Mental health is pivotal in today's live-to-work culture and our children’s emotional and behavioral development.
Join us as we welcome our insightful guest, Paul Weedon. As an integrative therapist and embodiment coach, Paul navigates us through the labyrinth of life's challenges, explaining why self-care is primordial in the work environment. He also takes us deep into the alarming rise of anxiety and depression among young people.
Paul Weeden is the founder of Be Authentic on Purpose and helps burnt-out and frustrated professionals align with their authenticity and purpose.
He uses fascinating examples from various activities, such as dancing, acting, singing, and martial arts, to illustrate how we can step out of our comfort zones and foster a unique skill set.
As we wrap up our discussion, we confront the potential impact of video games on young individuals' well-being. Critically examining how the gaming industry may contribute to emotional and behavioral changes in today's youth, we propose alternative ways to manage stress and anxiety. From physical activity to storytelling, there's much more this generation can explore to enhance their overall development.
Are you ready to redefine the conversation around lifestyle and wellness?
Join us, and let's embark on this journey together.
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Welcome to the your Lifestyle is your Medicine podcast, where we do deep dives into topics of mind, body and spirit. Through these conversations, you'll hear practical advice and effective strategies to improve your health and ultimately add health fun to your lifespan. I'm Ed Padgett. I'm an osteopath and exercise physiologist with a special interest in longevity. Today, my guest is Paul Weedon, who is an integrative therapist and embodiment coach. He is the founder of Be Authentic on Purpose, which helps burn out and frustrate professionals aligned with authenticity and their purpose. Now, today, paul helps us understand the difference between psychologists, counselors and coaches, and through his experience, he shares with us how our live to work culture can actually be bad for us and what to do about it. Also, he shares his opinions on why there is an epidemic of anxiety and depression in young people today. Spoiler alert it might have to do with the way people eat, sleep and play. So, paul, welcome to the show.Speaker 2:
Thank you very much for having me on, ed. It's great to be here, no problems.Speaker 1:
Alright, let's hit the ground running. One question I really want to ask every therapist is why do people go to therapy?Speaker 2:
That's a great question. To start with, I think it's a variety of reasons, but I think the fundamental underpinning it is feeling unhappy with themselves to a point where they can't manage themselves and often somebody else can't manage how they're being, and sometimes that person often a partner nudges them towards a therapist, which has happened for me many times with clients.Speaker 1:
Okay, so it can't manage? That sounds like therapists speak to me can't manage themselves. What does that mean?Speaker 2:
Yeah. So I think it shows up as poor self-care, overeating, undersleeping often is a big one relying too much on, probably, alcohol and sugar, caffeine, poor relationships. So often people will be very irritable, very frustrated, unable to cope with little day to day things, kind of turning to big things. It's a bit like the straw that broke the camel's back effect, I think. So I think that's kind of how it starts to show up and then, if not addressed, it often becomes bigger and might lead to, you know, quite more serious things, like a partner saying I can't live with you anymore, or a boss saying we're not sure if you're right for this team anymore, or, at worse, you know, sometimes legal problems.Speaker 1:
Wow, okay, and then, from a health span and longevity point of view and a lifestyle medicine point of view, you picked up on some things there, which is if they're not sleeping properly, and sleep is what I think is some of the foundations of health.Speaker 2:
That's a problem.Speaker 1:
If they're relying on caffeine or sugar, then that's in the six penance of lifestyle medicine. That is what we could say toxic substances and then losing their job with a partner, which is community. And so a lot of people say to me well, why you talk about therapy when it's lifestyle medicine? And right, there is the crux of the whole thing that everything comes together when, if a person, in your words, is not managing themselves properly, it's going to trickle out and affect everything else 100%.Speaker 2:
Yeah, I think that's really hitting the nail on the head there. Yes, and so it will after. Yeah, when other people start to complain about us, you know, we tend to then be more likely to take notice, and if someone has, you know, some degree of wisdom, I guess they might, you know, take the opportunity to either pick up a self-help book or book an appointment with a psychologist, maybe, or a counsellor or psychotherapist or coach, and what they often find is that underneath the symptoms of poor sleep and the lifestyle issues is lack of satisfaction with life itself, which people are often reluctant to admit because we tend to sort of feel guilty and maybe even ashamed of admitting. You know, I'm actually not that happy with who I am and I'm actually not that happy with the life I've chosen, or the life that's happened to me is often how it will be initially presented. I mean, most of the time, in the first few sessions of most of the therapy I've done, it's all about other people. To people say my partner does this to me, my boss does that to me, my friends do this to me, and it takes quite a while before people start saying or being open to the idea. Well, what do you do to them or at them, or what makes them feel, you know, unhappy about being around us, and that usually takes a bit more time. So a lot of the short term models that we see in the NHS in the UK and healthcare insurance companies offering you six sessions, twelve sessions. You know it's fine for an introduction to self-development and self better self-care, but I don't think it goes deep enough or stays. It's like watching, it's really like watching a really good film for a couple of hours you can get really into it and really connect to the characters. But unless you watch it again or maybe read the book it's based on, it'll just, you know, become another story, and so we need to sort of kind of keep keep going deeper and deeper into what it is that happens with us, for others and happens to ourselves via the choices that we've made or the choices that we feel what we've had put upon us, perhaps at first.Speaker 1:
