Five mindfulness practices for expats
Moving abroad offers an exciting opportunity to live a happier and healthier life. But how can you make sure that you’re enjoying the experience to its fullest? That’s where practising mindfulness can help.
According to psychological health expert, Eugene Farrell, mindfulness is all about being fully present and aware of your surroundings. By practising mindfulness daily, you can enjoy the scientifically-proven benefits it can have on your overall wellbeing.
“Being mindful is one of the most ancient practices around the world and is practised by Buddhist monks. Its simplicity and effectiveness make it the perfect antidote to the demands of 21st Century life. Some small steps in the right direction could be a step change in your life,” says Eugene.
Here are five top tips on how mindfulness can help you make the most of your new life abroad, brought to you by AXA – Global Healthcare and The Local.
1. Mindful walks
Living in a new country means there are a lot of new places to discover. Mindful walks are a great way to explore the natural scenery or appreciate the culturally-rich architecture of your new home. Mindful walking is all about shifting your focus from stresses about the past and future, to the present moment. There are many ways to take a mindful walk, and as long as you are focussed on the moment – you are doing it right.
One method of mindful walking is to take notice of the sights and sounds around you: “Focus on the colour of your surroundings, the movements of your body and any noises you can hear. Can you hear people, animals or children? Can you feel the sun or a breeze? Do you notice any smells? Notice how you move into different spaces,” suggests Eugene.
2. Mindful check-ins
Practising mindfulness can improve both our mental and physical health, which in turn can help us to improve our overall life - but it’s still important to have a sense of self-awareness and seek professional help when you need it.
Regular doctor check-ups are important, even if just for peace of mind. With AXA – Global Healthcare, you can have access to the virtual doctor service, whenever you need it. Speak to a qualified doctor online or over the phone, 24 hours a day, from wherever you are.
3. Mindful eating
One of the best parts of moving to a new country is trying the local food. Although enjoying a meal is important, mindful eating helps ensure you are eating right and making healthy choices.
According to nutritionist Georgina Camfield, it’s important to listen to your body: “Eat when you feel hungry and stop eating when you’re starting to feel full. By only eating when you need to, you’re giving your body the rest it needs to regenerate cells and boost healthy gut bacteria, both of which will help digestion in the long run.”
4. Mindful sleep
Getting enough sleep can have a positive impact on your day by improving your mood. To ensure you get enough sleep, start by creating a sleep routine; this can be done by setting an alarm clock to remind you to get to bed, and try to avoid screen time at least two hours before bedtime.
Sports nutritionist Thomas Rothwell says: “Sleep should be spoken about in the same light as physical activity and nutrition when it comes to our health and wellbeing. To put this into perspective, poor sleep is associated with fat gain, diabetes, heart disease and reduced productivity and mental skills.”
5. Mindful breathing
Adapting to life in a new country can be difficult. There’s so much to take in and at times this can be stressful. Mindful breathing is an easy and effective way to deal with stress and anxiety.
“The solution is to take time each day, say 10 minutes during your commute or with breakfast - to focus on your breathing. This will allow you to calm your mind and body from the daily grind, clearing your head to think differently,” says Eugene.
Looking after your health should always be a priority, especially when you’re adjusting to a new environment. Finding the right health insurance policy can put your mind at rest, making the whole process a little easier. To find out about AXA's international health insurance visit their website today.
This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and presented by AXA.
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