Tools & Thoughts on Wellbeing

couples counselling


“You’ve been criticising yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens” Louise Hay.

I love that quote. It also applies to the relationship you have with yourself, but also those you have with your loved one: Criticism can sneak into your communication and destroy connection. Instead, you could foster a habit of staying curious about all the things you can appreciate about your partner daily. Next to that, if I feel criticism arising in myself, I try to figure out the silent wish or need that lies at the root of the criticism and express that instead. It’s tricky stuff to get the hang of but also so rewarding when your connection to your partner becomes more positive, safe and respectful. Photo by Teamwoodnote, sculpture by Alexander Milov



Addiction is a lot like being stuck in an abusive relationship. Everyone will tell you to simply leave but if the relationship (with the substance) is the only thing that is certain in your life, the only coping tool you can count on, it can feel near impossible to let go.
I work with people to examine the #addiction relationship and all the ways the substance was originally used to save you or help you cope, but is now starting to drown you. We then aim to heal the underlying pain and find alternative ways to cope. I know that it takes an immense amount of courage to let go of this destructive relationship, and I feel a lot of respect for anyone fighting to overcome addiction or compulsive behaviour. Photo by #kristopherroller.

Healthy Stress

Cold showers are a great tool to quickly boost your (mental) health for the day. These days we experience a lot of mental stress but not as much physical stress since we’re usually in a temperature regulated environment and even our work often does not involve the hard labour it once did. Taking cold showers challenges your body but also may work to increase endorphins, the feel-good hormones in your brain. Endorphins can ease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Cold water may also decrease cortisol, a stress-inducing hormone.

I have taken 30sec daily cold showers (at the end of a warm one) since I was 16 years old and have moved to 3min a day via the Wim Hof Method . I have come to love the experience and the effect it has on my day. A few of my clients have also experimented with cold showers and have reported a decrease in depressive symptoms and increased feelings of positivity. You can try it out via Wim Hof’s free app (starting with 15sec a day and slowly building from there). Photo by @jiggliemon

The question is not why the addiction but why the pain ~ Gabor Mate

There is such stigma attached to addiction. The negative view of people struggling with addiction amplifies the sense of deep shame that they often already feel. Dr. Gabor Maté’s work showed that addiction is a way to soothe immense pain or overwhelm when a better alternative is not available. It is a survival or coping mechanism. To extract the many tentacles of addiction requires a willingness to uncover the underlying reason for why it was once invited into your life, and to move from shame to feeling compassion for yourself.



4-7-8 breathing: breathing in for 4 seconds, holding for 7, breathing out slowly for 8. Many people, including myself, find that this breathing technique works really well to reduce stress and switch on the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) at any time of the day. It can be especially beneficial before bed to promote good sleep.

Another option is to dive into Wim Hof Method of breathwork, a very powerful practice for reducing stress that I have used for a few years now in combination with cold showers. See Wim Hof’s website for more information.