How to be comfortable: therapist Owen O’Kane on pleasure and psychological wellbeing


happy woman smiling

Therapist Owen exhibits us the path to happiness in his new guide (Image: Getty Images)

“That cardigan was absolutely hideous,” he exclaims in his tender Irish accent. “It was gray and overly crafted, a thick, horrible knit with 4 horrible brown buttons on it. A badly fitted vogue catastrophe at its worst. It appeared very en vogue for a therapist on the time. When I first meet shoppers, they’re typically shocked by my look. People don’t anticipate to satisfy a human being, however in case you construct belief you’re midway there. I’m a human face, not a robotic stereotype.”

We’re within the midst of the coronavirus lockdown and Owen is educating us all about happiness from the security of his own residence.

He’s a person of many abilities, having skilled as a psychotherapist and spent 25 years within the NHS.

He began in palliative care and is now a psychological well being scientific lead.

In 2018 he revealed his first guide, Ten To Zen, about discovering calm and happiness.

Now, in well timed vogue, he’s introduced out Ten Times Happier to assist us all enhance our psychological well being, let go of the previous and stay a brighter life.

“It’s not a book of magical fairy dust,” he warns. “I simply need to give an open, frequent sense view of happiness.” 

“People get in the way in which of their very own happiness and so they can’t see how they do it. We solely get one life and our time right here is restricted, so we now have to make one of the best of our journey.”

Ten Times Happier is a no-jargon strategy to bettering our wellbeing.

Owen picks out 10 sticking factors in our lives – together with the previous, regrets, fear, blaming or evaluating – and gives recommendation on how you can flip issues round in 4 easy steps.

“There is no definition of what happiness is but most people know when they’re in a better place in their lives,” he explains.

“Often we battle a lot with our inside world that we block happiness with out realising.”

“What I’m making an attempt to do is unblock all of the stuff that will get in the way in which, no matter it could be.”

Owen O'Kane

Owen has struggled along with his personal happiness, too (Image: Nicky Johnston)

Improving your mindset, he says, is a bit like going to the gymnasium. It’s all about dedication – in any other case you received’t see any change.

“This is no quick fix. What I hope this book does in each chapter is identify what the problem might be. Once you’ve found the problem I’ll help you understand why you might be struggling and show a way forward,” he says.

“Therapists can’t solve the problem, but we can support you. It’s your choice to change your life. The sense of freedom at the end is incredible – and you’ve got the tools to go forward.”

Ten Times Happier

Owen’s guide Ten Times Happier is out now (Image: HQ, Harper Collins)

Owen has devoted the guide to every of his shoppers and tells their tales with care whereas revealing his personal struggles.

His largest inspiration has been the individuals he hung out with in palliative care.

Owen helped to make individuals really feel as snug and calm as attainable as they reached the top of their lives.

He learnt about regrets in life and what individuals wished they may change.

“I remember a girl in her thirties who developed a cough and was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Her world turned upside down overnight,” he remembers.

“It was my job to get her secure sufficient to go on her final vacation. She talked continuously about how otherwise she would stay her life.”

“When you’re employed with somebody who’s dealing with mortality head-on, there’s a knowledge there you could’t recreate.”

“That lady was forced to rethink and see life through a different lens. I would be rocking up for work with my ordinary, everyday problems like worrying about the dog or what mortgage I was going to get.”

“When somebody is confronted with a life-and-death state of affairs they’re compelled to strip by all of that and get to the stuff that issues.”

Owen is aware of how troublesome it may be to confront the previous and let it go.

He spent his childhood in Belfast through the Troubles, the battle between Catholics and Protestants wherein violent riots, bombs and gun battles spilled into the streets, killing greater than 3,000 individuals in whole.

A homosexual Catholic, Owen was bullied in school and battled along with his sexuality.

He skilled as a priest and took himself to France to attempt to remedy his “illness” within the holy springs of Lourdes.

“I owe it to individuals to offer them the reality about my story, that I’m not some good guru.”

I get what you’re combating and if I haven’t skilled it, I’ve heard it,” he confesses.

“When I left Northern Ireland I realised how a lot the Troubles impacted my life.”

I used to be so hard-wired to be in risk mode I dropped to the ground at a theatre once I heard a bang.”

“I keep in mind the sense of liberation I felt coming to London, going to my first homosexual membership and never feeling like I needed to sneak by the again door.”

“That’s once I stopped, mirrored and realised that my life wasn’t simple in any respect.”

While coaching as a therapist, Owen started to discover and perceive the issues he struggled with himself, akin to a want to be continuously good and feeling unable to make the smallest mistake.

“Now I do know I’m human and it’s okay to get issues mistaken.”

“I attempted to create certainty in my life once I left Northern Ireland. Now, when issues change, I’ve to navigate round it.”

“We all have an enormous interval of uncertainty forward of us and that evokes an anxiousness that I’ve to concentrate on.”

“The good factor is I can see it now for what it’s. I understand how to maneuver into it slightly than run away,” he says.

As we grapple with a distinct form of life away from family and friends, working from dwelling and lacking out on holidays, Owen is making one of the best of the current and discovering positives in day-after-day.

“I’m grateful for having a house and having security, for my supportive companion and my little Westie canine, Kate.”

“Dogs haven’t bought a clue what’s happening proper now, so she retains me centred and balanced,” he smiles.

“I preserve my routine as a lot as attainable. I nonetheless work with my shoppers over Skype and preserve involved with mates.”

“I meditate day-after-day and I am going out for a stroll. It’s taken a world pandemic to make us cease and take into consideration the nice issues in life.”

Therapy doesn’t deserve the unhealthy press it nonetheless tends to get, but it surely actually shouldn’t, Owen provides.

After all, happiness takes a variety of work.

“People assume it’s all about mendacity on couches.”

“Actually, speaking to a different human, exploring your life and dealing in the direction of an answer can create hope and freedom and that may solely be factor.”

“If you strip away the taboos, discovering a therapist might be actually life altering.”

Ten Times Happier: How To Let Go Of What’s Holding You Back by Owen O’Kane (HQ, Harper Collins).



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