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Cigna likes to promote #GoodLifeDecisions, but we understand in today’s fast paced world, our health can sometimes fall by the wayside – physical or mental health. Today most of us are juggling half a dozen tasks at once, whether in the office, at home or on the go. It’s hard to keep all these plates spinning, especially with a carefree demeanour and smile on your face!

A secret weapon?

If only there were a secret weapon to remain calm during rush hour (or rush week) that didn’t require an annual subscription, hours out of your week or break the bank. Well, have you heard of ‘mindfulness’? It’s like life insurance for the mind.

Be Here Now

Mindfulness is the practice of purposefully directing your attention to the present moment without judgment or comment, but to simply appreciate ‘the power of now’. As a meditative practice, mindfulness improves your well-being, both mental and physical health. Its benefits are becoming so prevalent in western society that it may soon be part of our schools curriculum.

How it helps

By being mindful, and living in the present moment, many people find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past. Mindfulness can also:

  • Help relieve stress

  • Treat heart disease

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Reduce chronic pain

  • Improve sleep

  • Alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties

Mindful Exercises

Mindfulness is all about training your mind – it can take some time to achieve a full state of awareness without being carried away with your thoughts. Try out the following exercises and start your journey to a healthy peace of mind.

  • Body Scan – Spend 5 minutes registering how you physically feel, without judgement or comment. You can do this first thing as you wake in the morning, or while sitting at your desk at work. Focus on your entire body, from the tip of your toes to the top of your head. Trace your mind along body, take in how each body part feels, note any senses without trying to control or change, and then move onto the next body part.

  • Walking Meditation – Every time you are walking somewhere, whether it is to the car, to the bathroom or exercising around the park, be mindful. Focus on the movement of your body; each step as it leaves the ground and is placed ahead of you, each breath as you breath in and out, each arm movement as you swing your arms. Follow your movements with your mind – this allows you to be fully present as you constantly focus on your body.

  • Eating Meditation – Even before you choose what you will eat, come to a place of mindfulness. Sense what your body craves, and take time selecting your food. By listening to your body, you will make healthy eating decisions opposed to emotional impulse eating. Take the object in hand or utensil; notice the smell, its colour and texture. When taking a bite, notice how the food feels in your mouth,; do you need to chew? Does it go to one side of your jaw? Notice when the taste releases and when you naturally swallow.

Chances are these activities will not come naturally at first, we are used to following our thoughts and leaving our physical self on autopilot. However, with practice, mindfulness can become second nature. If you want to explore mindfulness further, there are free resources available to download.

The team at Cigna want to help you lead a stress less life. Our life insurance is designed to fit your life – and change when your life does. We work to take care of your worries, so you don’t have to. Get an online quote today and start living based on #GoodLifeDecisions.