Episode 26

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Published on:

15th Feb 2024

What makes a positive life with Michelle Flynn

This episode focuses on defining and cultivating a positive life. Guest Michelle Flynn and host Sal Jefferies discuss the importance of good habits for happiness and health. They cover several key topics:

  • Food and Nutrition: Eating real, whole foods vs. processed foods. Understanding the gut-brain connection. Starting with basic healthy habits.
  • Movement: Incorporating enjoyable movement rather than traditional "exercise." Walking, functional movements. Long-term consistency over short-term intensity.
  • Sleep: Getting enough sleep, quality sleep, regular rhythm. Breathing techniques to improve sleep.
  • Connection: Combating loneliness, finding your "people." Michelle's experience starting a women's group. The power of taking small steps to connect.
  • Relaxation: Self-care, downregulation, giving yourself permission to take time. Small consistent actions.

Some more notes of key points and the areas to work on are as follows:

Food and Nutrition

  • Real, whole foods are best - avoid processed foods
  • Gut health impacts brain health and mental wellbeing
  • Start with basic healthy habits like eating more veggies

Movement

  • Find enjoyable activities like walking or dancing rather than traditional gym exercise
  • Aim for long-term consistency over short bursts of high intensity
  • Functional movements like carrying groceries build strength

Sleep

  • Prioritize getting enough sleep, quality sleep, and a consistent rhythm
  • Use breathing techniques to relax into deeper sleep more quickly
  • Try mouth taping to promote nasal breathing

Connection

  • Combat loneliness by finding people with shared interests/values
  • Michelle's experience starting a women's group by just taking small steps
  • Look for local groups on Facebook or Eventbrite

Relaxation

  • Make time for self-care through activities like reading, yoga, massage
  • Give yourself permission to take breaks and unwind
  • Start small - even 2 minutes of breathwork helps

Other Notes

  • Remember to treat your health holistically
  • Grocery store layouts are designed to influence purchases
  • Check out episodes with Leanne Weaver and April Baker
  • James Clear's work on habit formation


Michelle's BIO

Michelle is a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Practitioner, Certified International Health Coach, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with a Gut Health Certification, Experienced Life Coach and Mental Health in Recruitment Ambassador.

Michelle works with individuals and companies to help them understand their health and happiness goals (e.g. healthy diet, weight loss, reducing stress, increasing exercise, better quality of sleep, improved relationships, financial stability and exciting careers).

Contact Michelle and see more her website

Get in touch with Sal

If this episode has caught your attention and you wish to learn more, then please contact me. I offer a free 20 min call where we can discuss a challenge your facing and how I may be able to help you.

Transcript
Sal:

Welcome to Mindset, Mood and Movement, a systemic approach to human

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behavior, performance, and well being.

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Our psychological, emotional, and

physical health are all connected,

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and my guests and I endeavor to share

knowledge, strategies, and tools for

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you to enrich your life and work.

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Hello and welcome.

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I am delighted to be joined

by my guest, Michelle Flynn.

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And Michelle and I are going to be talking

today about what makes a positive life.

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Michelle, like me, has a multitude

of skill sets, where she comes at

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human performance and human behavior.

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And we're going to tuck into those.

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But if you're wondering how to

have a positive life, and perhaps

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like me, you might be digging in.

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what does that mean?

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What is the, what is the

construct of a positive life?

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This is for you.

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So Michelle, welcome to the podcast.

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Michelle Flynn: Thank

you very much, Niall.

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Thanks for having

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Sal: It's great to have you here.

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Let's perhaps start with the most

important point and define, perhaps

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for you, and I have my own definition,

but for you, Michelle, what would

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you define as a positive life?

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Michelle Flynn: I know it's

a very broad, broad topic.

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So for everyone, it is

going to be individual.

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And for me personally, a positive life

is about, Good habits for happiness and

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health, because for me, ultimately, if

we're not happy or if we're not healthy,

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then nothing else really matters.

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And also everything else

is impacted by that.

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So it's giving a starting point

to bring focus to build habits

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that can be long term sustainable.

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Sal: Really nice, beautifully put.

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My term of a positive life, it's funny

because I have a bit of an existential,

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mind, so I, I integrate the negative and

the positive together, so I, that's my

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own definition, but my interpretation

would be that which is something which is

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always growing, something you can always

move on and learn from, even if there are

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difficult parts, even if there are times

when it's not easy or the health is not

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great, but it's always this evolution.

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That would be my term of a positive

life, that it has this growth and

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this continuous movement forward.

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Now, I'm really interested to talk to

you today about a couple of key areas.

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We cross over on some, but one, I have

a personal understanding, but not a

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professional, and that's the area of food.

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Or, we could call it, biochemical

nutrition, we can call it

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molecular structure that's imbued.

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There are many names for this domain

and of course it's covered, isn't

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it, with emotions, it's covered with

a lot of different perspectives.

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So perhaps you can share a little

bit with us about how food, so your

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interpretation of food, perhaps how

you work with it, how does that come

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in, how do you work with that to help

a person have what we're looking at

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today as a positive and healthy life.

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Michelle Flynn: It's so key to it and

there are so many different messages out

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there that we're being told all of the

time that it can be very overwhelming.

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and sometimes it can feel quite,

like we're put under pressure.

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There's a lot of, you should do this.

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And actually, it's about

taking it back to the basics so

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people understand what food is.

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because there's a lot of

things that we're eating that

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ultimately is not actually food.

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but why food is important to not just the

obvious health benefits of eating sort of

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good food choices, but the wider aspect

of how it can impact, yes, our physical

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health, but also our mental health.

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And often people don't draw the

connection between the brain and the gut.

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And the more that we

can understand the fact.

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that our gut really is our second brain,

and in some cases can be even more

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powerful than our main brain, the more

that we are then able to take control

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and as you stated about a positive life,

continue to grow in a positive way.

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Sal: Yeah, that's really nice.

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It's so interesting, isn't it?

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When we think about the misunderstandings

and the interpretation, I'm so much

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on that and the work I do, but when

we got the word food, it has lots of

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labels, both practical and emotional,

some functional and some dysfunctional.

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That is really interesting

what you said there.

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When you were mentioning about

the second brain and the gut and

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the impact on mental health, it's,

it's starting to become more known.

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I've had to look into this field for

many years because I have an autoimmune

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condition and it is a gut based condition.

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It's multi layered.

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I'm happy to go into that as some some

depth if it's useful today, but Really

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understanding that what's happening

in the microbiome, that's all the

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bacteria of the gut, all the chemical

stuff, which is of course fueled by the

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food we eat, whether that's whatever

quality or whatever type that is the.

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in a way the fuel and the,

and the pieces that make it.

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But it's so interesting, isn't it?

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When we think about that serotonin, I

think isn't it some of the 80 percent of

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serotonin production is made in the gum,

even though it's a neurotransmitter, which

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is connected to fulfillment and happiness.

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So we need to understand this relationship

to food on a, I think a practical level.

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But how about getting to the basics?

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So someone's listening now and might be,

let's say they're not so clued up on it

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and they just want to learn some more.

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Where's our start point?

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Where do you take us through with

food and say, here's number one.

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This is what we're going to start to do.

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Would you take us through your steps?

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That'd be really helpful.

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Michelle Flynn: Yeah, I think for

me, the key thing is to take away

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the overwhelm, to make it simple to

understand and for people to have some

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key, I don't like the word rules, but

we'll say rules that they stick by

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when they are out shopping or cooking

or making food choices when they're

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out busy at work or out for dinner.

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So for me, it's about that real

understanding between what is actually

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real food and what is ultimately junk.

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And we add the word junk next to food,

but fundamentally, it's not really food.

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It's highly processed, full of

chemicals and lots of other things

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that are not good for the gut.

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So by explaining what real food.

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actually is, which is whole food, real

food that we would cook with ingredients

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that we would recognize a carrot, an

onion, an apple, a chicken breast.

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It's, it doesn't just have

to be fruit and vegetables.

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We have the whole

spectrum, across real food.

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The difference between, for example,

a chicken breast and a chicken nugget

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or an apple or a slice of apple pie.

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Understanding the, the difference so

that someone is empowered to make the

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real change themselves because they

understand what they're looking for

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when they're making their shopping list

or in the supermarket, understanding

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what labels really mean so that

they can make those smarter choices.

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Sal: Yeah, I love that.

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It's so interesting, isn't it?

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We can go into a store and

most stores are built around

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psychological impacts, by the way.

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So there's, this might be a bit of a deal

breaker for you, but some stores are laid

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out in a way that has fruit and veg first.

