2020 has been a very rough year, with most people quickly having to find ways to cope with fear and loss. We spoke to our client Sandesh Brown, a practicing midwife and holistic therapist, about what we can do to feel balanced and positive.
Today I’m talking to Sandesh Brown all about how to stay happy, how to stay positive, which I think is probably very relevant to most people with the year that we’re all having. Can you tell us a little about you?
I’m Sandesh Brown. I’m a midwife, I’m a holistic therapist. The therapies that I have trained in and practised in are EFT, which is tapping, reiki, rewind therapy and matrix reimprinting. At the moment I’m mainly dealing with women who have birth trauma or fear of childbirth, that’s my area of speciality that goes with midwifery, but I’m interested in helping and supporting and empowering women in all aspects of their lives.
What would you say that are the general things that we could be doing or thinking about when we try to promote happiness in our everyday lives?
I think it’s a hard question as I think that means that means different things to different people. If I’m looking at my own experience in the way that I’m giving or helping women then I think it comes down to balance. Sometimes, you know, we can really very easily, as not only as women but anyone in life, become really out of balance. Especially in this last year with all the demands that have been put on us.
So I think it’s about looking at what’s going on in your life. Where do you think that maybe you’re out of balance? Is that your diet? Is that how you are taking care of yourself? Are you doing lots for others but nothing for yourself? What’s going on? And then what’s going on with your mindset? Are you dedicating lots of your time thinking about things that could, would or should happen rather than the present moment of what’s actually going on in your life?
Things that I advise women about trying to become more present. You know, if you’re looking at meditation, especially things like grounding meditation, things that put you right into the present moment can help you with feelings of gratitude and just feeling more grounded in that space. Our minds tend to very easily go off on lots of different tangents, trying to solve lots of different problems all at the same time, which can make us feel so frazzled for want of a better word. The easiest, one of the easiest ways to become present, is breathing, focusing on your breath. Just bringing your attention back into your body. When we do that, and we take it out of the mind, out of the head, then you come back into the present moment and it just can meet things a bit more simple in my opinion, and if we’re doing that we’re bringing it a bit more, bringing that simplicity in then it is easier to focus on what’s going right in your life rather than what’s not, or all the other things, and so that’s the way that I try and bring positivity into my life or gratitude. Gratitude. For me gratitude enables positivity to come true because if you really focus on the things that you’re grateful for in your life you stop thinking about the things that you don’t have. And just to be grateful for whether the sun is shining, or whether your kid picked up his clothes off the floor that day.
When would you do this gratitude? Is this something that you do throughout the day or you think about it at the end of the day? What would you suggest?
Different things. I think some people find it much easier to find a schedule. If they’ve got a journal they write down three things in the morning, or they write down three things before they go to bed of what I’m really grateful for. But also, you know when I’m talking about being in the present moment and talking about being in your body, just finding any time in the day to just focus on your body and focus on your breathing.
There are dedicated meditation practises about grounding, bringing energy back into your body, releasing energy that maybe doesn’t belong to you. What are you carrying? Whether it’s the stress of everyone else’s fear of coronavirus or it’s about going back to work, or not going back to work. Whatever those fears are, looking at what is actually yours and what maybe are you carrying from the news, or the school gate? I don’t think there is enough focus given onto that actually if we come back to ourselves, what do we know to be true for ourselves? We [are] each individuals, we each have our own ways of coping and dealing with things. It’s very easy to say, blanketly this should affect everyone or blanketly this will be good for everybody, but to come back and to know yourself of what feels right for you .
I definitely stopped watching the news during the first lockdown, just as a coping strategy, and also only hanging out with people that make you feel good. They were two very, very simple things that helped my happiness. So I’ll be doing that again if we go into lockdown.
I think you’ll find there’s lots of similar thinking out there: of that’s how you should be living your life as well. What are you bringing into your life, what are you in bringing into your life? If you’re hanging out with people who are negative or kind of have that kind of heavy energy all the time, is that really what, is that doing you any good? Is that making you feel more positive in life or are you doing it because you think you should? What do you want? What do you want to bring in? Happiness is… I think if you asked 100 people you would probably get a 100 different answers. That’s why if you look at being grateful for what makes you happy, whatever those little things are, then that just changes your mindset out of.. it’s so easy to have a mindset of what you don’t have, or what’s not going right.
Or dwell on the fear that you might hold about certain things and that can really have an impact.
And that we know that there is evidence out there that fear can impact your immune system, it can down regulate your genes and so you’re more likely to become sick or unhealthy or things going on in your body if you’re holding lots of fear in your body. So again I find meditation, breathing, not to repeat myself, but you know coming back into your body of trying to release those things. But also listening to your body. A lot of us don’t have a very good relationship with actually just listening to our bodies: of what our body needs at that time. Whether it’s a bath, or whether it’s a lie down, or whether it’s a run or whatever that is just to help you feel better in that moment. Other ways you can support your body is looking at your diet. Looking at what are you putting into your body? How is that affecting you? Everybody knows the comfort food, what we think’s going to make us feel better, usually doesn’t make us feel much better. We know that gut health has such an impact not just our body, but on our mental health. How the whole system works. And just trying to bring your attention back to what feels good. And it’s not trying to be righteous, or I should be doing this or I should be doing that, but actually just listening to your body. If your body could speak to you, what would it want to eat? What would it want to have that would make it feel better? And I’m sure it’s probably not doughnuts and wine… or not everyday anyway!