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New data shows New Zealanders are looking to mindfulness and meditation more than ever

It’s been a confronting year for many, meaning that we have had to acknowledge our mental health.

Having adapted to Covid-19 lockdowns, it’s no surprise that New Zealanders are exploring different approaches to prioritise both their mental and physical wellbeing.

New global data from Fitbit reveals how Fitbit users have embraced new activities to help manage our new normal.

The data shows that meditation, Yoga and Pilates saw huge increases in 2020 across Asia-Pacific (APAC), mirroring the global trend, with meditation in particular seeing massive gains in popularity among Fitbit users across the entire region.

And New Zealanders are looking to mindfulness more than ever as the conversation around mental health grows in importance. New Zealand hugely led the increase in meditation globally, with all other APAC countries not even coming close.

Impressively, Fitbit’s data shows that in New Zealand, practising meditation has increased by 18,333%, practising yoga has increased by 82%, and practising pilates has increased by 105%.

With this in mind, here are five tips for practising mindfulness by Fitbit Ambassador and wellness coach Rachel Grunwell:

Bring awareness to your thoughts before you put anything into action. Stress impacts how well you can think. No one can think clearly or make sound judgments when they are stressed! So, pause, breathe, think about why you are feeling the way you do.

Then, analyse your thoughts with a wise mind and skilfully choose how you wish to respond. After all, no one likes someone with knee-jerk reactions!

Pause and take some slow and deep belly breaths for a couple of minutes to re-set and calm your nervous system. You can do this anywhere, anytime. This can lower your resting heart rate. I use my Fitbit Sense watch to do this. All I do is put my palm over the watch face for two minutes and I can monitor my body’s response to stress anytime I choose. For example, I did it the other night and in two minutes of pausing and a mindfulness exercise with the Fitbit Sense I lowered my resting heart rate from 76 to 71. Incredible!

Quit judgement of yourself and others. It never makes us feel good.

Instead, spend your energy on kind or positive actions that help you and others to thrive.

I’ve noticed a lot of my wellness clients aren’t kind on themselves with their self-talk. We should talk to ourselves like we’d talk to our best friends.

Strive for genuine mindful connection with others. Have more heart-connected and courageous conversations that are raw, real and vulnerable. Listen, tune in to your friend/loved one’s words, tone of voice and their body language. Don’t interrupt.

The most generous gift you can give someone else is to truly listen, mindfully connect and help them to be truly seen, heard, supported and loved.

Turn up to your wellness rituals that help you to feel grounded, centred and happy.

One of my rituals is to exercise (ie running helps me feel that happy exercise high). I use my Fitbit Sense for monitoring the kilometres that I run, checking in on my changing heart rate.

Another ritual I use is yoga and meditation. It helps me to feel mind and body connected and more chilled! These are both rituals that help me to feel more in balance, feel grounded and to thrive.

Find the things that help you feel more in balance and do these things often – and be unapologetic about it!

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