We caught up with Elevate 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 decided to make it my duty to share this knowledge with others – even if I can help reduce suffering by 1% it provides me with purpose and is something i’m incredibly passionate about. I went on to train as a coach, founded Technotox and began writing and delivering wellbeing workshops.
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! My top tip is to try and be as consistent with your practise as possible. And persevere! Even if it’s just 5 minutes here and there. Keep the momentum going and you’ll soon notice the benefits.
Generally, I try to meditate four or five times a week, though realistically it probably averages out at three! It’s usually for 20 minutes without a guide. Then if I’m feeling particularly anxious or stressed, I might use a specific guided meditation to address what ‘s going on. For me, morning is the best time, once I’ve woken up and had my caffeine fix though – the day doesn’t start until I’m a cafetiere down!
3. What are your top five values?
Family and Friends
Being in nature
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 pp 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
You can take the girl out of parties, but you can’t take the party out of the girl! 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/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 instead, I think we would all be much happier! It would help us to see how lucky we are and how much we have. Instead, we (and me included!) spend so much time browsing random accounts on Instagram feeling under-par and inadequate. It’s pretty silly really and certainly doesn’t make sense!
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!