But you mentioned at the beginning of that you mentioned psychotherapy, psychologist therapist or coach. Can you define some of those terms for people who might be listening to this?Speaker 2:
Yeah, so my understanding is I have looked into being all of these at different times and sort of settled on integrative counselling and coaching for a variety of reasons. But psychologists and psychiatrists generally work with a medical model and it's, you know, psychologists are more like doctors, that I mean, if you read the kind of exams they take and the manuals they read. It's more about how genes work and how receptors in the brain work and this kind of thing, neurons and that kind of thing. So psychotherapists tend to work with the past a lot more and the unconscious, and it's basically underpinned on the concept that you are the result of your past and your family, your mother in particular, and they sort of, you know, constantly looking for how that's playing out in the present. Psychologists do a bit of all of that, but also tend to be more present, focused and historically it's over a shorter period of time, although these days often people are going for longer term counselling and you know there is even short term psychotherapy models. Now Coaching, I would say, is predominantly future focused and what are we going to be doing tomorrow or next week and how are we going to go into that? How are we going to show up? So, but actually if you listen to conversations, if you found on YouTube conversations between psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists and coaches, it would be hard to distinguish a lot of the time the difference is. So I think ultimately it's all about a good relationship with somebody that's impartial, who has your best interests, you know wants a good outcome for you. That's not. You know their own idea and they have an awareness of what their own idea of what's best for you is, but that won't be the driving force in the relationship. It will be about what's best for you.Speaker 1:
So why would someone pick one of those particular disciplines over another? Like is there a situation where it's like, okay, it's really good idea to see a psychologist, really good idea to see a coach? Other than the finances, because in England, where we're both from, there is this national health service which pays for some of these sessions, but most people would bang for this sort of thing out of pocket.Speaker 2:
Yeah, no, that's a really good question. So I think most people probably go on to something like counselling directory or BACP, find a therapist and then what they find is thousands of counsellors and psychotherapists and you know those two labels, you know, can get a bit muddled. But ultimately I would suggest that somebody should be looking for somebody who has experience and enjoys working with the kind of challenges you're facing, rather than have they done five years of training working with personality disorders. I think you probably only really need a psychotherapist or a psychologist or a psychiatrist if you can't solve your problems yourself with the help of a counsellor or coach, because it means that you possibly have a borderline personality disorder or something more severe than that, which is not most people. Most people can solve their problems and it becomes quite obvious when people have that because, one, they don't chat for sessions very often or on time. Two, they complain a lot about the running of the session or how you do your work. They don't really let you do your job. So it becomes really confusing in my experience, and you know what they want from you and do they actually want to be there? And then there's this constant kind of invitation to reject them and then when you sort of suggest you know, I'd really like to help you find somebody better than me to work with you, then that gets taken as a rejection rather than an offer to improve the situation. So it often feels like a lose-lose situation, whereas with most working people in the population they do want help, they do want advice actually which actually often goes against counselling kind of training but actually we do end up saying, well, this is great book or this is great workshop. I think you should check it out. So I think for I don't know what percentage, but it's probably 80% of the population they, you know, I do have the ability to do really well in most counselling or psychotherapy or coaching or a combination of those things over time, and I think these things should be ongoing. It shouldn't just be, you know, six months of counselling and then I'm done, because it will wear off and also there'll be something else that will come up that you probably benefit from learning about.Speaker 1:
So you mentioned that some people like to have advice this book or something like that but when I've talked to psychotherapists they say that actually that's not the role of therapists. You can't in fact you're not allowed to give advice. What's that about? Someone's coming to you for advice. They're saying I've got this problem. Yeah. And why would a profession say you can't give advice?Speaker 2:
Yeah. So I think well, if you go back to the origins of psychoanalysis which is what psychotherapy where it comes from the patient came in the room and lay on a couch like a long, like she's long kind of couch, and the therapist, or the analyst at the time, as they called themselves, was actually out of sight and was kind of behind the patient with a notebook. And the patient just lay down and just started to freely kind of free association, I think was the clinical term, and it was just basically just saying whatever came to their mind. So it might be they just started saying I really don't want to be here today. This is rubbish, I don't know what, I don't know how it's going to help me. I don't know if it's just going to listen and sort of just write, take notes and and then. And that went on for you know, sometimes two or three times a week and eventually they would they maybe six months or years down the line. Even they would offer these kind of analysis is of. You know it sounds like you know you've had a really difficult time with, with your in your childhood, with your mother and your absent father left you feeling abandoned and you struggle to form attached to people and you struggle to touch, trust. People, for example, which is quite, you know, common for a lot of people and they probably know that to some extent already, whether you know maybe not fully consciously but on some level they probably most people will know didn't have a great time and my mom and dad wasn't around or he wasn't reliable and trustworthy. You know, that's left me not trusting men, perhaps. In