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Happiness and its causes conference 2019 - Part 2

Part 2 - Thea O'Connor on Body Intelligence (BQ), Drew Harrisberg (Exercise Physiologist ) on his 6 S's to happiness and Dr Elissa Epel on chronic stress and Telomeres.

Thea O'Connor

Thea O’Connor is a work wellbeing advisor and spoke of ‘BQ' ( body intelligence) and the ability to be present in our bodies and listen to it.

Body intelligence (BQ)

  1. Ability to notice sensations in the body

  2. Ability to listen to our body (signals given)

  3. Ability to respond without over riding the signals

We have this ‘more is better’ or ‘no pain no gain’ mentality, pushing ourselves to the limit. We need to learn to trust our bodies more, listen.

When hungry, eat. When tired, rest.

When you’re not sure of a decision, pause, and ask your body how it feels and wait for the visceral response.

Drew Harrisberg

Drew Harrisberg, exercise physiologist/sports scientist/model and spokesperson for type 1 diabetes gave his 6 S’s for happiness:

  1. Sleep - 7-9 hours recommended (how many of you are getting this?)

  2. Stress fit – not stress free, but managing healthy v unhealthy stress

  3. Sun!

  4. Steps – just move

  5. Smile – do the things that make you smile!

  6. Socialise – friendships are important

And his personal one, adopt a dog– his insta-famous staffy with 342k of followers @a.daily.dose.of.dennis – is guaranteed to make you smile!

When he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, he was absolutely devastated but realized through exercise he managed to lower and maintain his glucose levels.

“Exercise is a medicine we can administer for us for free” – I suppose that also depends whether you join a premium gym or studio!

Dr Elissa Epel

Dr Elissa Epel, professor and international expert in chronic stress, co author of the Telomere effect, spoke of telomeres (ends of DNA in chromosomes) and its affect of chronic diseases. The rate at which telomeres shorten as we age, is affected by:

  • Stress/trauma

  • Relationships

  • Habits

Self compassion, and loving kindness meditationmaintains our telomeres. The more social support we have and intimacy we share, the more our telomeres can grow (and slow down aging) – so get working on those relationships! Being happy lengthens telomeres – so ask yourself, what makes you happy? Then I say, go and do that thing. And do it some more.

It wouldn’t’ be a wellbeing conference without #mindfulness or #meditation mentioned. Mindfulnessis a $1.1 billion industry, and with popularity trends, there will be capitalizing! Sharon Harvey, award winning journalist, author of the Whole Health Life spoke of how meditationhelps catch your mind ruminating over worries, turn inwards to painful thoughts and feelings, hopefully discerning some wisdom in the process. Wisdom and learnings will arise where there is space and time made for observing and reflection.

Meditation can be equivalent to = medication + psychotherapy


Next week we will hear from Jane Mathews, author of ‘The Art of living alone and loving it’; Getting in touch with nature by Costa Georgiadis (Gardening Australia); Jocelyn Brewer on digital nutrition - managing our digital consumption; Jill Stark on managing Anxiety & managing your inner Childs needs; Ross Menzies on managing anger; Toni Noble on the rise of perfectionism and Kristen Neff on Self Compassion.

Visit - use VIP code ONSITE for 50% off (its about $600 for 2 days after discount- trust me, worth taking time off work for)

If you have any questions about my experience or more about the speakers, feel free to email me

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