Many of us have had feelings of anxiety and this is normal however when these feelings persist, happen for no reason or impact our regular activities in life it may be the sign of an anxiety condition. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released data in December 2018 that indicated that 13% or 3.2 million Australians had an anxiety-related condition, an increase from 11% in 2014-15. Data released in August 2020, as part of the ABS Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, indicated that over two in five Australians reported feeling nervous (46 per cent); restless or fidgety (41 per cent) and that everything was an effort (41 per cent) at least some of the time in the previous four weeks. Beyond Blue states that anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia with 1 in 4 people likely to experience anxiety at some stage in their life.
“Once you’re facing in the right direction, all you need to do is put one foot forward.” – Zen saying
One of the causes I have chosen to support this year is the Black Dog Institute One Foot Forward walk for mental health in October. The mission of Black Dog Institute is Science. Compassion. Action. They are the only medical research institute in Australia to investigate mental health across the lifespan and their aim is to create a mentally healthier world for everyone. 1 in 5 of us will experience symptoms of mental illness in any given year. In Australia that’s around 5 million people. And roughly 60% of these people won’t seek help.
The theme of the 2021 International Day of Yoga is “Yoga for Well Being” which is very relevant in this time as the world deals with the impact of a pandemic, particularly the lasting impacts on our mental health. But yoga for well being has always been my theme as according to 2017-18 data from the ABS 47% of Australians have 1 or more of the top 10 chronic health conditions. Mental health, back pain and arthritis are the top 3 most common chronic health conditions for both men and women.
I was recently asked to contribute a blog post to Ahead for Business which has been developed to support small business owners to take action on their own mental health and wellbeing through personalised resources and tools that are tailored to their specific needs. More than 4 million people experience mental ill-health each year and almost half the population has experienced a mental illness at some time in their life. I reflect on my own journey into small business as a solo owner operator and some of the challenges and tips I have to share.
With all that has been unfolding in the world over the last year or so I have found myself coming back to the Yoga Sutras to find equanimity in these polarising times. Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga outlined in the Yoga Sutras provide the means to achieve the ultimate state of balance and harmony both within ourselves and the world around us. One of the most acclaimed exponents of these principles was Mahatma Ghandi.
Happy New Year. I don’t feel the need to make New Year resolutions but I do see benefit in spending some time reflecting on the year past and setting an intention for the year ahead.
This year’s Summer Solstice is an auspicious time to honor the sun and allow the welcoming arms of nature to embrace you.
Today is World Kindness Day and locally Choose Respect Bunbury continues to share the Choose Kindness message. Their message cards ask us to show some care and to share some kindness. Last year I shared the message to spread seeds of kindness because as the saying goes in a world where you can be anything, be kind. Small acts of kindness can ripple out into our families, communities and the whole world.