particular, I think it comes from a sort of outdated model that I think that was based on the idea that the unconscious would reveal everything and therefore we would have all the answers from that, which is true, probably forever, long enough period of time. But if somebody's you know, a working professional, maybe a parent as well, they don't have time to come to therapy two or three times a week for four years and just wait for this kind of you know prescription to be read out, this, this kind of yeah, analysis, and they and they and they don't also don't know about how the theories come about. So they assume that you're they're going to get some advice. And actually, if you know, it's probably not something we do in the very early stages of working with somebody. They feel a relationship with somebody and they're still stuck like they're not going off and finding. Oh yeah, I went and tried a new dance class this week and I, you know, went to watch some theater I haven't seen before and and I'm trying these things and I'm, you know, pushing out my comfort zone and I don't know if that's telling us the, whether they say it or not. You know I need a bit more than this. So you know, why shouldn't we suggest things that could be beneficial to them? So I've, I've, in my embodiment, coaching training. So what I'm doing, that is, is, look at, we use the four elements from the ancient Chinese. I believe it's Chinese originally, but it may, it may may be from somewhere else but basically earth, fire, air and water. We use as personality types. If someone were naturally earthy and grounded and, you know, very reliable and consistent, a bit like maybe I'm going to be a stereotype here, but like user stereotype, but like a librarian, for example sort of very fundamental, very consistent, reliable, methodical, you know that kind of person's going to have, probably have certain going to have used that in other areas of their life, this kind of the way they, the way they cook, the way they make a meal, the way they shop, the way they go about the life will be quite sort of prescriptive and consistent, but the downside is it's probably lacking spontaneity. It's probably lacking the ability to be, you know, really expressive and and energize perhaps. So fire needs to bring in some air or water quality from to water for relational quality and then air for creativity. In this model, fire is assertiveness. So fire tends to be viewed as being anger and a bad thing, but actually it can be really healthy and really being handed maybe a document that's maybe for a project they're working on, or they might be sitting in a restaurant and some of the way to put down the food in front of them and rather than explode in anger and say what else is, they might just say I don't know about that like this, thank you, and just hand it back. You know so and I think that you know that was. That would be an example of using using fire in a healthy way to kind of make the point. It's not correct. I'm not going to discuss that with you, please just fix it, thank you. And so you know we can. We can kind of practice. You know somebody's not comfortable with that way of being will likely say I could, I could never speak to somebody like that. What if they were offended is like, yeah, well, why, you know, maybe it isn't all about them, maybe it's also about you and the fact that your meal was correctly when you made it very clear, you asked for medium rest steak, for example, and it wasn't it was, it was overdone. So you might benefit from, rather than getting into a long drawn out discussion about you know why it's not correct, just not like this, like that. Thank you very much. We can learn these qualities through things, activities in our lives, hobbies, really dancing, acting, singing, making things with our hands, martial arts, and I think really that challenges us to get out of our comfort zone and and requires a different level of skill, a different skill set that we may not be accustomed to or comfortable with in everyday, you know. So we can kind of find something that would you know, give us that. You know, somebody going skydiving, for example. Could you know that was really for most people that would be scary, the height, the speed, the adrenaline would be. You know there's a lot. They might shy away from it for many years, but actually the benefits afterwards that they've overcome that fear and that challenge would be like you know, you could feel like I could do anything. Now I can tell someone how I really feel without think worrying about fending them. I don't need to get really angry to that point. I can just say this is what I want. Thanks, you know, please, you know, let it be done, kind of thing. So I think that's kind of you know, really, that can be really helpful in helping people. See, not telling them what to go and do, but saying you know you're this kind of person, you're very relational, very watery, for example, you're very, you know, you're very social, but maybe you like boundaries, maybe you don't say how do you find saying no? Lots of people are very relational, very social, people please, as they tend to be often will label them people please as a clinical term and that generally means that they just say yes to everything. So they're overwhelmed at work, they've got massive deadlines. Somebody says can you get this to me by this afternoon? They just go oh, oh, yeah, okay, and after they resent it and they feel bad about it. You know they. They wish that they hadn't said yes, but they don't know how to say no without either offending or risking. You know their status. They want to be seen as strong or reliable somebody that's always a yes person. Why do you? Why would you? Why do you want to be like that, when actually it's? It's making the work you're already responsible for harder and arguably you're more likely to make mistakes, and it's making your personal life more and more likely to be unpleasant. Because you're going to go home. You won't going to stop thinking about these extra things you've got to do, and actually it was probably somebody else who was more suitable to take on that task, but they just didn't think of them.Speaker 1:
Interesting, interesting. So how did you get, from what I know of your early education, into this for elements? What was your journey there, wow.Speaker 2:
