How to exercise mental control in the high-pressure media world

Daisy Doctor
By Daisy Doctor | 1 June 2017
'Quiet the Mind' by Matthew Johnstone

Tonic Health ambassador Matthew Johnstone, who will appear at AdNews Media + Marketing Summit Melbourne  on 2 August, has encouraged adland execs to become less self-obsessed, support others and seek help when needed. 

Speaking at the AdNews Media + Marketing Summit Sydney earlier this month, where he opened the talk with a guided mindful meditation session, the illustrator and former adman spoke about how to manage stress and prioritise life.

Johnstone then explained some key strategies to implement for a happier, more wholesome life.

It's never been so important in the world of media and marketing to exercise mental control, he says.

“Thoughts are not facts; so often we get dragged around by the bullsh*t in our minds. We don’t have to get caught in that trap,” Johnstone said.

Instead, simple practices such as ensuring a good sleep, eating and drinking the right things in moderation and exercise – which can be as effective in treating depression as medication – can go a long way in your “well-being strategy”.

Johnstone also touched on the worrying statistics of suicide in Australia and the importance of speaking out in tough times rather than finding respite in vices, something very familiar to our industry.

“If you are suppressing stuff and ignoring stuff and drowning in drugs and alcohol it's a little bit like being stuck in a rip. As soon as you accept you’re in a rip and go with it you’re usually spat out somewhere else in a safer place,” he said.

Matthew JohnstoneMatthew Johnstone in guided meditation

For Johnstone, gratitude is paramount for well-being.

“Turn your thinking into 'everything that happens to me is the best possible thing that could happen to me'. Gratitude is the best way of looking at life; accept the crap that's happening, park it and look at what’s working well,” said Johnstone.

Overall, Johnstone encouraged the room to take time out to “mine for gems, find out what makes you tick, who has your back and your true values”.

“You are the authors of your own destiny so take charge and write the best book you can."

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