Sally Brown is Healthista’s ‘Ask Sally’ psychotherapist, here to answer any burning life and relationship questions Healthista readers may have. Registered with the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, which means she has the qualifications and experience to work safely and effectively, she also writes about emotional and psychological health for the national press. Email your problems in confidence to firstname.lastname@example.org
What does being healthy mean to you - really?
For me, being healthy means having the resilience to deal with setbacks, and to be there for people who need me, and to feel calm, which gives me the capacity be open and curious about what comes my way.
One bit of advice you want to give to all Healthista readers?
Be as encouraging, supportive and compassionate towards yourself as you are to the people you love. The voice you hear more than anyone else’s is your own, either out loud or in your head. If you constantly put yourself down, it’s as undermining to your confidence and mood as living with a bully, 24-7.
One thing you do daily that you wouldn't be well without?
My morning yoga and meditation routine. I start with one of Nadia Narain’s yoga DVDs – she’s got the best 10 and 20-minute routines. Then I do around 20 minutes of meditation and pranayama (breathing) practices, sometimes using an app such as Calm or Insight Timer if I need support. I think of it as a daily prescription for my mental wellbeing, helping me tame my overthinking.
What do you bring to the Healthista Collective?
A combination of my clinical experience as a working therapist, and my research skills as a journalist, to offer insight into the most common ‘Is it normal…..’ questions.
There are some perennial topics that come up on my therapy room, such as, is it normal to feel like an impostor at work? Is it normal to dread every social event? Is it normal to check my ex’s social media?
The aim is to give Healthista readers a perspective on their emotions, so they can work out if what they are feeling is normal, and will pass, or if they need to make some changes, or get professional help.
Advice to 20-year-old self?
Happiness lies in leaning into life and being present and awake to what’s there, not numbing out, disconnecting and wishing things were different.
Sally Brown - Recent Articles:
Should I end my relationship? 7 signs it’s time to go
My boyfriend doesn’t satisfy me sexually – therapy
‘Should I confess my affair?’
‘My family drive me bonkers when I go home for Christmas – by Boxing Day I have turned into a sulky teenager’
14 signs of emotional abuse
Got Imposter Syndrome? This therapist’s guide will help you deal with it