When Aucklander Andrew Gardiner, 44, found out he had high blood pressure, he sprang into action. He changed his diet and started working out regularly in the gym. Even though he lost 40kg of weight, his blood pressure was still high, so following his doctor’s advice he started taking medication and when that didn’t work, he came across mindfulness.
“At the doctors when I first heard about mindfulness, and when I looked it up online, I thought, ‘that’s wishy-washy nonsense,” Andrew says.
But after his first mindfulness session, he noticed a change almost straight way.
“While you’re focusing on the breath, you’re focusing on nothing else – whatever concerns you had walking in, are cleared for that five minutes. Then over that next week, as it got closer & closer to Thursday again, I was looking forward to mindfulness!”
“Mindfulness has sorted out the blood pressure,” Andrew says. “For the last four or five months it’s been normal, and life’s pressures haven’t gone away."
"Certainly, the pressure at work is now more than it has been. I’m still exercising, I’ve still got the same reasonably healthy diet, so the only difference is mindfulness,” he says.
“In some respects, mindfulness makes you aware that you are under stress. I wasn’t aware of that before. I just didn’t notice it and it was affecting me because the blood pressure was reflecting that."
“But day-to-day I didn’t notice it. I think that being more aware of stress helps me to manage it. You know what’s going on. Sometimes, yeah, I have pushed myself away from the desk or pulled over, whatever it is, turned the phone off for five or 10 minutes, and practised mindfulness.”
“Try mindfulness. I do it all the time. Everybody could benefit from mindfulness. Even if you think everything’s hunky-dory. There’s something in it for everybody.”
For more information contact Mindfulness Coordinator Pallavi Mishra on (09) 274 7823