We caught up with Elevate Co-Founder and Director Lucy Faulks on her meditation habits, favourite positive emotion and what she does to let her hair down.
1. How did you end up working in wellbeing?
I landed a job in advertising post-uni but was pretty unhappy and could never see myself doing it into old age. Then around eight years ago I took a course in Positive Psychology and completely devoured its contents. Having struggled with my own mental and emotional health over the years, I was delighted to find so many beneficial tools and interventions, including mindfulness meditation. From that moment, I had an urge to share what I’d learnt with others. I went on to train as a CPCC coach and studied Positive Psychology on Dr Martin Seligman’s inaugural resiliency programme at the University of Pennsylvania. Later, I began writing and delivering wellbeing workshops for corporate clients.
2. How often do you meditate, how long for and what time of day?
The million dollar question! I get asked this so much and all I can say is the journey to meditation is different for everyone. There are times you’ll be drawn to it and can’t get enough, and times when it feels like a massive chore and you’ll avoid it at all cost. I tried to embed some form of mindfulness into each day, whether that’s a body scan when I first wake up or a mindful taste of my coffee. Other times, I’ll listen to an app and choose a specific guided meditation based on something I’d like to address. My favourite apps are Insight Timer and Calm. Little and often is key. Try and be as consistent with your practise as possible. And persevere! You’ll soon notice the benefits.
3. What are your top five values?
Family and Friends
Love of learning
4. What’s your favourite emotion?
Inspiration – it makes me feel energised, creative and unstoppable!
5. My happy place
Sitting around the kitchen table in my mum and dad’s house in Blackheath, London with my whole family. I have four nephews under the age of 8 so they keep us all entertained and my brother’s a fantastic chef so there’s usually something yummy cooking.
6. The most powerful positive psychology intervention is
The gratitude diary or three good things as it’s also known. At the end of each day or the beginning of a new day (for the day before), you write down three good things that happened – anything from preparing or enjoying a delicious meal, going for a walk in the sunshine or ticking everything off your to do list. It’s one of the most powerful and long lasting positive psychology interventions, and research shows that after six months of completing it, people have a higher life satisfaction and markedly less depression. I mean, why wouldn’t you?
7. Three things I was grateful for yesterday
i. An afternoon nap (for me there’s nothing more nourishing)
ii. I made a great playlist for a road trip I’m taking with my husband in a few weeks
iii. A large glass of sauvignon blanc and sushi for dinner (food is a regular feature in my gratitude diary)
8. What do you do to let your hair down
In my 20s, I used to go out A LOT and although I’ve reined things in in recent years (and feel a whole lot better for it), I still love a good night in or out with friends drinking great wine, eating delicious food and generally having fun and being silly into the wee hours!
9. One thing that could change the world?
If everyone took even half the amount of time they spend on social media every week and volunteered for a local cause, I think we would all be much happier. Helping others gives us purpose and meaning, and can encourage feelings of gratitude. Instead, we spend so much time doomscrolling on Instagram and are left feeling under-par, inadequate and empty. It’s pretty silly really!
10. Alternative career?
A paramedic. Biology was my favourite subject at school and I love the idea of being first on the scene during times of emergency. Comforting relatives and being pragmatic and calm in the face of difficulty plays to my strengths. There’d never be a dull day.