Blog Archives

What does a thriving life mean?

The wellbeing community speak of a flourishing life.
Flourishing implies more than being happy it includes the idea of living in a way that involves healthy thought and action, in mind, body and spirit.  The rewards of a full and flourishing life are happiness and wellbeing.

The most interesting and relevant research findings into what contributes to a flourishing life tell us the importance of:
Feeling good, being grateful, being curious and open minded, acting generously, choosing wisely, living meaningfully, having self-acceptance and being sociable.
Research into this subject appears to be confirming old ideas about character and living a ‘good’ life. All traditional stories that teach us about this subject however, are clothed in metaphor or tale, being a ‘good’ person gets rewarded and attending to character traits that endear you to others is the key to a ‘good’ life and reward. Positive psychology has collided with moral philosophy and spiritual practices and the reward is wellbeing and happiness.
All stories are really about good character and the courage to learn and face challenges. This is in essence at the core of every Hollywood story and the ‘reward’ is as likely to be happiness through personal fulfilment and self-discovery as material gain. The guy gets the girl because he wins himself first (or vice versa).
The stuff of tales – courage, generosity, wisdom, and honour depends on self-knowledge and belief combined with the ability to look beyond the self, to the needs of others. Stop for a moment and think about what in your life has given you the most lasting sense of well-being – when you felt truly yourself, a moment or event that caused you to feel great long afterwards. I bet it either affected other people or was something that involved a challenge.
Altruism is not self-denial it is the employment of empathy and imagination. When combined with that horrible word responsibility, we own up to the fact that our lives are not separate but intricately interdependent and our actions matter.
A flourishing live is an integrated life, living a life that is both fulfilling to yourself as well as those around you and beyond. A flourishing life can begin with a smile and always has a story to tell.
Chatlotte is a member of the Breathe London wellbeing team.  To order our 30 day wellbeing program go to

The power of your thoughts

This week we continue our posts contributed by guest editors who are also wellbeing professionals.  Charlotte Style, author of “Brilliant Positive Psychology” reminds us of the common-sense fact that kindness and happiness go hand-in-hand and suggests ways to become both kinder, and happier! 

Gravity is so virtual we can only measure its effects.  Your thoughts are as powerful as gravity. What you think effects not only your experience of the world but effects and creates the world.

We cannot measure the power of human thought but we live with its effects.

What you think about other people has effect.

In a very powerful study, one teacher was given a class and told how lucky she was as she had all the bright children, and another teacher was told the opposite – bad luck, you have all the difficult stupid kids. Actually all the children had been randomly assigned to each class but the effect on the achievements of both classes was significantly different.


 Think the best of the next person you talk to.


Victor Frankl uses the analogy of flying against a strong cross-wind; you have to aim ahead of where you are going to get there because the wind is blowing you off course. Seeing other people this way has the same effect; seeing and believing in the full potential someone holds will support them becoming who they are, rather than seeing them ‘as they are’ and letting the head wind blow them back.

 K.J. Klob and L. Jussim (1994). Teacher expectations and underachieving gifted children. Roeper Review, 17(1), 26–30.

Chatlotte is a member of the Breathe London wellbeing team.  To book a coaching session with Charlotte go to

How to be happy and have a growth mindset

This week we continue our posts contributed by guest editors who are also wellbeing professionals.  Charlotte Style, author of “Brilliant Positive Psychology” reminds us of the common-sense fact that kindness and happiness go hand-in-hand and suggests ways to become both kinder, and happier! 

Research is showing that having a growth mindset rather than being fixed in how we see the world is an important distinction between people who thrive and those who don’t.

People with a growth mindset never stop learning. Your ability to adapt and learn is a key component of your happiness and well-being. We all face challenges and change, and having an attitude that embraces personal growth happens when we are willing to learn. Setbacks and failure are opportunities to improve and grow.
People with a growth mindset love challenges and new experiences.

In her book, Mindset: The new psychology of success, Carol Dweck explains how having an open mind to both our abilities and the world we live in allows us to grow and develop, and that holding fixed ideas reduces and limits not only our potential, but our potential for happiness. She also says that as a culture we don’t praise enough the effort and struggle people make, especially the young, when facing and overcoming setbacks.

