Ikigai - The Japanese concept of finding happiness

The Japanese concept of finding happinessWe all want to be happy but many of us have no idea of what to do to achieve happiness. Should we focus on making money or pursuing our passions? Some people desire objects and money, others feel dissatisfaction at the relentless pursuit of material wealth and fame and are driven to achieve something “bigger”.Missing something!One of the mistakes I’ve made in my life was believing that if I had money, that would provide me with happiness and a contented life. That’s one of the few reasons why I chose a career in finance. But the result was an existential frustration that stemmed from conflicting desires. I always felt I was missing a certain something that I could not put my finger on. My husband has always followed “his bliss”. His ethos is “find your passion - what brings you joy, and don’t be afraid to follow it”. That made me wonder and motivated me to embark on my own journey of exploration and I began to reflect on my “ikigai”.What is iki…

Life lessons of the Chinese Bamboo Tree by

Life lessons of the Chinese Bamboo Tree by The story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree is one that provides us with great lessons.When you sow the seed of a Chinese bamboo in the ground it needs to be watered regularly but, in its first year, you will see no visible signs of activity.You need to continue watering it and nurturing it even though you will not see any noticeable growth above the soil in the second year. Even in the third year, it fails to sprout despite being cared for and tended to. You will be surprised to know that nothing happens in the fourth year either. You’re waiting for results, not seeing any evidence of progress. Can you imagine yourself doing the same things every day, not having any evidence that your efforts are having any effect?Then in the fifth year, within a few weeks, behold! Something miraculous and remarkable happens. We experience growth. Emerging from the ground, the bamboo plant rapidly grows to a height of over 80 feet. It’s almost …

Maintaining your emotional wellbeing the Shinrin-Yoku way


We all recognise that being outdoors makes us happy. It may come as no surprise that happiness and well-being are important factors which help protect against mental and physical disorders. But did you know that being outdoors is actually scientifically proven to aid in improving many mental and physical diseases and can even mimic medications for those ailments? Researchers at King’s College London found that being outdoors, seeing trees and the natural sunlight, hearing birdsong, spotting the blue sky and feeling in contact with nature increases our feelings of wellbeing (1). Numerous such studies has helped us understand that we have certain neurotransmitters that we need to keep in balance for our wellbeing, such as: 

Serotonin – our “happy hormone”Serotonin is a natural mood stabiliser. Its effect in the brain could be considered a “starring role” in the body. Serotonin is that transmitter that is all about making us feel positive, energetic and up for things. It also …

The Race of Life (white privilege)



Read time 5-8 minutes

During this extraordinary situation we find ourselves in with the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a lot of people having reactions they don’t really understand. So today I thought I’d write something with my therapist hat on. Ladies and Gents, this is Pandemic Anxiety 101.

IN CRISES, WE START DOING WEIRD STUFF: Have you found yourself struggling to sleep, staying up late into the night, reading endless news articles, buying lots of things that you don’t even like very much, getting angry with your mum / partner / child for not staying home, drinking more, been a bit teary, and really want to eat ... cake, chocolates, biscuits and more cake. You are not alone!

If you’re feeling wobbly, you may have noticed all sorts of weird stuff going on. Are you arguing more, talking faster, struggling to sleep, feeling restless, desperate for information? Perhaps you are feeling teary and overwhelmed, and a bit sick? Struggling to make decisions, or think with a clear head? Just …

Emotional Wellbeing during the COVID-19 crisis

It's natural to worry and feel anxious in light of the uncertainty surrounding the current COVID-19 outbreak. Its important to remember the impact on your emotional wellbeing. There are many things you can do to manage your emotions.

The best way to look after yourself is:

·Consider the information you receive.
Some of the reporting around the Coronavirus is factually inaccurate, feeding feelings of mass hysteria and paranoia. Lack of information and poor quality information, both contribute to increased irrational thinking. Reflect on how you are receiving your information. Seek accurate and factual information from a reliable and legitimate source e.g. NHS and the WHO website in order to help you distinguish facts from rumours and misinformation.

·Limit how often you look for updates.
This can be quite difficult for some, especially those who want to know what’s going on, as they feel that not knowing makes it worse. Whilst it is important to stay well informed so that you can take…