
I have completed Sabina’s 5-day mindfulness challenge twice, two months apart. I enjoyed the challenge so much. After a hectic 2020, with a few personal challenges to deal with, I was feeling stressed, overwhelmed and was struggling with my sleep. I was also dealing with a severe knee injury which impacted my ability to live my life as normal. I joined the challenge to learn how to become more mindful in the moment and gained so much more.
Even after 5 days, I could feel a slight difference in how I felt – I felt much more positive about the future and really enjoyed making time for myself with the daily challenge tasks. I noticed a change to how I reacted to situations, and am able to regulate my feelings and remain calm. The daily challenge tasks made me become more mindful in the present – noticing the beautiful flowers and the fresh air as I walked, getting lost in mindful colouring in, instead of focusing on yesterday’s problems or tomorrow’s tasks. Results of my progress shows in the Mindfulness Wheel between the 2 challenges and most of all, my quality of sleep has improved.
Sabina taught me how to breathe through my knee pain and showed me some meditations specifically focused on helping me to not focus on the pain – I didn’t even know this type of meditation existed! As a result, I’ve been able to start gently walking back in nature, and have really learned how I should spend more of my time in the moment, not the future or the past. It’s fair to say that the 5-day challenge has helped move me far closer to my goal of improving my wellbeing, and also reducing my stress and anxiety. I’d highly recommend everyone completes Sabina’s challenge – it’s set me on a path of learning how impactful mindfulness can be on every aspect of my life.
Mindfulness is a journey and a practice that takes time.