This weekend, I was lucky enough to be able to spend 2 days at the inaugural thought-led wellbeing event, Life Lessons, in London.
A jam packed weekend, there was a line up of world class speakers planned, grappling with topics such as philosophy, society, the mind, self-care, sustainability, psychology, nutrition and more.
goPhysio’s services centre around physical health, however, what’s becoming more and more evident and thankfully, more and more recognised, is that crucial connection between the mind and the body that can not be overlooked.
So, I thought I’d share some of the key messages from the weekend.
Saturday kicked off with Alain De Botton, from The School of Life, exploring emotional health. In fact, this happened to be my favourite lecture of the weekend, so a good one to start with. The School of Life is a global organisation helping people live more fulfilled lives. The key messages from Alan were:
- We have become intolerant of anything other than perfection. The world has become radically unbalanced towards perfectionism. It’s what we expect, when actually we can be good enough, we don’t have to be perfect. An understanding and acceptance of this for both ourselves and others, would really be transformational.
- We are all ‘weird’! There is no ‘normal’, we’re just different types of weird!!
- There is no longer any time for deep thinking. We used to sit on the bus or in the car, daydream in the shower or during a walk. These times of deep thinking allowed our brains to process things and thoughts. But now we are in an era of information overload. We are constantly consuming, be it podcasts, TV, audiobooks, social media, 24 hour news, radio, the internet or books. Our minds don’t have any time to process anything!
- This information overload stops us from ‘thinking’ in the day. A potential result of this is that at night, when our mind finally gets a break from information, the minds starts to go into thinking overdrive and can really disrupt our sleep (sound familiar?!).
- We would all benefit from connecting with nature more. This connection, experiencing and acknowledging how ‘small’ humans are relative to the world, can really help to centre us.
Next up, was ‘Everything is figureoutable’ by Marie Forleo. She shared her 3 rules:
- All your problems and dreams are figureoutable
- If they aren’t figureoutable, it’s not a problem or a dream, it’s a fact of life, or
- You may just not care enough to figure it out. If so, find something else.
Her message was all about having self-belief, in that you have to believe you have what it takes to make things happen.
According to Maria, you are 42% more likely to achieve a goal if you write it down. So, if there’s something you are really serious about acheiving something, why not give it a go.
I am already a fan of Dr Rangan Chatterjee, so was delighted to hear him speak to Helen Russell and Mungi Ngomane. They discussed some fascinating ways in which different cultures and parts of the world achieve happiness!
These included Ubuntu, the art of human connection. The philosophy of “I am only because you are” and acknowledging that everyone impacts on your life seems extremely powerful. We seem to have all become too individualised. They also discussed the Japanese terms; Wabisabi, a view centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection and Ikigi, a reason for being, encompassing joy, a sense of purpose and meaning and a feeling of well-being.
The key takeaway message was that we need to live well to be well. It’s almost come full circle, in that we are starting to get back to basics again and realising that these are the important things for wellbeing – eating well, sleeping well, exercising, connecting, talking, relaxing, reducing time on technology and getting into nature.
To finish off day 1, the very hilarious Romesh Ranganathan, was joined by a panel of very honest and open men, to discuss mental health. In light of the day’s news, of another unnecessary and early tragic loss of life of someone in the media, the discussion was very apt. Their messages all followed the same themes:
- Talk & listen more – we have to be having conversations and connecting with people
- Ask people of they’re OK and watch out for others
- You never know what people are going through or how they are really feeling, so have this in your mind
Day 2 started with an honest and frank discussion entitled “Wonderwomen at Work”. As the title suggested, this was all about the role, challenges and culture surrounding women at work. My favourite message in this talk was not to worry whether people actually like you. Just like you don’t necessarily like everyone, everyone won’t like you. But be nice, kind and likeable, and that’s all you can do!
The Brain Power talk was a much more scientifically focused session, which covered the impact of alcohol and smart drugs on brain power and steps we can take to boost brain power and future proof our brain function as we age.
So, what can we do to future-proof our brain?
- Eat a well balanced diet
- Sleep well
- Practice positive affirmations (a few talks mentioned this)
- Meditate, learn a new skill or do something regularly that requires concentration
Not rocket science is it?! The things we should be doing to love well and improve our chances of living a long and happy life, are all pretty much the same! Chartered Psychologist Kimberley Wilson has a new book out soon (see the cover below for the details) and it sounds fascinating.
Anyone who has kids must have heard of Philipa Perry and her book that’s packed full of wisdom. She certainly lived up to expectations in person. She just talks sense! Her key messages when you’re dealing with your children (although I’m sure they could equally apply to communicating and interacting with anyone):
- Connection NOT Correction – find the mood of the person you’re interacting with, don’t deal with the facts. Try and connect with them.
- Provide boundaries & love. Teach emotional intelligence by demonstrating it and sharing your feelings.
Her book is an absolute must read!
The weekend was also peppered with yoga & barre classes, guided meditation and drop in sessions and discussions covering a huge range of topics, from overcoming anxiety to connecting your mind and body through exercise.
It really was a fascinating and inspiring weekend, with many takeaways that will undoubtedly be woven into not only my personal life but also what we provide here at goPhysio – so watch this space!
I’ll certainly be looking out for this event again.