Meet Kim who quit a high powered marketing job at Red Bull to start Happy Heads. Simple mindful techniques that improve the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of people of all ages.
After 11 years working in a high pressured job, Kim suffered from crippling anxiety and depression. Looking for solutions to get her back on track, she began to meditate and took a life changing week long course called the Hoffman Process.
It was during this time that she realised the true power of meditation and visualisations, which helped her to fight her demons. Her goal now? To make every head a Happy Head…
Describe a typical day working at Red Bull…
Like many people chasing their dream career in the big smoke, I led a big team and worked far too many hours than was sustainable.
I was always on work emails, answering calls, in constant meetings, travelling, creating and delivering presentations, reporting etc. It felt like the right path for over ten years, but like many people, I burned out and needed a greater purpose in life.
Describe a typical day now…
I wake up at 7am most days and the first thing I do before anything else, such as check my phone or email, is meditate and anchor myself in the present moment. I sit in a chair and do my morning check-in to notice how I’m feeling that day. Depending on what’s going on for me in that moment the morning meditation will vary – finishing with positive affirmations is really great way to start your day.
My mind is clearer first thing so before it’s been bombarded with information I try to do anything that requires a creative output early – blog & social posts, creative writing, meditation workshop planning, designing new visualisations and retreat plans.
I now have a base at HQ Therapy rooms in Dalston so I cycle there and this is where I have my 1:1 sessions with people. Each session includes guided meditation, breathing techniques and Emotional Freedom Technique also known as tapping. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing the huge shift people make during a session.
In the afternoon I often lead meditation workshops in companies. Having come from that word I know exactly how to help people live a happier, calmer and stress free career, which leads to improved work / life balance.
What was the inspiration behind Happy Heads?
I lost my father due to depression when I was just 7 but never let that dictate me. I have always been a very positive, optimistic and upbeat person. But, anxiety and depression hit me out of the blue when I was 32 due to a stressful work situation and it was the lessons I learned getting back to myself that led me to launch Happy Heads. My life experience and skills mean that I can teach with complete authenticity knowing exactly how people feel and most importantly how to improve their mental fitness.
A big part of that journey came when I completed the Hoffman Process and realised the power of visualisations (guided meditation) in improving both your mental and physical fitness, enabling you to process a huge plethora of emotions. I wanted to help other people, specifically children and families intially. But as I trained and qualified, a broad range of people sought and valued my help, which led to me to where I am today helping everyone.
What sort of services do you offer?
Being a qualified meditation teacher and EFT practitioner is great as they compliment each other perfectly.
Most people think they can’t meditate and it’s all about sitting still and being silent, I promise you it’s not – I make it really simple and accessible for everyone no matter what your age, experience or temprament.
Every human is unique so each session is tailored to their needs. I always adapt to what someone’s energy needs, a moving meditation may work for one person but not for the other. Many of the tools I teach children are incredibly affective with adults. If I was to ask you to sit still and repeat a mantra for 20 minutes if you’ve never meditated before you’re going to find that really hard – but if I was to ask you to imagine your favourite colour, a loved place or person, you would find that a much easier introduction.
Why should more people practice meditation?
I honestly believe meditation is the single most important tool in improving your mental health. When we meditate we engage our prefrontal cortex, which is the part of our brain that enables us to self regulate.
It enables you to cultivate self love for yourself which makes you a much better, happier and calmer version of yourself. Your physical fitness often starts with your mental fitness so its invaluable to look after your mind first.
Why is meditation in young people so important?
Your brain is still very much forming when we’re younger. Our formative years (0 – 18) are the blueprint for our core beliefs so it’s vital we have tools and techniques that allow us to process things – especially when your vocabulary is not even fully formed and you can’t always describe how you feel.
The ability to process events and feelings means whatever life throws at you, you’ll be much less likely to form a negative core belief or fear from that memory.
Why do you think stress is so damaging to our health?
Stress is damaging for our body because it means our Amygdala is being triggered (fight or flight response). Back in caveman times this was an invaluable tool to help us survive against saber toothed tigers, but fast forward thousands of years and our brains don’t know the difference between a genuine threat and say – being asked to stand up and present in front of our colleagues.
When this response is triggered it fills our body with cortisol, which is great in small doses but when this is constantly triggered it can be very damaging, making it hard to focus and self regulate.
Do you use fitness to release tension? If so what’s your favourite way to work out?
Absolutely. I love to keep fit and nurture my body. Although I love yoga my favourite way to work out is boxing. It’s surpsingly meditative as you’re continually focused on your breath, rhythm and movement so its perfect for body and mind – plus its an incredible release.
Favourite restaurant in London?
I was taken to Restaurant Story for my birthday and WOW what a treat. The food is incredible and each of the 18 courses tells a different story as part of a journey. This means that you’re very mindful of every bite and focussed on enjoying dinner for a whole afternoon sitting instead of the functional in and out way we usually eat.
Be kind to yourself, people and the planet, be happy and embrace your own weirdness – it’s way more fun!