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And there's some science that would

suggest that if we buy the fruit and

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veg first, when we go to the middle

of the shop with all the package goods

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are, we are more likely to buy those

because we feel good about ourselves

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because we've done a Healthy Purchase.

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So be mindful shopping that these

things are skewed against us.

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The modern world is actually

skewed against us, isn't it?

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We go into stores, there's a ready meal.

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There's, boxes of stuff, there's packages.

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And really they're just chemistry sets.

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That's the way I look at them.

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They're sets of chemistry.

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They're put together in a chemical

way as a lot of fast food joints are.

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not to name some big names, but they

are chemistry, chemically made products.

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They are not food products.

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I think what you're saying is

so powerful to really get the

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distinction between, is this a food?

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This is a food group, like a vegetable,

a piece of meat, a fish, whatever

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the food group, or is it part of a

process that's got the word in it?

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And that's such a nice delineation to

think about as we, as we go forwards.

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Now I've looked into food.

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I mostly eat a plant based diet myself.

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I say mostly because I'm not rigid.

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Most of the time it's a

plant based whole food diet.

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Occasionally I'll deviate and I'm

all right with that because I have

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a sort of an overarching thing.

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But for someone who is struggling

on perhaps they just don't like

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cooking, they just chuck a meal in

the microwave, that kind of vibe.

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How do you help that person get

from that mindset and behavior?

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To looking at the whole foods thinking

about how they might cook something

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that's nutritious and good and going

from that Let's say the quick and easy

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route to a more considered healthy route.

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Michelle Flynn: Yes, and it is difficult

because we are all really busy and

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convenience food is called that for a

reason because it is very convenient and

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if we look at what has gone on over the

last few decades with the introduction

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of the microwave and the ready meal and

delivery services, it has become really

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convenient to eat unhealthily and it

is less convenient To, as you said,

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spend the time cooking a healthy meal.

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So when I first start working with

someone, it's understanding why they

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actually want to make the change in

the first place, because I can give

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someone all of the information, but

if ultimately they don't want to make

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the change, they don't have a strong

enough reason to make the change, then.

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They're probably not going to make it,

or maybe I need to support them to work.

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As you mentioned earlier about

it, emotions work with them as to

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what it is that stopping them want

to make those positive changes.

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So that's got to be the key thing is that.

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If someone comes to me and wants to

make a change, but really they're just

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not ready, then, it's probably not the

right time for us to be focusing our

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attention on that particular change.

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Maybe we need to delve a bit

deeper, using tools like cognitive

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behavioral therapy to understand.

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What they're thinking, because ultimately

your thoughts create the feeling

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and the feeling creates the action.

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So if you're negative thinking,

you're not going to feel great

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and you're probably not going to

want to eat a sort of eat a salad.

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it's using different tools to get

the person in the right position so

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that they feel, back in control and

ready to make the changes they need.

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Sal: we're sitting here thinking right?

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Okay.

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I want to make some changes I

as we were similar in this way.

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I would look at a client I might help

them with their own choices But food I'll

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hand over to another professional like

you or I'll get them my clients to focus

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on themselves I think of James Clear's

work, The Habit Specialist, and it's a

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really nice piece of work he did, he took

it on from Charles Duhigg's work, but

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he came up with a, a powerful statement,

and I think it's valid in psychology,

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which is find a compelling reason.

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If you don't have a compelling reason,

you are not going to get up at 6am

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and go to the gym when it's dark.

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You're not going to put down the ready

meal and think, I'll, I'll, I'll, Get

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a recipe and I'll cook for half an

hour and I'll make some great food.

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You're just not going to go there

unless the reason doesn't have enough

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compulsion enough energy and emotion in

it And what I find really interesting

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is that our brain and most of us

don't know this But our brain is

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wired for two two kind of key things.

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Number one is safety The whole brain

system, every piece of structure

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is hardwired for us to stay safe.

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The other one is about managing

energy and energy efficiency.

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So we will always take the easiest route.

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That's how we're clever.

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That's how humans have

dominated the earth.

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That's also why we have weight gain

because we're very good at storing energy.

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we're very good at efficient systems.

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The problem we have is that the

modern world, and it seems the

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modern nutrition system goes

absolutely against our human system.

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So we have to consciously change that.

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That's what I see and that's what I've

had to do with my own nutritional choices.

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What are you seeing as a really great

step that you might get someone who

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wants to find that compelling reason?

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how might you say, okay,

let's let's go there.

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What would you do with them?

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Michelle Flynn: It is interesting

because often if someone's coming

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to me wanting to change food, it

might be related to weight loss.

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and a wedding or a holiday is a very good

motivator for helping us keep on track.

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And diets are great for a

very short period of time, but

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they do not work long term.

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they're great for that wedding

day or getting into that

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outfit for the Christmas party.

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But it's about the longer term

habits, as you mentioned, James Clear

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and, understanding that reason why.

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So it would be through questioning.

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If, if the answer is, I just

want to fit into my clothes and

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them to be more comfortable,

there's an easier solution then.

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changing how you eat and going to

the gym, which is actually just

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buying the next size up of clothes.

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And I've been down that route.

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I have gone through those phases where

I'm determined I will not go up the

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next size and then, oh, okay, I'm here.

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so it's really understanding more about

that person, what their motivators

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are, why they've come to me in the

first place, because they may think

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that it's weight loss, but actually.

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Through conversation and understanding

them better, you realize that

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potentially they're having difficulties

at work or they're struggling in

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their relationship or as a parent.

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so by understanding more about their

life, which often starts with the

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question, just tell me about yourself.

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And people are often not given that time

and space to just talk about themselves.

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So they then start to.

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And I start to question and,

we get to the, the important

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stuff of what really matters.

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and often when it is about food, it may

be looking at, a health concern either

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for themselves or a family member.

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It may be that they have

become new parents and.

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They're now, have a new priority of

sort of a child to look after and

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they want to be able to make sure that

they are fit and healthy to do that.

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So it's definitely, everyone is different.

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So it's about really giving someone that

space to reflect on their lives and dig

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deeper into what actually really matters.

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Sal: Yeah.

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Such a great question is that the

hierarchy, the hierarchal structures of

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the brain and the hierarchal structures

of our beha beliefs and behaviors

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are, are that I've got clients who are

so driven, they work really, really

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hard and they're often founders, or

they might be freelancers, they're,

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you're really pushing hard and that.

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That goes up the chain of hierarchy.

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That's more important than their health.

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And it's amazing the amount of

people, particularly midlifers.

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And I'm like, okay, so yeah, you're

going to grow a successful business.

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Amazing.

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I'll support you on that journey.

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I'll do all the mindset

performance work with you.

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But what happens in 10...

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or 20 years when you can't function

because you failed to look after your

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body because you were too busy, right?

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You're working all the time.

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You're like, Oh, it doesn't matter.

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My business is more important.

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And I say to every one of my

founders, okay, you are the business.

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If you lose your health,

you lose everything you do.

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And I, it's an.

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It's the sacrosanct fact and any of us

who've had a health condition, I have a

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chronic condition, which comes and goes

and generally I'm in good shape because

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of all the practices that I do, but it

can come and catch, catch me sometimes.

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I have a flare, what we call in, this,

this condition, a flare up, and then

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you have to be really with your body.

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And for me, I feel a bit more gentle.

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I have to change my nutrition a bit.

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And it's so revealing when you

have health taken away from you.

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And it's so powerful, like

I've got to get it back.

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I've got to feel good.

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And what I worry about is when

we get it back, we're like, Oh,

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let's just go back to what we know.

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So status quo bias, use

a bit of psychology here.

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My, my work and what I love to get you

to think of, let's think, how can we

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shake that wonderful mind of a person we

might be working with about status quo

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bias and how we might come out of it?

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Michelle Flynn: Yeah.

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And I think it's interesting

talking about you don't realize

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what you've got until it's gone is

that that is what happened to me.

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That's why I retrained as a coach

was that I was a very successful

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recruitment business owner.

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And one morning I woke up and had a

severe pain in the left side of my

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chest, which felt like a heart attack.

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And it is very interesting.

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Thing that you say about, we

have a health scare and then

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we forget that that happened.

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'cause that's exactly what happened to me.

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I was rushed to hospital.

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Fortunately it wasn't a heart attack,

so I decided to ignore the fact that I'd

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collapsed and been taken to hospital and

for three years ignored that I was tired.

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I was gaining weight, I had digestive

problems, I had memory problems.

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I was getting sick a lot.

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It, I was ticking all the boxes, for

someone that really needed to stop and pay

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attention and it wasn't until I collapsed

for a second time that I did that.

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So I completely agree with you that

often we have to have gone through

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our own journey to realize that we

really need to make a difference.