So let me see if I can put it in a nutshell. So when I was leaving school, I was my, my, my main passion was music and yeah, I was obsessed with with bands and singers and guitar players and was basically, you know, really convinced that that was going to be my life and and I didn't really worry about much else and actually, probably, if I had have just carried on without, probably would have, probably would have got more out of it than I, than I was led to believe, further than the line. But at a very young age I was only just left school 1617 before I was 18 years old. I was, I was playing in the South East of England with my band and we were getting support, some quite quite I wouldn't say famous, but professional musicians you know, people who had before been in bands like Iron Maiden and UK Bank of Dogstown War played with them and I was very young and yeah, so they were kind of sort of like bead list kind of you know white artists really who could tour the world basically and make a living out of music, but they weren't multimillionaires and they weren't driving around in Ferraris. But I was getting to experience this at a very young age and often they would, you know, kind of fall asleep in these pubs after drinking lots and fall asleep on the sofas, and we would as well. You know, and that was sort of. You know, I wasn't really old enough to be there and I wasn't legally, and you know, and that was kind of my life for a couple of years till I was 18. And I got to sort of 18, the music scene kind of changed and grunge rock came in and the rave scene became huge and it became sort of unfashionable to sort of be into kind of hard rock and heavy metal music. So that made me feel uncomfortable and I didn't know how to adapt to it. And I started looking at these guys, looking at myself, and thinking I don't want to be like that at 40. I don't want to be sleeping on a pub sofa in the Oliver Twist in Cultist. You know I want to be. You know either, want to be yeah, yeah, it was just. It was just just kind of hit me and just the kind of people that I was around just didn't seem to have, they didn't seem I couldn't seem to find people who had the sort of the much higher level professionalism and the attitude to really, you know, go for a big record deal and have a big hit and being I just thought that's going to take much higher you know kind of standards really. So I kind of dabbled around still in music. I did some courses, but also my parents advice was you know, you're giving us a decent go, you're 18, 19 now approaching. You should maybe go and do some other things. So I sort of dabbled in hospitality and the fashion industry and, yeah, did some media courses and drama. I looked at sort of singing in theater work and that kind of thing and this kind of went on for till I was, you know, in my sort of 30s really, so 10 to 15 years I guess of just kind of trying things and never being that happy and living for weekends. I remember my motto for a while was live for weekends. I love going out, partying and kind of, you know, clubbing with my friends and, you know, listening to a great dance music all weekend and I think it's not feeling very good or weak for yeah, when did the sort of the counseling and therapy come in? Okay. So I discovered meditation and self-development books. Neil Donald Walsh was a big one for a while, and Wayne Dyer I was really into his stuff in my sort of early 30s and then I started to think, well, you know, how is this useful to me? It makes me feel better, but what am I actually? What do I actually really want to do in my life? So I was going along to some meditation workshops and some sort of weekend self-development in a child kind of stuff like this. And then just I think I met one or two of your counselors and psychotherapists at some of these things and I was like, oh, that's interesting, buddhism also. And excited to show up in stoicism and these kind of philosophies became interesting to me. So it just kind of came to me in a sort of light bulb moment why don't you look at doing a counseling training course? So before I knew it, within a week I think of that, having that idea, I was on an evening class doing counseling skills and theory, level two and three over the next year did those. And then I went on to do a professional diploma, BACP, a courtesy diploma, and yeah, then there was very much you know in the direction of I'm gonna be a counselor of some sort and you know I'm really excited about that Went on to work in the NHS for a couple of years and then schools. I worked in schools with young people as a schools counselor and then sort of developed my private practice alongside and also went to work in London with professionals in the city. So yeah, mainly lawyers and bankers and other people like that.Speaker 1:
There's three very vastly different demographics. So the NHS, children and then professionals in the city. What's the clients we were seeing in the NHS?Speaker 2:
So they were often or NHS patients who were unwell, sometimes. Sometimes they were being seen by doctors or specialists for other reasons, but having counseling as an extra. Often they were parents who were just overwhelmed with their life. You know, some of them had many, many children and they were like single parenting. A lot were unemployed or had some kind of diagnosis, you know, clinical depression, perhaps hadn't worked for some time. And, yeah, lots of them were just everyday. People sometimes say we're just policemen and people that worked in shops near where the practice was, and yeah, I thought it was a small town and I would see people everywhere I went who I worked with, which was strange. So, yeah, so they were all kinds of people really. And then, obviously, the schools. I worked in a private school and I've worked in some state schools with mainly 11 upwards, so secondary school age generally. And then the professionals, as I say, were sort of high end city professionals lawyers, bankers, mainly insurance company CEOs. But what I noticed across the board was that most people had these kind of, you know, the private lives, the social lives, what they did outside of their work or their study, just seemed to be. You know, I'd like to find a better word, but I'm gonna use meaningless, like you know I mean. So by that I just mean that they were just basically coming home and watching TV and Netflix more recently, or going to the pub after work is a really big one. Yeah, so a lot of professionals would go to the pub on Friday after work and stay there till late. Go to work Saturday sorry Friday morning, stay there till late and then go to the pub, which was they'd have, like you know, a local pub near their office which they would use and they would just hang out all evening with their colleagues and then sometimes they would, you know, go home with each other, with friends, and then spend some of Saturday together. So they weren't kind of getting this kind of separation between the work and their personal life. So when I'd ask them about this, they would often say well, I don't really see my friends from outside work. Very often