Keep calm and practise mindfulness

We are all responsible for our own healthy ageing, as we prepare to live a longer and happier life. Do you find it challenging to be healthy for 100? It is easier than you think. We round up the health champs in Prudential to share simple health tips. In this edition, Melissa Lin, Culture Partner, shares her tips on mindfulness and mental wellbeing.

Tell us what you do to stay healthy for longer!

I do meditation which is one way of practising mindfulness. There are many benefits to this, be it being able to adapt to changes calmly and objectively, creating space for innovation, as well as happiness which are all important for overall wellness.

My mindfulness and meditation journey really blossomed over a year ago, when I attended a week of yoga classes in Bali. I signed up with the intention of improving my mindset and thus behaviours in a natural way, as I believe that if your mind is strong, healthy and positive, your body will also be positively affected.

Then in March 2019, I attended Google’s Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence Leadership Training by Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute in New York. This was a real eye-opener. One thing that stood out for me was the data and neuroscience behind the teachings. For example, when our amygdala, the brain’s ‘fight or flight’ centre responsible for our responses to emotions such as stress, is active (stressful situation), there is less connection to the attention management regions of the brain. But with mindfulness practice, this connection can become stronger, thus improving focus, helping us remain calm.

I’m now a Learning Partner in the Culture team, and aim to incorporate my learnings in the programmes that we develop so that my colleagues can benefit as well.

Do you have any tips on practising meditation at work?

There are many forms of meditation. It doesn’t just involve sitting still and could be taking a short walk to focus on your surroundings and breathing. I always encourage my friends to be open to different methods and to persevere in practising mindfulness, as the results may not be instantaneous.

At the start and throughout the day, or whenever needed, I do a short mindful meditation using breath awareness of at least 3 minutes. You can do these breathing exercises alone or with someone guiding you (videos on YouTube, or free apps that promote mindfulness), in silence or with soothing music in the background. For myself, I usually find a quiet spot in the office or the greenery around the office building. Or, I simply try to slow down what I’m doing and focus on deep breaths.

Another tip is to do one thing at a time. This is especially useful when I feel overwhelmed with multiple priorities. I’ll also switch off as many distractions as I can by turning off notifications to focus on my task. It also helps to set reminders to meditate throughout the day, as we can sometimes get caught up in all the things to do.

How will you use Pulse by Prudential to stay healthy?

If I’m not feeling well, I would use the Symptom Checker feature to understand more about my symptoms and get direction on next steps.

The Video Consultation feature will be useful and convenient if I need to check in with a doctor.