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Mental Wellbeing Journey
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Mental Wellbeing Journey

Author: Nicoleta Porojanu

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A podcast that looks at mental health beyond the medical model and opens soulful and unfiltered conversations with guests from all cultures and walks of life to explore our mental wellbeing journey as it is.
12 Episodes
Are you aware that your lifestyle can make you ill? From diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure to anxiety, depression or cancer, they can all be avoided by making behavioural changes that keep you fit and healthy.In this 12th episode, the last in this 1st season, I chat with Patrick Samy, CEO at Span Health about the bridge between the old medical system and the pioneering digital medical care that helps us prevent illness and recover our wellbeing in our fast changing and demanding modern world.A former Microsoft engineer and researcher at Stanford University, Patrick shares how his family history of chronic conditions has inspired him to link his passion for technology with his interest in biology, medicine and psychology and this way cofounded Span Health, a digital startup that delivers behavioural care to people that have lifestyle symptoms.Whether it is high blood sugar, constant cravings or brain fog, Span is helping people reverse these issues with the help of a nutritionist, doctor, psychologist and psychotherapist to create sustainable changes and resolve underlying issues that prevent them from making progress in life. In a time when the old medical system established after the Second World War is struggling to help the increasing population stay well and healthy, we all aseem to find it harder and harder to source the right information and access the right science behind our conditions, whether they are physical ailments or psychological conditions.This is why it is important to acknowledge that physical and mental health awareness are not just about knowing the signs and symptoms of illness, but also knowing ourselves well, understanding our identities and how we formed a belief system through external programing, as well as staying in touch with our bodies and permitting ourselves to enter a deeper level of consciousness to create a healthy and balanced life.
In this 11th episode Nicoleta chats with Wendy Harris, managing director at WAG Associates, a telemarketing training company from England about the Mental Health First Aid.Since emotions and feelings always factor in business and work as well as in our all interactions in life, the question is: are we able to develop that awareness around our mental health and the wellbeing of others? Can you read other people's body language? Are you able to pick up on what is said between the words? Do you become mindful of what is happening within you when people express themselves?The Mental Health First Aid training helps you look at yourself from a different perspective, to understand yourself and others better. It helps you see when people are struggling around you and it teaches you to offer them that initial support before they seek the professional help they need or until the crisis resolves by itself.An empowering chat that sees the mental health first aid training necessary and highly beneficial during this coronavirus pandemic that has changed our lives in ways that we have not anticipated and have not been prepared for.Also a reminder for the employers and other social actors of the 1 trilion dollars spent on mental health illness at global level each year, and an invitation to consider if the Mental Health First Aid training could reduce sickness in the work place.
Health is not the absence of illness, but rather a state of balance between the body, mind and our consciousness.In this 10th episode Nicoleta chats with Xenia Bolomiti, ayurvedic therapist and wellbeing coach from London, about the benefits of ayurveda called the "science of life" in the Eastern world.How has this eastern practice that preceded today's conventional medicine managed to preserve its wisdom and knowledge from ancient times and survived as a holistic therapy and medicine practice for 5,000 years?Considered by many schoolers the older healing science, ayurveda aims to restore our natural balance applying methods and natural treatments specific to our body constitution ("dosha").Listen to this episode and find out why medicine is of no use when the diet is wrong and how to follow the good diet and lifestyle for your particular body constitution with this alternative medicine and therapy.
The absence of someone or something that has been part of our lives for decades can be very upsetting and those feelings of emptiness can be perceived as a loss of purpose and meaning in life by some of us.  In this 9th episode Nicoleta explores with her guest Willis Atherley-Bourne, therapist and supervisor from London, the loss of someone through death, breakup or divorce as well as the loss of a job, social status, home or an object, and how that loss taps into other wounds accumulated over the years.  Can we still cherish the happy memories and celebrate the legacy left behind by those we lost? How do we manage the existential questions that arise? Is our attachment style playing into the grieving process? Can we manage those intense feelings of sadness, sorrow, anger, anguish and worry and can we deal with the prolonged mourning and complicated grief? Nicoleta and Willis answer all of these questions and many more and share how to find support and someone to lean on throughout this life-time journey of grieving, calling walking through grief like “learning to walk all over again”. 
How does the pleasurable activity of gaming or gambling become an addiction that destroys lives? Why can one person play for fun and another one is unable to stop?In this 8th episode Nicoleta chats with counselling psychologist Annika Lindberg from London to find that gambling addiction is not about the amount of money lost, but rather about losing the control and not being able to stop despite the negative consequences it brings into our lives.From losing jobs, missing time with family, to accumulating massive debts and losing their homes, addicted gamblers are either looking for the buzz of a big win or gamble as a way of coping with difficult emotions.Their inner worlds are marked by anxiety, depression, shame and a strong sense of isolation and when they cannot see a way out from that desperation they can go as far as thinking of or attempting to commit suicide.Causing real devastation in the lives of millions of people, gambling addiction is nowadays a problem of the society not of the individual only and is becoming a public health problem due to the slow emerging reform in regulation.The good news is that there si support and change is possible when gamblers awaken and move out of the secrecy of their behaviour. Listen this episode to find out more.
