Mental wellbeing is vital all-round

Peter FiorenzaGeraldton Guardian
The Dalai Lama always seems to be smiling.
Camera IconThe Dalai Lama always seems to be smiling. Credit: The West Australian


Today, there is increasing emphasis on mental wellbeing.

There is also a plethora of organisations, from Beyond Blue and the Black Dog Institute to headspace and Lifeline, which provide support to a cross-section of the community.

At my workplace, as at many others, we have a group of staff who work together on initiatives that focus on employee wellbeing, something that’s relatively new.

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Well, the way the concept is presently packaged could be considered relatively new, but it could be suggested that what the mind needs to be healthy has been recognised for ages.

We as a society, I think, have just chosen to neglect it.

For a long time I have had an interest in Buddhism.

One of my first trips overseas was to Hong Kong, where I visited Lantau Island, the home of one of the biggest statues of Buddha in the world.

This huge structure is near the Po Lin Monastery. In the early 1900s, the monks created a walking trail around the island, with messages of wisdom signposted along the route.

There is one that I have never forgotten: “How can we waste time, when time does not exist?” I reckon it says so much about how we should view our lives.

Every day is important, life is valuable, smell the roses, enjoy the journey not the destination — and work/life balance is a thing.

There is one saying that I love that also demonstrates the theme: “Remember the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realise they were the big things.”

I think many of us are now realising our lives have become so involved, especially in our daily employment, often due to our relationship with technology.

Stress in our lives, I believe, is often caused by the hold this technology has on us.

The human construction of time, leaning on expectation is, indeed, the ultimate constraint.

As already alluded to, we spend so much time dealing with individual trees, we lose sight of what we are doing with the forest.

One of my favourite people is the Dalai Lama, pictured. There has to be something right with a man who’s always smiling.

Here’s a pearl from him: “No matter how educated or wealthy you are, if you don’t have peace of mind, you won’t be happy”.


Peter Fiorenza is the host of SHL Sunday 10am-noon on Radio MAMA.

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