By Madeline McNeil, Warrnambool Standard.
If AFL footballer Dustin Martin can benefit from mindfulness, so can you.
That was one of the messages at The Resilience Project community session in Warrnambool on Wednesday night.
Founding director Hugh van Cuylenburg told stories from his life, giving practical, evidence-based, positive mental health strategies to build resilience and happiness. “It’s for everyone, no matter how happy they currently feel, no matter how good their headspace,” he said. “It’s about giving them strategies to stay that way.”
He said the end goal of the sold-out session was to inspire attendees to be proactive and take care of their mental health and wellbeing, rather than a reactive approach when people were struggling.
Mr van Cuylenburg said in today’s world we were so much more connected but “because of that we were lonelier than ever before”.
He gave tips which included paying attention to all the great things we have, rather than focusing on the things we don’t have, learning how to be calm and present in the moment, learning the importance of being kind to people and how to reconnect in a genuine and authentic way.
He said everyone could benefit from taking 10 to 15 minutes to practice gratitude, mindfulness and empathy. He told how Brownlow medallist and Richmond midfielder Dustin Martin has kept a journal for more than 600 days and how it was “a huge part of his year”. “It’s not why Dustin Martin’s a great footballer but it is the reason that he is able to manage all the challenges that pop up throughout his life, because he puts aside time to practice this stuff. Dustin Martin does this every single day. It’s part of his routine.”