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And that's when people are then either

speaking to a doctor or a nutritionist

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or a health coach or a therapist, whoever

is the right person to support them.

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Sal: Yeah.

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so important.

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And I'm sorry to hear that's happened,

but I guess the difference When we have

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a crisis, and I say this a lot, I love

etymology, I like to know where things

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come from, and the word crisis comes from

Greek, krisis, which means to decide.

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So we have to be very careful,

we use words incorrectly a lot.

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It doesn't mean catastrophe,

it means decide.

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So if you have a health

crisis, it's a decision point.

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It's such a key one that if you are

clear in your mind enough, And you

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can get your hierarchical priorities

a little clearer, I need to be well, I

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need to function as though I might have

a business, or a family, or a partner.

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That has to come first, and you

need to recalibrate your life,

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and recalibrate your thinking.

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Because thinking is a habit.

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The human brain works on habit

structures, it works on repetition.

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It's a very elegant system, right

up to the point that pattern, or

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habit, starts to become redundant.

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Such as, overwork, overstress, eat badly.

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Yeah, it might be sustainable for

five years in your twenties, get

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to your thirties, you're going to

have issues in forties, you're going

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to have a whole host of problems.

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So yes, it does need that

waking up, doesn't it?

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And I too have met those

points and I forget as well.

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So I forget when I'm really bulletproof

healthy, I'm like, yeah, I'm super mad.

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I can do anything.

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And I might have a little issue.

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I'm like, Oh no, no, no, no, no, no.

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I'm actually a vulnerable human being.

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Need to remember that and be

kind to yourself and do the,

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do the appropriate things.

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Now I'd love to.

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Kind of segue this a little more into some

spaces, which I know we both straddle,

342

:

but that's the space of movement because

if we are eating right, nutritious

343

:

whole food, food that's made from a

plant, not in a plant, as someone used

344

:

to say, and our biochemistry is working

well in the body, but we're not moving.

345

:

It is a, it's a fundamental

piece of the pie, isn't it?

346

:

We need to do.

347

:

So what are your thoughts on

movement and how do you treat

348

:

the movement part of your work?

349

:

Michelle Flynn: I absolutely agree.

350

:

It's been one of the

biggest changes to my life.

351

:

I was very sedentary in my sales career.

352

:

a lot of times sat at a desk and, I

didn't think about movement at all.

353

:

And, I try it, you go to the gym

for a bit and then the novelty would

354

:

wear off until it was that point of.

355

:

Realization that a, I need to start

doing some, which probably was initially

356

:

related to weight and what I look like,

but very much is no longer about that.

357

:

It's about exactly, as you said, the

importance of it again, same with

358

:

food, physical health, but also our

mental health, one of the best ways.

359

:

For someone to clear their head is to

do whatever movement works for them.

360

:

And when I'm working with people,

for me, it's about them exercise.

361

:

I prefer the word hobby.

362

:

Let's find something that you

really enjoy, preferably doing

363

:

with people that you really even

better if you're doing it outside.

364

:

That it becomes a regular thing

that isn't a chore in the diary.

365

:

And for some people that is the gym.

366

:

They love going to the gym.

367

:

Brilliant.

368

:

For other people, that's

definitely not right for them.

369

:

And they want to run out on the trails.

370

:

So it's about finding what that is.

371

:

And if people aren't sure, I'll often

go back to childhood and say, what

372

:

did you used to do for fun as a kid?

373

:

And they'd say, Oh, I

love to ride my bike.

374

:

I had a skateboard.

375

:

I used to, Oh, I loved

horse riding, trampolining.

376

:

Okay.

377

:

Why can't you do that as an adult?

378

:

Opening up the fact that it doesn't

have to just be about the gym.

379

:

There are many more options for this.

380

:

Sal: I love that.

381

:

It's such a great one.

382

:

And I was thinking, I, if you, if you

ask me, I'd be like, I love to cycle.

383

:

I used to love being on my bike as a kid.

384

:

And as an adult now,

I'm, over half a century.

385

:

I've been on the planet a long time.

386

:

I still love to cycle.

387

:

Obviously I'm careful on the

roads, but being on my bike

388

:

is a very freeing experience.

389

:

So it's so interesting that we

dial back into that playfulness.

390

:

And I wanted to speak to that.

391

:

exercise is a word, again, terminology,

interpretation, exercise is often seen as

392

:

a dirty word, a word that's Oh, it's hard.

393

:

You've quote, got to do it.

394

:

And I'm like, okay, where

do we get this idea from?

395

:

This is just nonsense.

396

:

Because most people I know work

really, really hard, like really hard.

397

:

Parents work really hard.

398

:

So it's not that you're

not good at hard work.

399

:

Most people work way harder in their

real life than they would at a gym.

400

:

they graft.

401

:

So I don't buy it for a second

that people say it's hard work.

402

:

It's different work.

403

:

It might be physical work, but one of

the things I find is we can attach joy

404

:

to it and that playfulness, like you've

alluded to, it's a really magical quality.

405

:

I would say, so I'm going

to tell a short story here.

406

:

In my mid forties, I decided

I needed to move a lot more.

407

:

I'd been teaching yoga for a long time.

408

:

And that's a, it's a good discipline,

but it doesn't cover all what we need

409

:

to cover in terms of movement and

exercise and strength and cardiovascular.

410

:

So I got involved in CrossFit

and I was absolutely humiliated.

411

:

I was pretty rubbish and

I thought I'd be good.

412

:

I was up against these athletes

and a lot of female athletes

413

:

and they were so strong.

414

:

My ego was, thankfully I was able to

check my ego that was wanting to feel

415

:

the shame of being a weak man run out

the door and I could stay with it.

416

:

And thank goodness I did, because actually

what I've learned is that sometimes to

417

:

change who you are, your behaviours,

you have to change your identity.

418

:

And that takes a while.

419

:

Going to the gym once, or yoga class,

and you might say, I don't like it.

420

:

Of course you don't like it.

421

:

It's brand new.

422

:

But if you go for three months...

423

:

and start to build that in, find

some of the joy, some of the

424

:

payoff, and all that good feeling.

425

:

That's what it's really about, and I, I do

worry that we get the, get the idea wrong.

426

:

So many of my female clients

say, Oh, I want to lose weight.

427

:

I say, Why?

428

:

People carrying you around?

429

:

seriously, what does

that actually even mean?

430

:

And we've got to challenge that.

431

:

Yes, you might want better body

composition, but I have found, with

432

:

my work, with my client's work,

and blending into the kind of the

433

:

athlete side of things, how you feel.

434

:

is everything.

435

:

You said it at the top of

our show, healthy and happy.

436

:

And if you feel good, you feel

strong, you feel confident.

437

:

Those are all of those pieces

that make our positive life.

438

:

And that's a very powerful

thing that comes from physical

439

:

movement, all varying times.

440

:

So I'm a, I do push it as a strong

point that we have to give it, I think

441

:

a bit more time, but I love the fact

that you said there, find that joy.

442

:

Cause that's the first link.

443

:

and then that's I think

when it starts to grow.

444

:

Michelle Flynn: Absolutely.

445

:

And I've, I try lots of new things

when I'm coaching clients or when

446

:

I'm doing a talk to a group of people

and we're talking about movement

447

:

and I'm like, tell me what you do.

448

:

And partly I want to know what they

do, but actually it's me wanting

449

:

to know, give me some more ideas.

450

:

And someone said paddle tennis.

451

:

I'm like, Oh, what's that?

452

:

I'm going to go and look

up paddle tennis or boxing.

453

:

Okay, where do you do that?

454

:

Let me give that a try.

455

:

And of course, I'm not going to

like all of it and I'm not going

456

:

to be good at all of it, but we

have got so many different options.

457

:

And one thing that COVID was really

good for was people just getting back

458

:

to walking and enjoying being outdoors.

459

:

And lots of people bought dogs and

continue to do all the dog walking.

460

:

And that's just brilliant because.

461

:

Just start somewhere is the most

important thing and if that is dancing

462

:

around your kitchen, having a kitchen

disco with your teenagers or dancing to

463

:

Peppa Pig with your toddler, it doesn't

matter, it's all movement because the

464

:

people that live the longest in the

blue zones They're the five parts of

465

:

the world where people live the longest.

466

:

They're not at the gym.

467

:

They're, they're walking,

they're getting on a bike.

468

:

They're, they're just moving in every

day, which we've just stopped doing.

469

:

And now we're having to

find the time to exercise.

470

:

Just bring it back into what your life is.

471

:

Sal: Yeah, that's such a good point.

472

:

The blue zones are really

interesting, aren't they?

473

:

and you're, you're right.

