Blog Archives

Mental Health: We’re All Affected

As we work to lift the mental health stigma, we’re missing the boat. The conversation should be: What can we do to promote a mentally healthy environment for ourselves and others every day?

Mental health is a spectrum; don’t delude yourself, we’re all on it. It ranges from “normal” emotions to “abnormal” emotions…from happy and perky at one end to suicidal thoughts at the other. And most of us aren’t hovering around happy and perky.

We don’t realize how much our daily emotional and mental health affects us. How we feel affects every single thing in our worlds. Just take a snapshot of any scenario from yesterday. What happened? What were your feelings around the event? How did you react? How did you feel physically based on what you thought and did in response? If it was a negative exchange at work, for example, maybe you got a knot in your stomach and couldn’t concentrate on your project for 45 minutes after the encounter.

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The 411 on Walking Meditations

Let’s recap from last week’s Walking Meditation blog. Walking is good for you…mind and body; this we know. However, if you slow your brisk pace to a tip-toe and add some mindfulness, you’re closing in on an official Walking Meditation.

How To:

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Travel by Plane or Brain: Reap the Same Benefits

I love to travel! I’m mindful 89% of my waking hours. I’m acutely observant of others….our differences and similarities. I’m more patient and accommodating. I’m more creative and in tune. I believe this is true of many of us when we travel…that we observe more, are more aware, more in sync, more thoughtful.

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Learning Calm in a Type A World

I’m a recovering Type A stress ball. I had to learn Calm. Last week, I read They Make Trains Run on Time, but at What Cost? and thought of myself. I fall in the category of The Very Organized and hail my “virtues” (the author knows me too well):

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The Power of Outdoor Meditation Spaces

What better way to rejuvenate than to slip into a quiet retreat in fresh air. As the intense connection between human and nature (biophilia) gains momentum, designers are emphasizing the need to bring in more plants, daylight and open air to the workplace. Likewise, as employers now understand the importance of mindfulness and meditation for their most important asset, the employee, companies are adopting meditation as part of a complete wellness plan. Combine the two…nature and meditation….and we have an explosive combo. Retreat. Relax. Revive.

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You’re in a Rut. How Do You Get Out?

You’re sitting at your desk at work or school and cannot move forward on your project. Or maybe this is an ongoing thing with you lately.

When you’re super focused and determined to “get this done” or “stick with it,” what you really need is distance. Do something different from your norm. You may need physical and mental distance. If so, go to a new art exhibit at a local gallery. Go to a wine tasting or an interactive cooking class. Watch an airshow.

Or maybe you just need fresh eyes in your own craft. Even going to a trade show in your field can fuel your creative juices.

Often, though, all we need is mental distance. This is when mindfulness and meditation can be effective.

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The Secret to Improving Focus: Quieting the Mind

I am so in the now.  It took four airports and 16 hours of travel, but I am present now.  I have been to Norway 25 times, and this is the first time I realized why I love it here so much.  In Norway, I live in the present.  I savor the juice in every strawberry.  I notice the cool, dry air on my face.  I feel the softest, greenest grass slide between my toes.  I listen to the pigeons and the magpies.  I watch as the sun dips behind the mountains (unless it’s cloudy).

What if every day, every moment was like this…if we were immersed in each activity…if we moved from task to task, focusing completely on one while leaving the other behind and letting that one go as we focus totally on the next.  As Eckhart Tolle says it best, it’s the Power of Now.

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Welcome to Easterling Consulting!

I want to create a corporate culture that values its employees.  While building meditation rooms in the workplace is cutting edge, meditation is age-old.  Bringing meditation to the workplace is a new idea for America but a centuries-old tradition in other parts of the world.  I want to create space for employees to quiet their minds, encouraging employees to meditate, so they can be healthier people.  We don’t want people as widgets.  We want whole people.  Everyone benefits.  The company benefits because happier, healthier people equals more creative, more productive employees.  Health costs decrease.  Sick days decrease.  Focus improves. Desire and engagement improves.  The company gets good PR…both for their product or service and for potential and current employees as a perk for working at the company.  We’re not just creating a better working environment, we’re creating better communities, a better country.  We’re always competing with other countries to be the best, this is the answer.  It is not The Secret, or The Purple Pill, but it is as Samsung says it, The Next Big Thing.  One company, one room at a time.

I have been studying adult health and wellness since 1995.  I studied business in healthcare in graduate school while specializing in health behavior and health education.  I worked on Crisis and Suicide Hotlines in South Carolina and Indiana in the late 90s.  I was introduced to a mindfulness class in 2004 and worked individually with clients pro bono and for pay years later, coaching them and writing visualizations for them to find relief.  Creating meditation rooms for the workplace is just an extension of all of my experiences and insights.

I want this for the employees.  I want it for the companies.  I want if for my community.  I want it for our country.  I want it for everyone.

Melinda Easterling