I'm not really in touch anymore. And I'd say, do you have any hobbies you do outside of work? I used to play football, or I used to play netball or volleyball, whatever it was, but I don't have time for that these days. So I try to sort of find you know, get them to sort of think about how can you have a healthy social life with people in the room who you're in the office with on a Monday morning. You know who could judge you for your conduct if you had a moment or two where maybe you didn't behave in your best line, which everybody does at times Company's interest, if you know, if you transgress some sort of yeah a jar manual guidelines. Exactly this kind of thing. Or you just are in the wrong place at the wrong time and maybe you've had one too many drinks and somebody says something you didn't like and you just fired back with you know something that you know. It turns out that person was, you know, somebody connected with a company or somebody that knows your boss or something I mean. So they would just never think about these kind of things. And then occasionally I did have to work with people who were in, you know, legal disputes with their employers over similar things where there was a boundary issue, but arguably it was often down to the company's policies. It didn't encourage healthy boundaries in the first place, and we don't recommend that you all hang out together at the weekend. Of course, if it's somebody's birthday or it's a special occasion, of course we're going to get together, but generally we think it's better that they wouldn't have those. So that's usually the my client would win because it was like well, you haven't actually advised me on that, but it's still nonetheless got them into, you know, often a rather unpleasant situation. Sometimes there's a lot of people.Speaker 1:
they live to work, and this is a very American thing as well. So maybe it's coming from across Atlantic to England. But another way we could say that is perhaps they haven't found their purpose, unless their purpose is work. But here's something that I learned when I did my performance coaching course with HINSA, and I mentioned this in a previous podcast. But Aki Hinsa, when he would start working with a young racing driver, he would ask them you know, what do you want to achieve in racing? Like, I want to be a world champion. Okay, what else do you have in your life? You know, do you have a business, a family, do you have friends, do you have a charity? And they'll be like usually young racing drivers will be like no, just 100% focused on the winning. And he was like well, what if you crash? What if the team drops you? What if you know all these sort of things? Same with work, right, what if you get fired? Or what if you get transferred?Speaker 2:
And he called it.Speaker 1:
His analogy was like a plinth or a mantle across a fireplace and you need certain pillars holding it up, and if you have one pillar, which is winning the world championships, if that doesn't work out or something happens, then your whole life comes crashing down. And so he encouraged his young athletes to have multiple pillars.Speaker 2:
And story goes.Speaker 1:
What he learned this from was from an Olympic Ethiopian runner called Heidi Gabri Selassie. I don't remember him in this or that.Speaker 2:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah.Speaker 1:
So to any other Olympian, their identity is the fact that they are training for the Olympics. He's like you know, what do you do? Oh, I'm an Olympic athlete, or I'm an athlete aspiring to the Olympics. To him in his local, in his place in I think I can't remember where he was from exactly, but in Ethiopia they called him the father that runs. So he had children. That's number one. Secondary to that was his running career and this the guy who put Hintz together. Aki Hintz was actually a surgeon and he had to operate on his Achilles at one point before the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and he said to him he said you know, this might not work out, you might not be able to run again. And Aki Hintz was very nervous about the surgery. And Heidi Gabri Selassie says so You're like it's only running, you're like whatever let's do the surgery. And you can imagine like any Western Olympian would not have that attitude. And so, from that, aki Hintz was like this is the attitude we need to thrive in this world of sport. And so where I'm going with this is you're working with these professionals. There's no difference between the amount of hours and the commitment these guys have. Then there is an Olympic athlete. I see that it's the same for most of them, and yet they're not looking wider than their one role or their one job. Right, yeah, yeah.Speaker 2:
So, and actually their organization is often encouraging that and actually pushing it. You know, I've seen it so many times where I've discussed with somebody in a meeting so, what are you going to do? This will lead to make a little change. They're going. Well, I'm going to. You know, maybe they're going to get in touch with their old football club, see if there's a role for them, or maybe they're going to go out and try something new. Maybe they're going to try some Brazilian jiu-jitsu or something. It's like great, that sounds really great. How are you feeling about it? Yeah, really, really looking forward to it next week. What's happened? I didn't go, all right, okay, what happened? Well, this kind of thing came up at work and I was about to leave and they were like, well, you know, this really needs to be done by the morning. You know, we're kind of all expected to stay now and this would be, you know, at 6pm. Often it's like okay, so they would stay and not. And it's like okay, how do you feel? As you know, as a result of that, well, kind of had to do it. But I'm really you know they usually say I'm really pissed off that I didn't get to go and do the thing I needed to go and do for myself and this would be an ongoing pattern and the people running these organizations just don't get that. You know there are boundaries. There has to be boundaries. Nobody dies if these things don't get done by tomorrow morning. There's no kind of compromising or looking at how does what's the consequences of? There is no consequences to them. They're often unaccountable, which is taking me into another direction of things that I find very difficult about the business world. But so so how do we, how do we help people with that? Because you know that's, you know I'll see. People don't want to lose their jobs. They need, they need income, they need to pay their mortgages and the rent and they need to keep the family safe. All these things are important. So I think it's kind of a slow drip of