474

:

If you look at Blue Zones, they don't

have gyms and stuff, but I think a

475

:

Sardinia suddenly they're quite hilly

and I've seen some of the footage of

476

:

there and there are these older people,

often centenarians, they carry bags

477

:

of shopping up a pretty steep hill.

478

:

Right?

479

:

That's a functional movement.

480

:

And if we are doing functional

movements, day in day out because

481

:

zone two, which is brisk walking zone

five, which is going up the hill hard.

482

:

Carrying stuff, lifting stuff, your

body will adapt and your body will adapt

483

:

if you sit on a soft sofa, our modern

life, I think this is an important

484

:

point, which I've learned more and

more over the recent years, that our

485

:

modern life has so many privileges, we

can, we're on a call now in different

486

:

places, using all this technology, it's

amazing, it's so good and as a listener,

487

:

you can get knowledge from people you

might never be able to spend time with.

488

:

But we might be in a chair for too long

all day, and we might sit then after

489

:

work and watch TV, something like that.

490

:

We have to choose to counter that,

and we have to remember that the

491

:

brain, literally the brain, and

the body is an adaptive system, and

492

:

it will adapt to any conditions.

493

:

So whatever environment we are in,

whether it's an office with chairs,

494

:

or whether it's a walking meeting

that you're having with your, with

495

:

your colleagues, your body will adapt.

496

:

And there was there's so

much data now about walking.

497

:

I, I'm a big walker, I have

dogs, and it's the first one.

498

:

Everyone can walk, right?

499

:

Unless you have a disability,

of course, but if you don't

500

:

have a disability, you can walk.

501

:

It's just a go to.

502

:

There are pressure sensors in our feet.

503

:

They calibrate with the heart.

504

:

They also do with, it's to do with motion.

505

:

So when we travel forwards, our

eyes are tracking left and right all

506

:

the time, tracking left and right.

507

:

We don't see it tracking.

508

:

It's one way of processing

difficult flight state responses

509

:

or even trauma responses.

510

:

So the forward movement of walking and

running is even better, really helps

511

:

process difficult stuff that's going

on in our brain and our, in our sort

512

:

of neurochemistry, all that stuff.

513

:

So when we talk about exercise, we want

to move away from, I think the weight

514

:

gain and start to think about this

positive, healthy, highly functioning

515

:

system so we feel, and perform well.

516

:

Michelle Flynn: But also I think that

you can introduce it into your work.

517

:

So if you are a team leader, don't

do your one to ones, either on the

518

:

screen or sat in the office together.

519

:

Go out, go for a walk.

520

:

I do all of my coaching,

weather depending obviously.

521

:

Either in person walking, often

along Brighton seafront, or if it's

522

:

that we're having a conversation on

the phone, as I did this morning,

523

:

the lady was out for a walk.

524

:

I don't want to sit and stare at

my screen for eight hours a day.

525

:

No one does, and it's not good for us.

526

:

So start to implement it.

527

:

If you are working at home.

528

:

Can you stand up?

529

:

Can you move around?

530

:

I know one gentleman, he gets 15, 000

steps in a day without even leaving

531

:

his home because he takes his calls and

he's standing up and he's moving around.

532

:

trying to find ways to fit it in.

533

:

But also, as you're saying, if you're

having a difficult conversation.

534

:

Whether this is with a friend, a family

member, or someone you work with,

535

:

then often being side by side and not

staring at each other is a much more

536

:

positive way to have that conversation

and get to, we'll bring it again

537

:

back to the positive outcome of it.

538

:

Sal: Yeah, absolutely.

539

:

There's so many benefits.

540

:

In fact, there's so many benefits we do

not have time to talk about this now.

541

:

But it's really just,

okay, do your research.

542

:

There's loads out there.

543

:

There's some amazing books.

544

:

But there is the

fundamentals that if we move.

545

:

I think my equation's like

this, what I share to people.

546

:

If we know we're an adaptive system from

the brain and the body, and we adapt

547

:

to the conditions we are in, Choose the

conditions, which might look like I'll

548

:

do a walk and talk, a walk in meeting,

as you've alluded to, or I will go to

549

:

a running club and start, catch 5k,

whatever it is, but those conditions

550

:

will change how my body and my brain

and everything responds and there's

551

:

so much connected to, so movement.

552

:

A lot of it's working with the cerebellum,

the small bit of the back of the brain,

553

:

but there's found to be pathways connected

to the frontal lobe, which is all

554

:

about executive decisions and function.

555

:

If you want to perform well, you want

your brain sharp and you certainly want

556

:

your brain sharp to stave off things

like cognitive decline as you age.

557

:

Movement is a fundamental piece.

558

:

It's like a non negotiable piece of

brain health and cognitive health.

559

:

So when we think about

our positive life...

560

:

Movement is a non negotiable for me.

561

:

How you do it is negotiable.

562

:

And how you build it up,

I think needs long term.

563

:

And I say this to many of my

clients, forget 12 weeks, just,

564

:

just get so over that idea.

565

:

Go for 12 years.

566

:

And people are like, what?

567

:

And I do say, you are going

to be here in 12 years, right?

568

:

How do you want to be in 12 years?

569

:

And most people tell me they want to

be even, stronger, I don't know, better

570

:

performing, physically well in 12 years.

571

:

the trajectory you want starts today.

572

:

And it's far better to start with

that long term vision because it's so

573

:

sustainable because it's so long even if

you fall off track a bit you come back

574

:

on and I find it's a very powerful way.

575

:

I wanted to sweep now into another area

that you said that you specialize in

576

:

it's sleep and my goodness you know we're

going now the other way the pieces that

577

:

pull this together perhaps you could say

a little more around how you what you do

578

:

with sleep and you work with sleep in your

clients tell could you say more about that

579

:

Michelle Flynn: I love sleep.

580

:

That's right.

581

:

It is literally the first place that

I start with people, because if you

582

:

are not sleeping properly, you will

not make the right food choices.

583

:

You will not want to move your body.

584

:

You will not.

585

:

Not have a good day at work.

586

:

So explaining firstly, the

importance of sleep, and it's not

587

:

just about curing tiredness, it is

connected to pretty much everything.

588

:

So if you want to be happy and

healthy, you need to be sleeping.

589

:

And then looking at the things that

are impacting that, and there are

590

:

four key things that we need to focus

on is, are we getting enough sleep?

591

:

Are we sleeping in a

regular sleep pattern?

592

:

Because our bodies like routine.

593

:

Do we have good quality of sleep?

594

:

So are we getting that

precious deep sleep?

595

:

And are we sleeping

consistently through the night?

596

:

So when I'm working with people, I

look at where maybe the issues are.

597

:

They might be getting the lovely

eight hours, but they still

598

:

wake up tired, which is probably

they're not getting the deep sleep.

599

:

Or they might have no

problem falling asleep.

600

:

But they might wake up at that

danger, danger zone, as I refer

601

:

to at four o'clock in the morning

and they can't get back to sleep.

602

:

So we, it's like being a detective.

603

:

What's the problem and

then how do we solve it?

604

:

And there are some obvious

things that people are aware of.

605

:

Caffeine obviously impacts

sleep, but so does alcohol.

606

:

So does when we.

607

:

So does the darkness of our

bedroom, how stressed we are.

608

:

So giving people the tools to be able

to adjust the choices that they're

609

:

making or for them to understand the

power of breathwork for sleep, which

610

:

sleep and breathwork are the things

that I just, are the superpowers.

611

:

but people are not taught this

and the more that I learn, the

612

:

more that I just can't believe.

613

:

Why we are not teaching these basics

to, to everybody because we're giving

614

:

people the tools to be back in control.

615

:

And that starts with getting a

good night's sleep because we

616

:

all feel better when we wake up

and we know we're fully rested.

617

:

Sal: Yeah, totally agreed.

618

:

And it's so interesting.

619

:

I have to always catch myself and I

certainly speak to it to people I'm

620

:

working with today started yesterday.

621

:

So if you want to be performing well

today or having really good quality

622

:

time with your partner or playing with

your Children or whatever it is, That

623

:

experience, or the experience of today,

started yesterday, and that looks like how

624

:

you were breathing, how you were eating,

what your stress levels were like, to

625

:

how much tech you were using, etc, etc,

right up to sleep, and then if that was

626

:

disrupted, and I know, because I have,

sadly, I have a lot of disrupted sleep,

627

:

I have a dog who's not well now, and he

gets very spooked, and he'll just wake me,

628

:

and I'm a very light sleeper, so I have

to do a lot of work to try and get it in,

629

:

and it doesn't always work for me, it's,

it's, it's one of my challenged areas, for

630

:

sure, and I, I probably get the disruptive

sleep, so I'm, I've got the quality, 10

631

:

o'clock every night or earlier, I'm Mr.