In this 7th episode Nicoleta chats with French born Kensaye Russel, a DJ, music producer and radio host from London about rejection and its impact on our lives. From real life rejection to virtual rejection expressed in the number of likes and comments on social media, rejection can be painful and can knock down our self-esteem, confidence and sense of self-worth. Whether it’s a matter of circumstances, luck, taste or subjectivity, rejection is a simple life response that does not change who we really are.Rejection is rather a platform for learning, growing and personal development, and every NO can teach us something about ourselves, others and the world around us and can help us build resilience and endurance in life. 
In this 6th episode Nicoleta chats with Russian born and trained Oxana Fomina, a life & spiritual coach and numerologist from London and look at life from a body – mind – spirit – social world perspective. Listen to this episode and find out how psychology, psychotherapy, numerology and spirituality overlap and how they all tap into the same knowledge of this universe and how can they answer some of your life questions. Vivekananda said over a century ago that “human mind is a great master, but a lousy student” and we can all connect with that. We tend to function stuck in our early programming which brings a lot of distress and suffering, but we can retrain our minds and look at your lives from behind the minds and this way expand our consciousness. Enough with identifying with your body and mind only. You are much more than that. Learn to manage your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing and live your life from inner peace, balance and joy.      
In this 5th episode Nicoleta chats with DJ and music producer Serhat Gedik aka Subaholic’s from Northern Cyprus about the negative thinking and its impact on our lives.  Starting from the studies that show that out of the 50,000 thoughts we have each day 80% of them are negative and 95% of them are repetitive thoughts, recycled day after day, they explore how to change our mindsets and search for happiness and positivity within, and what happens when we look for fulfilment in the outside world. Nicoleta looks at negative thinking from a psychological perspective and concludes that our distorted thinking is a learned process that can be unlearned and replaced with a more positive way of being. And Subaholics shares his spiritual journey and how it helped him understand that we manifest our thoughts and changed his life through reflection, self-discovery and meditation. Question for a DJ: is music an uplifter that can enhance our mental wellbeing or, on the contrary, a downer that can make us feel empty and depressed? Subaholic’s share his view from within the music industry: what it means to be a musician nowadays, what has changed over his 2 decades career, and speaks openly about the “silly tradition” of drug consumption and the tragic lives of Michael Jackson, Prince or Kurt Cobain.  
What is wrong with people (especially men) that use their power to intimidate, influence, persuade or even threaten others to get sexual gratification?In this 4th episode Nicoleta is having a rich conversation with her guest Michelle Denny-Browne, counsellor, supervisor and clinical manager at One in Four, the largest charity supporting survivors of childhood sexual abuse and trauma in the UK.They look at the elephant in the room, this taboo of childhood (sexual) abuse through the lenses of the many high-profile cases we’ve seen coming out over this past decade:...From the once famous - now infamous Jimmy Saville, who abused hundreds of children for over 5 decades and mesmerised an entire world so that his victims feared to speak up the truth about his monstrous behaviour even one year after his death......To Harvey Weinstein who sexually abused hundreds of Hollywood actresses and has been recently sent to jail for 23 years (only)......To the corruption of the mind Jeffrey Epstein used to groom his entourage to bring him hundreds of young girls in his sex trafficking ring......To the prolific case of the South Yorkshire town - Rotherham - considered the biggest child protection scandal in the UK history, as the police and  social services knew about the abuse of 1400 children for over a decade and failed to act on the reports of the abuse for 3 decades between 1980 and 2010.
In this 3rd episode Nicoleta has a deep conversation about burnout with her guest clinical psychologist and therapist Dragos Dragomir and explore the difference between stress ("the too much" in our lives) and burnout ("the not enough" syndromme). From paramedics, nurses, firefighters and police force affected by burnout in their challenging work to staff feeling burnt out when lacking support form their organisation and to the guest himself going through burnout when feeling underused in his skills, this is a rich conversation about what it means to live in our modern world driven by capitalism and consumerims. Are you at risk of burnout? Do you know what to do about it? Listen to this 48 min episode and allow yourself to search for answers to some important existential questions.
In this 2nd episode Nicoleta talks about stress with her guest Chris Hodgkins, an accomplished jazz musician and broadcaster from London. Listen to this 30 min episode and find out what is causing stress in our modern world and the terrible impact it has on our mental activity, emotional life and physical body. Be reminded about the power of music in healing and coping with stress, and learn to find ways to spot stress early and act timely to remove this silent killer from your life.  
In this 1st episode Nicoleta talks with her guest Munise Sabri, a colleague psychotherapist from London, about our mental health pandemic and the impact of the coronavirus on our lives. Listen to this empowering 28 min chat that looks at mental wellbeing from a fresh perspective. Is our society really open to talking? How do we cope with the social presure? From anxiety, depression, addiction and trauma to getting in touch with our selves and creating a happy and fulfilling life.
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