Posted by: helloadventurers | August 5, 2012

I am just starting some weight loss groups in Bristol and Mark has expressed perfectly for me the value of being in a group or team to help motivate individuals to higher achievement than they could make on their own. Of course it does depend on personality type … some sort of people work better alone.

Posted by: helloadventurers | February 4, 2012

Regrets I’ve had a few …

The Guardian in the UK today published an article (by Susie Steiner) about the regrets of people who were dying and listed the top 5 regrets as ….

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself not the life expected of me by others
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
  4. I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier

Specifically of number 5 she says “Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice.  They stayed stuck in old patterns and habits.’

It can seem very glib to say to people suffering from depression or with serious problems in their life that happiness is a choice and yet there is almost always an alternative way to look at a set of events.  People suffering from depression tend to look for the worst explanation for a set of events because it reinforces their live experience and their view of the world.  It takes awareness and a real conscious effort to ‘reframe’ a set of events and to extract the positive aspects.  In other words being miserable can became a habit and if we practice it often enough, particularly in our formative years, it can become a way of life.  Recent research has shown that people with a history of 2 or 3 episodes of depression in their teens are much more likely to suffer further episodes of depression.

Conversely though happiness can also become a habit if we practice it often enough.  So many of my clients tell me that ‘oh yes I was going to make a list of the good things that happened to me but I forgot …’.  Oh the power of the subconscious and our own personal sabotage!

For those of us with the luxury of access to modern technology it is easy to set a regular reminder on a phone, on a calendar, on email, on a task list once a day to write a list of the good things that happened.  Even without that a note on the fridge or just inside the front door, or in the bathroom (we all have to visit there a couple of times a day at least!  And there is the bonus of some personal time to contemplate that question ….)

Another thing that can surprise people is that it doesn’t matter how happy we are it won’t stop the black cloud of depression descending on us if we are prone to it.  What we can learn is how to become more resilient to that experience.  What we can do when that happens that works and may not immediately drive the blues away but helps to soften their affect.  It can be soothing music, relaxing in a nice hot bath, sitting in dim lights with some candles, going for a walk, going for a walk, ringing a friend (even if you don’t feel like talking you can listen) and doing some exercise.  One client this week was telling me of their surprise that exercise really helped to lift their mood and of originally being very sceptical at being ‘prescribed’ low cost therapy by their GP.

So happiness can be a choice.  My choice is usually music.  Either playing, writing, recording or listening.  It works nearly every time.  If not I go for a walk and try talking to strangers, maybe buying a coffee and exchanging a smile and a few words with the barista.  It is amazing how a connection with others can bring life affirming experiences.  You can find out more about my music at my other blog .  Next time I plan to write more about happiness and where it fits into our emotional landscape.  Unless I see another interesting article of course …

You can read the full Guardian article at

Posted by: helloadventurers | January 24, 2012

So what’s it all about?

Over the last few years there has been a lot talked and written about happiness.  What is it?  How do we get it?  Is it our right as human beings?  Is it a desirable or attainable goal?

During this time I have been on my own journey of change – so much that I have was called by one close friend ‘The Changing Man’.  I am not sure if she meant it as a compliment or was an expression of frustration.  The persona has sort of stuck and has struck a chord with some people.

For the last 5 years I have been studying psychotherapy, counselling, hypnotherapy, positive psychology and Transactional Analysis.  I have added these to my skills as a manager and trainer to create a day job and rediscovered my music to give me a creative outlet.  My musical blog will be on WordPress as noprimadonnas.  I have also travelled the world and presented workshops on happiness, often with my pal Mark who also blogs here about weight control and is a food addiction specialist.

In this blog I want to explore change and happiness, positive aspects of self, strengths and character virtues.  I welcome discussion as I certainly don’t feel I have all the answers and any feedback given in an OK-OK spirit.  I will be trying to blog most days but even I need the odd break ….

Till soon.


Posted by: helloadventurers | January 23, 2012

Hello Adventurers – The Get! Happy Blog

A blog about happiness and how to get more of it into our lives in a genuine way and how to increase the loveliness of the world.

Posted by: helloadventurers | January 23, 2012

Get! Happy – A journey to happiness

It’s really difficult to know where to start. There is so much that has passed to reach the point I am at today, starting this blog.

I want to keep it simple but life and the world seem to be so complex. Last night I performed a simple act of kindess and it helped to soothe some difficult emotions I was experiencing.

I also performed at a night called Folk, Word and Whimsey on a boat on the floating harbour we have here in Bristol, the city where I live. The person I helped had also been on a boat at a wake for a dear friend but we met in a pizza parlour.

When we do something kind and nice for someone it changes our life as well as there’s for the better. Even the smallest and simplest act of kindness can have a profound affect.

Why are we so obsessed with happiness as a life goal? Is it possible to be happy all the time? Is it even desirable? Being happy does not mean that we cannot be depressed or sad.

It all seems disjointed and a jumble but somehow it all comes together in each of us as a person. I have been making a journey of change like many others in this world. A journey I thought to happiness. Join me and see if we can make sense of it together.

In the meantime I wrote a spoken word piece for last night’s performance, my first ever self-composed spoken word performance. I thought as I am usually called Q I would write a haiku called Hi! Q. (See where I’m going with this?). Actually it turns out that what I thought was a haiku, 17 syllables in lines 5, 7, 5 isn’t really one after all but sometimes I just have to accept that things aren’t going to be perfect and go with it!

Hi Q! Greet yourself
And the new day with warmth
Love and happiness

Go well!