632

:

Early.

633

:

I get the rhythm.

634

:

It's all there, but the disruption

is one to work on and it's not easy.

635

:

I, I'm like Michelle,

we're, we're human beings.

636

:

We, it's not, this isn't

oh, it's all easy for us.

637

:

This is, this is work, to, to eat

well, to move well, to sleep well.

638

:

And it needs constant

tinkering, doesn't it?

639

:

So what would you say?

640

:

I'm going to put myself on the spot here.

641

:

I'm going to say, Hey, I'm, I'm

struggling with my consistency.

642

:

I've told you about being

woken up with the dog.

643

:

What would you, what might

you say would be some good

644

:

strategies that I can think about?

645

:

Michelle Flynn: Okay.

646

:

So the first thing would be understanding

what time you are waking up at.

647

:

So is it the danger zone of four

o'clock in the morning or is it before

648

:

Sal: Sometimes form.

649

:

Okay.

650

:

Michelle Flynn: Okay, so the

reason that people tend to wake up

651

:

around that time is that the brain

is highly active at that time.

652

:

We're filing our memories from the day.

653

:

So I describe our brain like

millions of little light bulbs, and

654

:

we want them off to get good sleep.

655

:

And often at four o'clock in the morning,

it's like someone's turned the dimmer

656

:

switch on and The brain is more active.

657

:

So if you are stressed through work or

anxious about what's happening the next

658

:

day, you're much more likely to wake up at

that point because your brain is already

659

:

active in your situation, having a dog

that's not very well, that's ultimately

660

:

something that you can't control.

661

:

And, you want to make sure that

if your dog needs you, that.

662

:

Obviously you're going to be

there for them, but looking at

663

:

the things that you can control.

664

:

One of the things to help people

sleep the whole way through the

665

:

night is getting into a deeper

sleep at the beginning of the night.

666

:

So when someone is preparing, they've done

their teeth, they've got into bed, they've

667

:

put the phone away and they're now right.

668

:

Now it's time to sleep is to do some nice

breathing patterns, and there are lots of

669

:

different breathing patterns out there.

670

:

Box breathing is the one that I generally

start with when we're talking about

671

:

sleep, which is breathing in for a

count of four, holding your breath

672

:

in for a count of four, out for a

count of four, holding it out for a

673

:

count of four, All through the nose.

674

:

Nasal breathing is key and if someone

is breathing through their mouth

675

:

when they're sleeping, then that

creates a whole different array of

676

:

challenges, which again can be solved.

677

:

So by doing the breathing exercises

whilst you're going to sleep,

678

:

you're going to drop into a deeper

state of sleep more quickly.

679

:

So therefore when you come up

into those lighter phases, which

680

:

you will, that's how sleep works.

681

:

We range throughout the night

through different cycles.

682

:

But because you start at a deeper

point, you're less likely to then

683

:

wake up in those lighter phases.

684

:

So that would be certainly somewhere

that, to be honest, getting people to

685

:

breathe properly with sleep, whether

someone is a good sleeper or not, is

686

:

always a great way to sleep because.

687

:

Stress is often the thing that is

stopping us getting a good sleep

688

:

because of highly active brain, but

also what it does to our nervous system.

689

:

So doing those breathing patterns

would be a starting point.

690

:

as well as you're obviously already

looking at probably the obvious things.

691

:

Is your room cool enough?

692

:

Is it dark enough?

693

:

Is it quiet enough?

694

:

And people can spend a lot

of money on sleep technology.

695

:

There's amazing devices now

where the do, The mattress

696

:

topper will change temperature

as your body temperature changes.

697

:

And for women going through menopause,

our body temperatures are changing.

698

:

So there's a lot of devices

out there, but they don't come

699

:

cheaply, but breath work is free.

700

:

I would definitely start

701

:

with that.

702

:

Sal: yeah, absolutely.

703

:

I believe you.

704

:

So I train with Patrick McKeown, I

think you and partner have, yeah, okay.

705

:

and Patrick McKeown, for those of you who

don't know, does the Oxygen Advantage.

706

:

And Patrick's work is

based on, Pateko system.

707

:

really interesting work.

708

:

And Patrick suggests

that we tape our mouths.

709

:

mouth taping is something I've...

710

:

done.

711

:

And I do it on and off.

712

:

It's curious.

713

:

I go for periods where I take for a while

and then I don't need it for a while.

714

:

It's really interesting, isn't it, that

if we're mouth breathing all night,

715

:

which is predicated towards more of a

sympathetic nervous system response,

716

:

like a higher stimulated response, but

we may not know because we're asleep.

717

:

So taping the mouth is a good one.

718

:

Now, for anyone who's horrified by

the idea, it can sound a bit weird.

719

:

So you can go on Patrick's

website, have a look, Google it.

720

:

We can put some links on the show notes.

721

:

It is one strategy that does work quite

well for people and it has worked for

722

:

me when I've used it and when I feel I

need to use it, I think it's interesting.

723

:

So I know Patrick, when I did some

training with him, he said, if

724

:

you're dysregulated in your breathing

through the day, that's also going

725

:

to go all the way into the night.

726

:

So not just before bed, which is

why practically like both of us,

727

:

of course, we'll always say, let's

check in with, how do you breathe?

728

:

All, all the time.

729

:

So there's strategies and practice,

but it's a bit like going to

730

:

the gym, isn't it, Michelle?

731

:

You can go and do weights or run once

a week, but if you're sitting for

732

:

12 hours a day, it won't negate him.

733

:

And the same with if you have

dysfunctional breathing all day

734

:

and you do a small practice,

it's probably not quite enough.

735

:

So looking at breath work.

736

:

In general, nasal breathing in general,

diaphragm breathing throughout the day,

737

:

regulated breathing is such a powerful

strategy that so many of us overlook,

738

:

but I know I push it all the time

because it works and it's powerful.

739

:

Michelle Flynn: Yes.

740

:

And with that, if people are unsure,

because as you said, you're asleep,

741

:

you don't know what you're doing.

742

:

My question is, do you snore?

743

:

Do you wake up with a dry mouth?

744

:

And lots of people do.

745

:

And as soon as you put that connection,

they realize, Oh, okay, I am mouth

746

:

breathing and during the day, people

who are in jobs that involve a lot of

747

:

talking, so salespeople, whether that's

company CEOs delivering their messages,

748

:

whether that's teachers, customer service.

749

:

When they're talking all

day, they're mouth breathing.

750

:

So again, this is giving people the

awareness that if you're breathing

751

:

through your mouth, you are

activating your stress nervous system.

752

:

So therefore you are going

to be more stressed, which is

753

:

then going to be connected to

sleep and other aspects of your

754

:

Sal: Yeah.

755

:

Such, such important points.

756

:

So hopefully as we're thinking

about our, our constituent pieces

757

:

of a positive life, we've got all

of these pieces coming together.

758

:

It's a tapestry, isn't it?

759

:

It's this kind of collage and tapestry

that sometimes needs a bit of more

760

:

in one area, a bit more in the other,

but there is no, In my experience,

761

:

there's no way that one should negate

all of, one in total, like I'll forget

762

:

about breathing because I do lots

of exercise or I do lots of breath

763

:

work so I don't need to eat well.

764

:

It's no, no, no, no, no, the

human system is multilayered and

765

:

it needs a multiple approach.

766

:

And of course, this is my, my, my

passion for the podcast is to share

767

:

it like our multiple practitioning

approaches we've got here.

768

:

That when we think and connect this

way, we start to move away from

769

:

what sadly is a cultural label.

770

:

belief that things work in isolation.

771

:

You go see the breathing

person for the breath issue.

772

:

And you go see the sleep person.

773

:

It's like, why?

774

:

Humans are systems.

775

:

We are systems.

776

:

It's just basic fact.

777

:

And if we don't treat things as

systems, they don't work that well.

778

:

So if we start to see how they're

interacting with each other, we get

779

:

a much better, better connection.

780

:

And talking of connection, I know

that's something that you speak

781

:

of quite a lot in your work.

782

:

It's certainly about how to have

a positive and healthy life.

783

:

What's, what's your

definition of connection?

784

:

Michelle Flynn: It's not about connecting

with people that you love, which is, I

785

:

think, where I was going to go first,

but actually connecting with people

786

:

that you have shared values with.

787

:

So whether that is through sports,

maybe you play football and you get

788

:

on well with your teammates, whether

this is going to a book club, whether

789

:

it's your yoga class, whether this is.

790

:

That your work, your workmates.

791

:

And one of the hard things now about more

people working at home is less connection.