kind of educating everybody in who works and then just say everybody actually together, that life is more, more than just your work. It works important. Obviously, if something you know unexpected, that's dangerous, you know that's potentially life threatening, if you do some, if you work in a you know if you're some sort of doctor or something like, things may be different. You know you might have to do emergency surgery, sometimes late at night, I get that, but generally for most people that isn't the case. So if something's a little bit delayed by a few hours in the morning, nobody's going to mind that much. You know, if the new iPhone came out midday rather than 9am, would anyone care? No, they would just queue up for a few more hours of people that want to do that and everyone else would just wait a few more hours, and obviously it would just be like, in a way, it makes it more exciting, doesn't it? If you think about it, it's not, but people, literally, you know, act as if it's really bad if we don't get this done, is it? You know? Is it really that bad if something comes out a few hours later than expected, or you send an email in the morning rather than the evening, or you solve a problem in the morning rather than the evening? It's actually not a bad thing. So so, yes, yeah, exactly. So I've put together this, this ebook called six steps to live more authentically on purpose, and the premise of that is that the more bit so it's like I get that you're not going to go from who you are today to being 100% authentic and on purpose, and on purpose, I mean, you know your life is as purposeful and meaningful as possible, but there are a lot of things that we can do to help with that. So I would suggest, you know, connect with somebody who is wiser and perhaps more knowledgeable than we currently are. You know, you might read a great kind of self development book that's got information in it by somebody's perhaps done some things you haven't done yet, achieve some things in life that you'd like to achieve, or similar. So that might, it could be a guru, somebody like you know, a mentor. A mentor perhaps, yes, it's like so like Bruce Lee Muji, perhaps you know well, bruce Lee was a very philosophical man, even though he was he was a martial artist, but he did come out with some fantastic, you know, quotes that I've used to this day. Like you know, be like water, you know like kind of be, you know sort of flow and move like water and these kind of things. And yeah, so Gandhi, obviously, muji. But you've got to find your own, you know. So you might, you might find a way to explore in Buddhism, stoicism, gnosticism, even. Even Christianity may not be a religion, actually, it may be something else, but something that you sense or somebody has told you, know this, this wisdom here and here's, here's why and here's what I recommend you take a look at as a first, as a first glance. So be open to different things, look at lots of different things, make time for it each week to actually, you know, research and study something that's new to you, that you find interesting. And then I think the next thing is really finding an activity that's physical, uses your body in a way that challenges it and helps it to grow stronger and more competent. So it could be. Could be yoga, for example, pilates, martial arts, dancing, making a move with your hands, might be, might be sort of sculpture or pottery, and it's really up to each individual to, you know, kind of find that could be musical instruments, obviously, playing guitar or piano, any, any instrument, things like kind of singing or painting, photography I think it's really important as well. So, so, yeah, so ideally, one thing would be would be good. So it could be, you know, taking up sport, again, that that's great If you're learning else, like learn a musical instrument or make something or dance Brilliant, that's, that's great. If you marry that with the philosophy that you're learning and finding a mentor, then we're really, you know, you're really sort of building your life into, you know, and there's there things you can do without taking huge risks and leaving your, leaving your job. You don't need to take huge risk to start, you can just start by, you know, following somebody that you find interesting, that's doing things you'd like to be doing and and make, investing yourself in that way, and that will, over time, probably lead you towards, as I did with myself. Like you know, finding people like Neil Donald Walsh and Wayne Dyer led me to exploring. Meditation led me to exploring, you know, buddhism. Different types of meditation led me to exploring counseling and psychology. Psychology kind of became like, well, it's all about the brain, isn't it? And the body and the soul connecting. So, you know, other other people will find their own ingredients and come up with their own solutions to having a more meaningful purpose for life. And one of the things we need to do to kind of get there is find our values. Often people don't know what they really value, they've, they've integrated, they sort of in taking in other people's values, of societies, values, cultures, values, their partners values, their parents values, and they often tell me I don't know what my values are, which which is interesting and it can take some time to the way I go about that is to go back to what we are values. When you were growing up, you know literally what did you value in terms of what did you play with, who did you spend time with? What were your values when you were leaving school, when you were going into work or higher education? What do you know and what are the values of the company that you work for now, the work that you do now? How does that meet the values of the values that you had when you were growing up? And so what does that say about your values now? So by putting those kind of four, three or four value systems together from childhood to from childhood, or from adolescent one, one childhood one, adolescents, one from what you're doing now in your day to day, and we can find out what's next now and that can help decide what to do next in life.Speaker 1:
Interesting. Yeah, there's a model that hints they use, which they call the core, core and social responsibility, and they say that, okay, if you're not sure exactly your values or what you stand for, I think other people would say, and you write out this whole list and then you you say, okay, well, look, there's five or six things that kind of fall in the same category. It's five or 16 things here that fall in another category. So what would you label those categories as? And then you say, well, do you agree with that? And so you may have a social persona that's not actually in alignment with your own core. Yeah, and then it's like okay it's like those people, pleases, you're saying yes, they're at work. They say yes, yes, yes. And you know what do you think people will say about? I'm reliable, I'm trustworthy, I'm honest. You know I'm unflappable, I can, I can take anything in my stride. And what do you think about yourself? Well, actually I'm running on a treadmill. I have no idea what I'm doing. Okay, so yeah, this connect right between yes so in your ebook that has the six steps to live more authentic on purpose, do you get into values in that as well?Speaker 2:
A little bit. It's very short is I wanted it to be very bite sized so that people are very busy. You can just kind of absorb it in a few minutes and then so so the idea is that if you go to be authentic on purpose, coaching, calm, slash free guide, which will be in the link. Yeah yeah, that's, that's great. Yeah, so you then sign up to get the book for free and you also get on to my mailing list where you'll get other great free content. It's hopefully helpful and useful to you and you'll get some other free books further down the line and opportunity to do a one to one coaching session with me and then work towards perhaps doing a course further down the line. But yeah, it's all kind of drip fed. I've done it quite gradually. Rather than a big kind of book of you know, which is well one, it can be quite overwhelming to people, just possibly won't read it because it's too big. I found that even things small and very easy to absorb and just try safely, and you know, the idea is that it's it's impactful and life changing, but but very, very gentle as well and, just like you know, not high risk. We don't want people to be taking high risk. I do sometimes work with people in that way. What's more about? Well, you know, perhaps you know there is a possibility that we need to educate our employer about your rights and your, you know your, what is your contract actually say your role is and, and, and you know I treat therapy and coaching sessions as medical appointments. I advise people to say you don't need to say what you're going to. If you're leaving work early to come and see me, you say same as if you're going to a dental appointment we're having a root canal. You wouldn't say tell them that would you. You'd say I need to leave early for an important medical surgery technically, and that might be happening over the next few weeks until it sorted out, and they would be legally advised to say okay, great, okay, we'll see tomorrow. It's exactly the same with your, with your mental health, and I think that is something that really needs to change in the workplace. Is that mental health is is no different really to to get your teeth full, your, your body repaired?Speaker 1:
Let's talk about mental health in the young, something I've observed from living in Nicaragua. There seems to be maybe it's a cultural thing, maybe it's an environmental thing, I'm not sure, but there's there doesn't seem to be this as much depression or anxiety in the young people in Nicaragua as there are in the UK. So when I come back to the UK and this is just my observation, so I might be wrong there seems to be an epidemic of anxiety and depression amongst teenagers, with some not even leaving their rooms and a lack of social interaction. Is that observation true or is it?Speaker 2:
Yeah, it is, I think it is. Yeah, I'm from working Okay, so I've been working in a school which is for young people have been excluded from from mainstream school for behavioral problems and I'd say 80% of them or more are diagnosed with ADHD, autism and other diagnostics. Now, if you look at the backgrounds of most of these young people, you know they don't have bad parents. Their parents are well intended, but there seems to be a lack of helpful knowledge and you know many of them I speak to their parents haven't read storybooks to them, haven't told them stories, haven't made up stories. Even they haven't, you know, sort of watched a lot of film or more than like short, very short cartoons. So what are they doing? They're every single one of them, I can tell you is playing on video games Right Like in their free time outside of school, as their main interests and activity. They're not going to judo classes or karate classes, they're not going to football and I've kind of, you know, come to conclusion that the effects of video games and maybe other things, I think it's certainly true with other. You know a lot of them are drinking things like energy drinks and the older ones will be vaping as well. You know, from the age of about 14, they'll be vaping and drinking energy drinks on the way into school and when they leave school. So you imagine what that's doing to their system. They can't regulate, they're not able to sort of make informed decisions, they're just reacting. All the time they're over simulated and then they're going home to play these. You know games like GTA and Fortnite and things like that, and nobody's questioning it. And even the you know the GPs and other social workers, other people in the field, are not really saying a lot about any of this. They're not really questioning it. So I'm pretty convinced that in Nicaragua that isn't what they're doing, and I think other parts of the world, for economic reasons, they don't have these things. But that's in this case. It's a good thing and I think there's, you know, a lot of, again, unaccountability on the video games industry. I'm not saying all video games are bad. I certainly enjoyed it when I was growing up. But we had to go to an amazing arcade where you'd have a few pounds to spend, a few pounds to run out in an hour or two at the most, and then you went home and you just thought that was nice. I enjoyed that, that was fun. Go back another time and you had these very limited games at home that took a long time to kind of load up and were limited in terms of their stimulation. And now these games are so stimulating with these headsets. And you know there are many children. They're not even listening to music anymore, so they're not watching films, they're not learning stories and they're not listening to artists, they're not being inspired by pop stars and singers and they're just. The whole world revolves around characters that don't exist and situations that don't really exist, and it's being encouraged more and more to get these headsets and spend more and more time in virtual reality. I think I can't. I don't see how that's a good thing.Speaker 1:
No, and that's and you feel like that's causing their anxiety and depression in the real world.Speaker 2:
Yes, because it's triggering lots of dopamine and cortisol and other adrenaline and you know, and then when they're coming off it, they're not even. I mean my own son he'll come off a game and you'd think he'd be like, oh, you know, that was fun. And he's like, well, he's, you know, he can see right away, he's like down, he's had to stop and then he's, he's moved and his attitude is is not good. So none of that is being addressed and no one's kind of saying, well, do we need to think about this? And these labels are just being these diagnosed, diagnostic labels are just being dished out. Very, very. You know you've, you've basically answered a few questions. I said, oh yeah, you've got ADHD. That's a clinical thing. Here's some medication. So who benefits from that? The pharmaceutical industry. And nobody's invested. I mean, obviously there are, there is research into the harm that that modern culture is causing and gaming is causing, but it's it's not really been given the publicity it needs. And you know, it's almost like how the alcohol industry is, how they kind of to some extent control the mindset of the healthcare industry. Like you know, one glass of wine is okay, but you know you can have one or two a day that's not bad for you and it's like, well, you know how true is that? Even that I recommend not drinking alcohol at all? I don't, I don't think that at all. I think it can be enjoyable, can be relaxing, but not if it's. I don't think it should be your main way of relaxing and I don't think video gaming should be the main way that child experiences the world and develops and learns about the world. Yeah, it is interesting.Speaker 1:
I've got a 10 year old son and and you know, I've just noticed that the games don't finish. There's no. He's like oh, let me know, when you finish the game, it's like it doesn't finish. All right, cool, so then we're going to stop, and then what I find with him says stop, and he's like I'm hungry and it's and what. He may well be hungry. But I don't think he hits, because what he wants is a sugary treat, and so it's the it's as soon as that document like his video game. It drops and he needs it from somewhere else.Speaker 2:
And. I'm saying yeah, all the, all, the sometimes I think they don't notice that they're hungry or even thirsty. Sometimes I've, you know, come in and I and and seeing my son on a game for sometimes, you know, a couple of hours and he's not noticed that he hasn't drank any water or had a sweet for a few hours or been to the toilet. So it can, it can be either or, and it just completely absorbs them and and they seem to, you know, want to avoid, they'll sort of come up with almost any reason to not do anything that would take them away from the game. I do think it's, it's an addiction, I think it's very addictive, and and I don't, I don't, I don't totally, you know, agree with completely banning things either. I don't think that helps. I think you make it a bigger attraction, but so it's. How do we? There needs to be more guidelines and more, more. I think it needs to be more regulated, right In terms of what they're allowed to recommend and actually health warnings and also educating parents and carers around. Limit this to maybe a few hours a week at the most. You know, because it's because it will, it will trigger these chemicals in your child's brain, which is not good for development when they're still growing up, in particular. As an adult, I, I, I, so I just wanted to finish up as an adult I just noticed that when I play video games, I enjoy it for a few minutes and I start to find it frustrating, because I'm you know, the learning curve is so great. It's just, it's just more enjoyable to pick up a guitar or something and just be like you know, do something, that's you can't really make a mistake in the same way, so let's tie this all together.Speaker 1:
So we have young people who potentially increase anxiety and depression from video games, but also they're looking for the dopamine, the chemical hit. And then we have these professionals who have lost themselves in their work and we can help them find their purpose. But we could also perhaps bring those two groups together and and help both teenagers and professionals find something outside video games and work. But would I be right in thinking that?Speaker 2:
Definitely, yeah, definitely. And then video games has become something that you can do if you want to. When you're not doing, you know, your music or your martial arts or your football or your singing or dancing, all those other really great, healthy things that we're designed to do. We're not designed to sit in chairs. We've got bodies that move and have these complex digits that can do amazing things. Hands and feet, or mouths or faces can do amazing. That's what we're for, isn't it? We're not there to just kind of sit doing this. Absolutely. I think that is. What's really missing in our culture is, and some of these, some of these ancient arts like karate and things are dying out. You know people are just not taking, the clubs are closing and some of these dance classes you know some of these ancient, you know kind of practices of, you know people just aren't taking them up anymore or just really sad.Speaker 1:
Yeah, OK. So you mentioned your website, authenticonpurposecom. Is that the best way for people to reach it?Speaker 2:
That's the best way to get my eGuide six steps to live more authentically on purpose is also mindbodycounsellingcouk, which gives a broader view and more more information about my therapies and the types of therapies I, the types of issues I work with, the types of therapies I offer and the coaching that I do as well. So, yes, those two things will give you plenty of information and also give the opportunity to book a free call. I offer, you know, a free 15 minute get to know you call and then I even do a. I'm even doing free initial Zoom meetings these days just to kind of, you know, give people a chance to get to know me properly before they commit to making a bigger investment in a course of work.Speaker 1:
Makes sense. Well, thank you, Paul. Thank you very much for being on the show.Speaker 2:
Also, it's been great to be. I've really enjoyed talking with you today. It's great to see you again, thank you. Thanks for having me.Speaker 1:
Thank you for joining me in my conversation with Paul Weed Now. If you're enjoying listening to and learning from this podcast, please leave me a comment, and you can also leave a suggestion for a future podcast guest that you would like us to feature. In addition, on Apple, you can leave us up to a five star review and you can also leave comments there. If you want my direct help, please send me an email at edpagetcom or visit my website edpagetcom. And, lastly but certainly not least, thank you for your interest in lifestyle events.