Smiling Mind: Mindfulness made easy

Making mindfulness meditation free, Smiling Mind improves the mental wellbeing of young Australians

For Smiling Mind co-founder Jane Martino, the incredible impact her online mindfulness program has had on young people is the most joyful thing she has done in her career to date.

“The intent was always to give the gift of meditation to others as (co-founder) James Tutton and I have found it so personally beneficial,” Jane says.

“It has grown and had greater impact than we probably initially imagined, with over one million downloads. We are certainly so pleased that we have introduced such a large percentage of the population to the benefits of mindfulness and (hopefully) helped support their regular practice and general wellbeing.”

Smiling Mind was officially launched in October 2012, with a vision of introducing as many young Australians as possible to the benefits of mindfulness meditation. From the outset, Jane and James realised the role the app could play in education settings, and have been focused on having the program integrated into the Australian curriculum by 2020.

“We believe the success of the program is mainly due to the method of delivery being via technology where people, especially youth, are already engaged, and the fact the program is supplied free.”

It’s a combination of meeting a clear need for preventative mental health and wellbeing programs and its delivery through an accessible and engaging digital platform that has made Smiling Mind such a powerful tool.

“The mental health statistics speak to this – we need it!” Jane says. “We believe the success of the program is mainly due to the method of delivery being via technology where people, especially youth, are already engaged, and the fact the program is supplied free.

“This has always been a huge part of our strategy as it means that all people and all schools, no matter their location or financial circumstance, can undertake the program. Accessibility has always been at the heart of our concept and vision and this has certainly helped it spread and grow.”

Smiling Mind: Mindfulness Made Easy is the latest resource in the suite of tools created by Jane and James, offering readers a personal insight into the practice of mindfulness meditation. It’s full of ideas, tools and advice to integrate mindfulness into your life, based on the authors’ own experience.

Young man listening with his headphones at the beach.

“Parents who are interested in helping their kids become more mindful can start by becoming more mindful themselves.”

Q&A with psychologist and Smiling Mind Board member, Dr Michael Carr Gregg

What changes have you seen in the perception of mindfulness during your time with Smiling Mind?

Smiling Mind has been instrumental in increasing the popularity of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR). It is now more mainstream, especially in schools, and my psychological colleagues have embraced this big time. I think it is true to say that Smiling Mind has done for MBSR what Paul Hogan did for the Australian tourism industry in 1984. The fact that we have over 5,000 schools now using it is inspirational. When the history of public mental health is written in Australia there will be a large chapter devoted to Jane and James!

What are the key requirements for practising mindfulness?

If you are using Smiling Mind, all you need is a phone and a pair of earphones and the desire to change your life.

How can families use Smiling Mind to improve their mental health and wellbeing?

Those parents who are interested in helping their kids become more mindful can start by becoming more mindful themselves. When parents start to meditate, or even just make more of an effort to be present with their kids (that is, really listening to them when they talk rather than half-listening and planning the shopping at the same time) kids naturally start becoming more mindful.

Children are like sponges and learn mostly by observing the people around them. They will naturally follow adult behaviour, by watching parents who become distracted and overwhelmed by stress or who practise presence of mind and kindness to themselves and others.

The whole family gains when parents start meditating with their children. Each member becomes less reactive, more present and more compassionate and empathetic. Families are a system, and when one person becomes more mindful, this has an effect on everyone.

Learn more at smilingmind.com.au

How online meditation program Smiling Mind is working to improve the mental wellbeing of young Australians.

Recommended reading - Tennis guide

Travel

Tennis stadiums worth travelling for

The best travel destinations for tennis lovers.

Read more
Community

Local tennis stars

Meet the everyday heroes who love to get out on the court.

Read more
Community

Tennis for kids

Teach the young ones to love the game.

Read more
Advice

Mindfulness in tennis

Play better by bringing your attention to the present moment.

Read more
Community

Covering the court

What wheelchair tennis legend Daniela Di Toro has learnt throughout her inspiring career.

Read more
Community

Tennis gear guide

Look the part on court this summer with the latest equipment and apparel.

Read more
Community

Bright young star

Winner of Medibank's Healthy Attitude Award, 10-year-old Dan Smith shows real promise on the court.

Read more
Community

How to choose the perfect tennis racquet

Finding the perfect racquet for your style, taste and goals.

Read more
Advice

6 tips for a better serve

Give your serve explosive power with tips from record-holder Sam Groth.

Read more
Advice

6 ways to improve your game

You know your way around the court – here’s how to take your performance up a notch.

Read more
Community

Tennis trivia

Be a tennis know-it-all with these facts.

Read more
Community

6 tennis Twitter accounts

Follow these players and fans and you won’t miss a point.

Read more
Community

5 books for tennis fans

Literature to get you in a tennis state of mind.

Read more
Community

Tennis on film

A look at some of our favourite tennis-themed movies.

Read more
Community

The history of the tennis ball

From wool-wrapped sheep stomachs to the yellow spheres we know today.

Read more
Community

Legends off the court

Tennis stars serving aces in the humanitarian arena.

Read more
Advice

Top tennis stretches

Stay safe and improve your tennis performance with this stretching guide.

Read more
Community

Tennis translated

Talk tennis like a pro with this handy vocab list.

Read more
Community

A day at the tennis: a survival guide

It’s a big day out – so make sure your memories are of the serves, not your sunburn.

Read more
Community

Tennis – not as you know it

An enduring source of inspiration, the popularity of tennis has led to a world of variations.

Read more
Advice

Playing it safe

Enjoy the benefits of tennis while reducing your risk of injury.

Read more
Community

Life on the court

A former pro on friendships forged through tennis.

Read more
Recipes

Ajvar recipe

This traditional Serbian roasted red pepper sauce is a nod to all-court superstar Novak Djokovic.

Read more
Recipes

Draniki potato pancake recipe

These traditional Belarusian savoury pancakes are perfect served with a dollop of sour cream.

Read more
Recipes

Iberian ham, fig and goats cheese pintxos recipe

These tasty Spanish morsels are simple to prepare and offer a crowd-pleasing flavour combo.

Read more
Community

Memphis rub recipe

To honour USA’s Serena Williams efforts on the court, we whip up a traditional American BBQ.

Read more
Community

Food for tennis

Between training, match time and recovery, sustain energy levels with a nutritious diet.

Read more
Community

Playing as a family

Four reasons why tennis can bring the whole family together.

Read more
Community

6 reasons to join a tennis club

Always loved the occasional game? Sign up to a club and make tennis a permanent part of your week.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.