792

:

And we all felt it during COVID when

suddenly we weren't able to spend time

793

:

with the people that we enjoy, their

company and doing the things that we

794

:

love, how much that had an impact on us.

795

:

So it is.

796

:

So key, loneliness is one of the

biggest causes of depression and

797

:

more and more people are feeling

it in my coaching sessions.

798

:

Regularly, people are telling me I have no

one to talk to and even I have no friends.

799

:

They might be new to an area.

800

:

I moved to a new area 18 months ago.

801

:

I didn't know anybody.

802

:

I was thinking this is

not going to be good.

803

:

I'm a very sociable person.

804

:

I get my energy from being around people.

805

:

So I knew I had.

806

:

To do something about that

and take responsibility myself

807

:

for making those changes.

808

:

'cause I don't have children, so I don't

have the school gates to meet people.

809

:

I do not think we can

underestimate the importance of it.

810

:

And there's even suggestions that.

811

:

It can have as much of an impact

on your health as smoking.

812

:

And, particularly I think with

men where they don't necessarily

813

:

talk, they might go to the pub,

they might talk about football.

814

:

I experienced that the other night at a

dinner party where about half past nine,

815

:

the talk went to Brighton and Hove Albion.

816

:

Absolutely great.

817

:

It was giving men a.

818

:

a conversation to share with

each other, which was lovely.

819

:

But maybe women are talking more

about how they're actually feeling.

820

:

So I just actively encourage

people to find your people.

821

:

And that just one person, it

doesn't have to be hundreds.

822

:

There's only so many really good close

relationships that we can actually invest

823

:

time in, but don't underestimate it.

824

:

And if you're listening to

this and you're feeling lonely.

825

:

Look at what's out there.

826

:

Eventbrite is a great place to go and

connect with people over shared interests.

827

:

There's a group called Run Talk

Run, which is, a group that I

828

:

joined when I first moved to

Brighton and I didn't know anybody.

829

:

And it's, it's not really a running group.

830

:

We do run, but it's very slow.

831

:

it's.

832

:

It's basically about breakfast at the end,

but I made some great friends, people I

833

:

would never have got to meet through that.

834

:

use what is out there to go and connect,

particularly if you are working at home

835

:

on your own, because we're not getting so

much connection as we would through work.

836

:

so we have to be finding

those ways outside of that.

837

:

Sal: Thank you.

838

:

Yeah, that's just such as

such so many important points.

839

:

I had some other guests recently, Leanne

Weaver, who was on a recent podcast.

840

:

So guys, if you listen, you

can search for Leanne's.

841

:

It's about the importance of

connection in the workplace.

842

:

And Leanne has spent a lot of time in

the world, like many of us and seeing

843

:

human connection, seeing the change

from the pandemic, the negatives and

844

:

the positive and a connection being

absolutely fundamental in the workplace.

845

:

And, another guest, April

Baker, who runs, Together Co,

846

:

which is a loneliness charity.

847

:

There's a Episode out about

now or around this episode.

848

:

and it's all about loneliness and

she speaks about social health.

849

:

so important and, and most of us

know, we don't need psychologists

850

:

to tell us this, but when we haven't

got any mates, it's horrible.

851

:

And it really is.

852

:

And I remember that at school.

853

:

If, when I've changed schools

as an adult, I've changed many

854

:

different places I've lived.

855

:

It is tough.

856

:

I think it's harder as an

adult to make new friends than

857

:

it is as a younger person.

858

:

That's my personal experience, but

there are ways to do this, and I

859

:

think we're going back to this same

premise we've spoken about already.

860

:

Modernity, the modern world, social

structures as, as they are, they

861

:

don't make it easy for us to, to be as

functioning and well as we could be.

862

:

So we have to be quite savvy and skillful

and go, Hmm, I feel quite lonely.

863

:

I haven't got anyone I've moved.

864

:

Let's go on, meet up or let's go on a

certain places, Eventbrite, to find where

865

:

we have to have the volition to go for it.

866

:

And I know that's not easy for if

you're listening, you're like, Oh,

867

:

this is so much energy and effort.

868

:

I get it.

869

:

It really is.

870

:

But if you look at the payoff,

what would happen if you did

871

:

meet a really cool person?

872

:

Like you met Michelle and she's

great fun and she's really clever

873

:

and she's just great at the run club.

874

:

Or you, you spent time with me

and oh, he's a cool guy that

875

:

might be so worth the effort.

876

:

And I, I know how I, my, my brain

works because that's what I work with.

877

:

It's I'll take the easy option.

878

:

Yeah, I could do that.

879

:

But that won't give me what I want.

880

:

So I have to find ways to

nudge out of that comfort zone.

881

:

They think it's, I think, seven percent,

the psychologists who bothered to study

882

:

this, it's about seven percent out of

our comfort zone we should be to grow.

883

:

Put it this way, it's, I feel

slightly uncomfortable but

884

:

safe, would be my metric.

885

:

If you feel slightly

uncomfortable but safe, go do it.

886

:

And yes, absolute connection.

887

:

In a modern world of...

888

:

Images, Instagram, and all the,

the, the various, platforms.

889

:

It can seem like everyone's

mates with everyone.

890

:

And yeah, I think you made

such an important point.

891

:

Even if you've just got one good contact,

whoever that is, that might be enough if

892

:

you're having a period of loneliness to

keep that healthy social connection going.

893

:

Michelle Flynn: I saw it myself.

894

:

I decided to set up a women's group.

895

:

I moved to Shoreham by sea, didn't

know anyone, as I said, and decided

896

:

to set up a women's group and

I put something on Facebook and

897

:

that was now about 15 months ago.

898

:

I now have nearly a thousand members.

899

:

Sal: Amazing.

900

:

Michelle Flynn: we meet once a

month and, off the back of that,

901

:

there's lots of other things

that go on and it's just lovely.

902

:

It's all age ranges, everyone

from all different backgrounds,

903

:

it's hosted for free, it doesn't

cost you anything to come.

904

:

If you...

905

:

Wanna sit and drink a

glass of water, no problem.

906

:

we don't want there to be any

blockers, and it is lovely.

907

:

And now when I walk through showroom, it

takes me twice as long to get through it

908

:

because I'm always seeing someone that I

recognize and even just that interaction

909

:

with someone in the street is enough to

charge my battery for the rest of the day.

910

:

if you are sitting here thinking that.

911

:

You're different because you feel lonely.

912

:

You're not.

913

:

My, my, what started as an experiment

very much has proven that, that nearly

914

:

a thousand women, have come forward.

915

:

And my husband has now set

up a men's group in Shoreham,

916

:

exactly the same reason.

917

:

Look, there is a lot happening out

there and if you can't find anything,

918

:

be the person to start it because

you're not the only one thinking it.

919

:

Sal: I'm just so touched by that,

that sentiment and it's, it's just

920

:

so good to hear what you've done.

921

:

So if we are that person, you're like,

can't, I can't, I can't meet people.

922

:

This is a real struggle

and I find it tough.

923

:

What can you take us through that, that,

that process in your mind that went from,

924

:

I'm feeling lonely and I'm in a new place

and I'm going to do something about it.

925

:

Could you take us through how

that process worked for you?

926

:

So maybe we could, embody

that and take that forward.

927

:

Michelle Flynn: So I remember

exactly what happened.

928

:

I was walking and I was listening to a

podcast, fairly standard, and I can't

929

:

remember who it was, but the guy on

the podcast was talking about a men's

930

:

group that had got him through COVID.

931

:

And the connection with these

gentlemen had been his saving.

932

:

And I just thought, hang on a minute.

933

:

Maybe I should start a women's group.

934

:

So I went on to one of the main Shoreham

Facebook groups and I put a post

935

:

out that said, I'm new to Shoreham.

936

:

I've been listening to this podcast

about men's groups, and I think

937

:

I might set up a women's group.

938

:

Is anyone interested?

939

:

And it went from there

suddenly in the comments.

940

:

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

941

:

Then I realized, Oh, now what?

942

:

So I thought.

943

:

I'm going to set up a Facebook

group, Shoreham by Sea Women's

944

:

Group, very inventive name,

and let's see what happens.

945

:

And they just started joining.

946

:

And then I was like, now what?

947

:

So I put a post out and I said,

Monday, the whatever date in July last

948

:

year it was, I'm going to be in the

garden of this pub in Shoreham at 6.

949

:

30.

950

:

Anyone wants to come?

951

:

25 women turned up.

952

:

Makes me quite

953

:

Sal: Oh, I love it.

954

:

Michelle Flynn: Oh goodness.

955

:

It was just like unbelievable and

we all shared our stories and it

956

:

just grew from there and every time

there's always new people that come

957

:

and I've seen this one lovely group

of women become really good friends.