‘Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.’ Albert Einstein,1879–1955
According to Carol Dweck
People with a Growth Mindset:
  • Are open to new ideas.
  • Are always learning (especially from setbacks).
  • Enjoy challenges.
  • Believe that abilities develop.
  • Believe that lives and relationships and other people develop.
  • Work at relationships

People with a Fixed Mindset

  • Believe that ability and intelligence are innate.
  • Are Judgemental.
  • Limit achievement (crumbles in the face of challenge and adversity).
  • Believe that if relationships need work they must be wrong.
  • Believe that that if they have to work at things they must be stupid – it should come naturally
Research has shown that people with a growth mindset are more likely to be realistic about themselves and their abilities than those with a fixed mindset. Being open to growth, learning and  development does not mean an over-inflated idea of one’s abilities, but openness to possibilities and potential.
How open to change and development are you?
Think of a time or incident that was hard for you.
What did you learn?
How did you change?
What in your life has changed for the better because of this?
What, about the experience, are you grateful for?
With a growth mindset we grow intellectually (growing in our knowledge of the world and developing our reasoning powers) and emotionally (growing more emotional intelligence). All experience becomes good as it builds resources and self knowledge for positive growth and change.  The more we know about ourselves the greater are our chances of realising our potential
Find your mindset
Read the statements below and mark whether you agree or disagree with them:
1. You are the person you are and you can’t really change that, or
2. I believe that everybody can change, every kind of person is able to change.
3. The main part of who you are can’t change but you can do things differently, or
4 .You can always change basic things about the kind of person you are.
*[Questions 1 and 3 are the fixed mindset questions and 2 and 4 are the growth mindset.]

If you are most comfortable with statements 1 and 3, try thinking about what it means to you to believe that people cannot change, and, more importantly, what would change in your life if you chose statements 2 and 4. Then: Make a quick list of where you have opportunities to learn more.

 Carol Dweck (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Ballantine Books

Chatlotte is a member of the Breathe London wellbeing team.  To book a coaching session with Charlotte go to

Social networking and Breathe London clients



Last week I went to Media weeks annual convention where I sat through a whole series of talks about the do’s and don’t of social networking with clients –  how to build relationships and drum up business without seeming pushy.

One of the speakers said that if you feel the need to be moving forward in all directions all the time you are doing the right thing.  For me this feels a little at odds with running a wellbeing business which emphasises calmness and flow.

This introduces a wider issue of how we all connect with each other, whether our  increased connectivity is somehow making our connections shallower, less tactile and less human.  Buddhist and Vedic teaching would emphasise that what we choose to connect with and the manner in which we connect has a profound effect on our wellbeing.  Having all these points of connection might be a source of great energy and power for many but it can also be a powerful drain on our attention.  For some people the opportunities presented by a colourful, stimulating digital world mean that they are always urgently restless.  Unsatisfied with the present, devouring the future.

There were so many conflicting messages about how to connect properly with our clients and friends.  I was left in a confused state about how best to use Twitter, Facebook, The Breathe London wellbeing blog and Breathe mail newsletter.  In general we attempt to provide you with reliable information about wellbeing and rarely actively promote our services.  If you have any ideas please let me know!  As a general rule we are going to use this newsletter to give information on our therapists, special deals that we have and Youtube clips on how to massage/meditate/practice yoga etc

The Breathe blog has about  three or four posts each week providing general wellbeing news on psychology, hypnotherapy and physical therapies.  Breathe Facebook and Twitter will promote all of the above but if you follow us on Twitter we will also use this to promote flash sales – for example if we are quiet we will do half price massages etc

This months special deals

–          Two, one hour sessions of lymphatic drainage massage plus a one hour nutrition consultation with Jo Lewin for just £99 Detox offer

–          First session of Positive Psychology Coaching with Andy, Charlotte or Madeleine for just £40 . Find out about the interventions which science has demonstrated raise your wellbeing levels – Positive Psychology Coaching

–          First session of hypnotherapy – half price Hypnotherapy

–          25% savings on our massage prices if you buy a course of treatments – share with friends and colleagues – Massage courses

–          Off peak student massages for just £35 Student rates