958

:

They're all women.

959

:

probably mid fifties to mid sixties,

mostly single and, watching the fun that

960

:

they now have together and the things that

they go and do just is so heartwarming.

961

:

And the whole acts of kindness being one

of the best ways to make us feel happy,

962

:

I feel so happy with the fact that I've

managed to help other people that almost

963

:

it's a selfish act on my part because I'm

doing it because it makes me feel good.

964

:

It's just been brilliant.

965

:

So it wasn't that difficult.

966

:

It just took putting a post out

there and seeing what happened.

967

:

And they came and they keep coming

and they keep telling other people

968

:

saying we do breathwork on the beach

on a Saturday morning and we'll get up

969

:

to 90 people joining us on the beach.

970

:

And again, it's word of mouth.

971

:

It's people wanting to be part of

something and it is just wonderful.

972

:

So it's not difficult to do.

973

:

Use the technology.

974

:

I know we shouldn't spend too

much time on social media.

975

:

But let's use it for what it's

good for, which is connecting

976

:

people and finding your

977

:

Sal: Really nice, such

a, such a powerful story.

978

:

I was really charmed by that.

979

:

And what I heard as well was in some

ways it was quite simple, wasn't it?

980

:

There was a strong feeling.

981

:

There was like, why not I, why not us?

982

:

And, and let's, let's

go for the first step.

983

:

And what I heard was let's, let's

just put it, let's just get a test in.

984

:

And then the next step, the next step.

985

:

So if, it's very easy to get

overwhelmed with this idea, Oh,

986

:

I've got to do all this thing.

987

:

what about just put a post?

988

:

Does anyone want to meet up for a walk?

989

:

start a bit of a walking club.

990

:

I like walking.

991

:

And, and if three people come, great.

992

:

Such an inspiring story.

993

:

Thank you for sharing that, Michelle.

994

:

And, for those of us around the

Brighton Shore area, we need

995

:

to go find Michelle's group.

996

:

This sounds cool.

997

:

Obviously, I can't go,

because I'm a bloke.

998

:

You'll have to come to

your husband's group.

999

:

Ha, ha, ha.

:

00:50:04,641 --> 00:50:05,061

Michelle Flynn: Come to the

:

00:50:05,061 --> 00:50:05,381

men's

:

00:50:05,381 --> 00:50:06,671

group or to the breathwork on the

:

00:50:06,696 --> 00:50:07,346

Sal: Amazing.

:

00:50:07,346 --> 00:50:08,006

Sounds good.

:

00:50:09,116 --> 00:50:12,276

I would like to bring this, this

episode, cause we've really focused

:

00:50:12,276 --> 00:50:14,016

on some really important parts.

:

00:50:14,016 --> 00:50:18,316

We've spoke about food, movement,

sleep, connection, and I know you speak

:

00:50:18,316 --> 00:50:21,676

about relaxation as one of your final

kind of key pillars of what you do.

:

00:50:21,716 --> 00:50:24,176

And we're coming to the end

of our, our episode now.

:

00:50:25,146 --> 00:50:26,726

It feels the right way to close.

:

00:50:27,352 --> 00:50:30,682

what do you mean by relaxation

and how might we do it well?

:

00:50:31,645 --> 00:50:34,675

Michelle Flynn: This is the one

thing I'm still working on for myself

:

00:50:34,705 --> 00:50:38,535

because my coach is always telling

me off for the fact that I don't

:

00:50:38,585 --> 00:50:43,395

ever stand still and what I think is

relaxing, she doesn't agree with me.

:

00:50:44,795 --> 00:50:48,755

for it again, like movement, it can

be different for different people.

:

00:50:49,025 --> 00:50:52,545

for some people it is lying on

the sofa and watching Netflix

:

00:50:52,635 --> 00:50:55,125

and no problem with that at all.

:

00:50:55,435 --> 00:50:56,255

As long as that's not.

:

00:50:57,505 --> 00:51:01,615

You not sleeping or you not moving,

or it's not interrupting the

:

00:51:01,615 --> 00:51:04,165

other things that are gonna help

you live a more positive life.

:

00:51:04,565 --> 00:51:08,105

for some people that might be

taking a gentle walk, I love to

:

00:51:08,110 --> 00:51:09,965

walk barefoot on, on the grass.

:

00:51:10,185 --> 00:51:12,045

for me, I find that really relaxing.

:

00:51:12,405 --> 00:51:14,025

We don't get into a flow.

:

00:51:14,600 --> 00:51:16,750

Anymore really, we're so busy.

:

00:51:16,750 --> 00:51:21,940

Our attention is constantly being

grabbed by, adverts or sort of brands

:

00:51:21,940 --> 00:51:24,150

wanting our hard, our hard earned cash.

:

00:51:24,480 --> 00:51:28,730

so sometimes just finding ways to

get into that flow state and reading.

:

00:51:28,900 --> 00:51:33,750

is a really good way to do that and

we so often don't read books anymore.

:

00:51:33,750 --> 00:51:38,290

I have a, an array of books in my house

that I'm still trying to get through.

:

00:51:38,740 --> 00:51:40,690

so it is different for some people.

:

00:51:40,690 --> 00:51:45,260

It will be a massage for some

people, a nice yin yoga class, for

:

00:51:45,260 --> 00:51:49,600

someone else, a nice bath, but I

guess we could call it self care.

:

00:51:50,400 --> 00:51:54,990

And if we're not looking after ourselves,

we can't be strong for anyone else.

:

00:51:54,990 --> 00:51:59,100

And you mentioned this at the beginning

with coaching high performers that

:

00:51:59,100 --> 00:52:03,270

are running businesses and it's all

about the business, but if you're

:

00:52:03,280 --> 00:52:07,920

not well, and if you're not caring

about yourself with whatever that

:

00:52:07,920 --> 00:52:09,930

might be that you find restful.

:

00:52:10,395 --> 00:52:13,485

It might be a really nice conversation

with your best friend that you

:

00:52:13,485 --> 00:52:15,015

haven't spoken to for a while.

:

00:52:15,305 --> 00:52:18,855

there's lots of different parts and

I ask people to create a calm list.

:

00:52:19,515 --> 00:52:23,825

So I say, I want 10 things on that list

because if you feel stressed and you

:

00:52:23,825 --> 00:52:27,895

want to feel calm, you need to know

what is going to make you feel that way.

:

00:52:27,895 --> 00:52:29,855

So what is on that list?

:

00:52:29,855 --> 00:52:34,105

And it can be a herbal tea, a

scented candle, cuddling a dog.

:

00:52:34,475 --> 00:52:38,165

Listening to the sound of the

waves, I often, that's my morning

:

00:52:38,175 --> 00:52:41,175

as I love to go and listen to the

sort of the waves on the beach.

:

00:52:41,515 --> 00:52:46,975

So find your thing, but make sure that

you are doing something for you every

:

00:52:46,975 --> 00:52:49,535

day, preferably without the phone.

:

00:52:49,835 --> 00:52:54,795

15 minutes can recharge that battery to

give you the energy to go and be good at

:

00:52:54,905 --> 00:52:56,885

everything else that your day needs you to

:

00:52:57,035 --> 00:52:58,380

Sal: Yeah, such, such good points.

:

00:52:58,410 --> 00:53:01,280

Downregulation is a technical

term we might use for him

:

00:53:01,490 --> 00:53:03,811

and we have to downregulate.

:

00:53:03,841 --> 00:53:08,111

And in a world of hyper stimulation,

certainly if you are running a

:

00:53:08,111 --> 00:53:11,911

business, running a family, running a

life, there are so many things to do.

:

00:53:11,911 --> 00:53:15,081

There are so many stimulus points

which trigger, the brain, our

:

00:53:15,081 --> 00:53:16,551

visual system, dopamine system.

:

00:53:16,551 --> 00:53:18,011

We are, we're charged a lot.

:

00:53:18,503 --> 00:53:22,113

Two, if you don't downregulate,

you actually change the

:

00:53:22,113 --> 00:53:23,353

baseline of your stress levels.

:

00:53:23,353 --> 00:53:24,943

So you actually raise that baseline.

:

00:53:24,953 --> 00:53:25,923

So you're constantly on.

:

00:53:25,963 --> 00:53:29,363

Wired is a term some people use, and I

think some of us will recognize that term.

:

00:53:32,474 --> 00:53:34,954

equals more upregulation.

:

00:53:35,389 --> 00:53:37,739

So in sports science and the strength

and conditioning world, which I

:

00:53:37,739 --> 00:53:42,379

also straddle, if you want to be

physically strong or physically well,

:

00:53:42,549 --> 00:53:44,879

you have to downregulate properly.

:

00:53:45,299 --> 00:53:47,889

So you, if you do your strength

work, for instance, and you're really

:

00:53:47,889 --> 00:53:50,829

training your physical systems to

become a stronger physical person.

:

00:53:51,569 --> 00:53:54,229

If you don't downregulate with breath

work directly after your training

:

00:53:55,109 --> 00:53:59,689

practice and proper sleep and proper

downregulation, you don't grow

:

00:53:59,689 --> 00:54:03,469

new tissue, new mitochondria, new

physical parts that you need to be.

:

00:54:03,979 --> 00:54:05,319

upregulated and strong.

:

00:54:05,859 --> 00:54:09,849

So I think if we misunderstand

the value of downregulation, we

:

00:54:09,849 --> 00:54:11,479

can think, Oh, it's, I'm so busy.

:

00:54:12,019 --> 00:54:16,009

And by the way, if you say

I'm busy, I'm coming for you.

:

00:54:17,329 --> 00:54:17,839

I get it.

:

00:54:17,869 --> 00:54:18,879

We've all got a lot to do.

:

00:54:18,879 --> 00:54:19,609

And I'm too.

:

00:54:19,609 --> 00:54:21,219

I've got lots and lots

of things I like to do.

:

00:54:21,219 --> 00:54:23,239

I have my business and it's brilliant fun.

:

00:54:23,689 --> 00:54:26,079

And sometimes it can be a challenge

because it's quite overwhelming.

:

00:54:26,079 --> 00:54:26,999

There are many things to do.

:

00:54:27,059 --> 00:54:27,789

Modern life, right?

:

00:54:28,519 --> 00:54:33,209

But be very careful of the narrative

of, I'm so busy, because that can

:

00:54:33,209 --> 00:54:37,599

be a mantra that means, I can't

relax, it's not okay to downregulate,

:

00:54:37,849 --> 00:54:39,379

I don't give myself permission.

:

00:54:39,529 --> 00:54:43,239

And that's one thing I would say in my

experience, give yourself permission.

:

00:54:43,789 --> 00:54:46,679

Know that you need to

downregulate, and know that that

:

00:54:46,679 --> 00:54:48,359

busyness can be turned down.

:

00:54:49,030 --> 00:54:50,340

Michelle Flynn: Yeah,

there's a great quote.

:

00:54:50,500 --> 00:54:54,390

Arnold Schwarzenegger has written

a book called Be Useful and he's

:

00:54:54,390 --> 00:54:59,700

talking about time and I won't quote

him exactly because he uses a bit

:

00:54:59,700 --> 00:55:04,140

of language, but the basics of what

he's saying is that we're all busy.

:

00:55:04,300 --> 00:55:05,660

But we all have time.

:

00:55:05,680 --> 00:55:11,750

And if you were to write one page every

day for 365 days, you've written a book.

:

00:55:12,310 --> 00:55:17,490

so we are really busy and life has never

been busier than it is, but this is about

:

00:55:17,500 --> 00:55:23,390

the priorities of how we spend our time

and two minutes of breathing exercises.

:

00:55:23,995 --> 00:55:25,255

Can make a difference.

:

00:55:25,495 --> 00:55:28,255

Eating one extra vegetable

can make a difference.

:

00:55:28,260 --> 00:55:32,965

Having one extra glass of water, having

a cuddle with your child, or your

:

00:55:32,965 --> 00:55:38,485

partner or your friend, whatever it is,

it's the small things that all add up.

:

00:55:38,995 --> 00:55:39,475

And.

:

00:55:39,815 --> 00:55:43,255

It's not about running

marathons or about going vegan.

:

00:55:43,255 --> 00:55:46,365

If you want to run marathons

and you're a vegan, great.

:

00:55:46,685 --> 00:55:47,705

Absolutely.

:

00:55:47,745 --> 00:55:49,495

They take such dedication.

:

00:55:50,465 --> 00:55:52,745

Let's just start with the simple stuff.

:

00:55:53,065 --> 00:55:58,005

It's a few more steps, a few more

minutes of sleep, a little bit less time

:

00:55:58,005 --> 00:56:02,705

on the phone because, again, this is

around the James hit, James Clear and

:

00:56:02,825 --> 00:56:05,465

building habits is that sort of, he says.

:

00:56:06,080 --> 00:56:09,730

Start with something that you can

do even on your most difficult day.

:

00:56:10,255 --> 00:56:10,825

Sal: Amazing.

:

00:56:11,000 --> 00:56:11,960

Michelle Flynn: I think that's a good

:

00:56:12,025 --> 00:56:12,605

Sal: I love that.

:

00:56:13,105 --> 00:56:16,925

We are going to pull it to a close here,

so we hope you can go and downregulate.

:

00:56:17,415 --> 00:56:17,985

Take some time.

:

00:56:19,383 --> 00:56:22,593

and I always encourage my listeners,

so if you've taken points on this

:

00:56:22,593 --> 00:56:26,103

and you are someone like me, you

have to write it down, Scrabble back,

:

00:56:26,103 --> 00:56:29,103

go find the marker on the what what

did you, what did you wanna hear?

:

00:56:29,103 --> 00:56:29,973

What did Michelle say?

:

00:56:29,973 --> 00:56:30,873

What did, what did I say?

:

00:56:30,993 --> 00:56:32,463

What was what struck you?

:

00:56:32,643 --> 00:56:35,743

Capture it, integrate it, implement it.

:

00:56:35,803 --> 00:56:38,923

Because to be well and healthy

and happy, and have a positive

:

00:56:38,923 --> 00:56:40,933

life, it takes a little action.

:

00:56:41,278 --> 00:56:42,618

continuous steps every day.

:

00:56:42,668 --> 00:56:45,298

So I hope you are able

to take that forward.

:

00:56:45,618 --> 00:56:46,818

Dear listener, thank you.

:

00:56:46,938 --> 00:56:48,508

Absorb, take it to the next one.

:

00:56:48,518 --> 00:56:52,488

Michelle, thank you for your time and

knowledge and I'll speak to you all again.

:

00:56:52,578 --> 00:56:52,978

Take care.

:

00:56:55,472 --> 00:56:57,122

Sal Jefferies: Thank you

so much for listening.

:

00:56:57,392 --> 00:57:00,962

If you enjoyed the episode,

please subscribe and if a friend

:

00:57:00,962 --> 00:57:04,052

would benefit from hearing this,

do send it on to them as well.

:

00:57:05,252 --> 00:57:08,252

If you would like to get in touch

yourself, then you can go to my website,

:

00:57:08,492 --> 00:57:17,162

which is sal jeffries.com, spelled S

A L J E F E R I E s sal jeffries.com.

:

00:57:17,462 --> 00:57:20,822

Hit the get in touch link and there

you can send me a direct message.

:

00:57:21,767 --> 00:57:24,647

If you'd like to go one step further

and learn whether coaching could help

:

00:57:24,647 --> 00:57:29,327

you overcome a challenge or a block

in your life, then do reach out and

:

00:57:29,327 --> 00:57:32,717

I offer a call where we can discuss

how this may be able to help you.

:

00:57:33,587 --> 00:57:35,507

Until the next time, take care.

Show artwork for Mindset, Mood & Movement

About the Podcast

Mindset, Mood & Movement
Human performance podcast for life and business
Feeling stuck, stressed and exhausted is bad for you, your health and your business. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

Sal Jefferies is a coach who helps founders overcome anxiety, build confidence and become healthy. This podcast will help you feel calm, confident and strong in life and business.

Sal has a unique coaching philosophy which integrates psychology, emotional regulation and embodied action. This podcast aims to share knowledge, skill and strategies from these 3 interwoven areas - mindset, mood & movement.

Each fortnight, Sal will be in conversation with a guest from a specialist field of human performance and behaviour. The week in between will be Sal's own shorter episode where he's goes deep into various topics - all created to give you the tools to become calm, confident & strong.


About your host

Profile picture for Sal Jefferies

Sal Jefferies

I believe in helping people become free - free of anxiety; to be authentic; to not worry of what others think of you. Free to create, to love and free to be calm, confident and strong.

I understand what it’s like to find life difficult, to deal with challenges and to feel lost; that’s why I over the last 15 years I have immersed myself in yoga, psychology and human behaviour. I have been on a journey of deep change and growth and I know at the core of most life choices is the desire for freedom and peace. I work with people who think deeply and feel deeply and looking to change, evolve and grow.

I don’t take myself too seriously and I bring a light and positive energy to my work. When I’m not coaching, I love reading and learning about anything to do with the human experience. I am also super active and movement is a big part of my life - running, swimming, strength training, doing yoga or enjoying being out with my dogs.