Why curiosity is unquestionably good for us

An inquisitive nature is a ticket to greater well-being


Throughout history, the phrases “What is …?”, “What if …?” and “Why …?” have perhaps had more of an impact on human progress and development than any others.

For instance, in 1928, while working in his laboratory in London, Alexander Fleming discovered an unexpected mould growing on a petri dish. Rather than discarding the unwanted growth, Fleming became curious and his enquiries subsequently revolutionised medicine with the discovery of penicillins.

On a voyage aboard HMS Beagle in 1831, Charles Darwin became intrigued by the various beaks he saw on Galapagos Island finches. From this observation, Darwin’s curious spirit allowed him to piece together a theory of evolution and natural selection — an idea so transformative that it continues to shape our understanding of life itself.

Throughout early human history, our ancestors curiously observed the migratory patterns of birds, followed herds of animals, and ventured into uncharted territories to seek new resources and opportunities — leading humans out of Africa to every other landmass on Earth.

These tales — and thousands like them — remind us that curiosity is an essential quality within each one of us. In fact, curiosity is so important for our survival and well-being that our brains and bodies literally reward us when we become inquisitive and seek out new information and experiences.

Curious cat

The many benefits of curiosity

Every time we engage our curious nature — whether it be learning a new skill, experiencing a new situation, or questioning our previously held paradigms and perspectives — our brain triggers an incredible benefit response:

Increased Dopamine Release: When we are curious and actively seeking information, our brain rewards us with a boost of dopamine.

Enhanced Learning and Memory: When we are curious, our brains are more engaged, leading to better information retention and a deeper understanding of the subject.

Stimulation of Neural Networks: Curiosity can activate different neural networks in the brain, promoting connectivity and communication between various regions. This increased connectivity may contribute to cognitive flexibility and creativity.

Brain Plasticity: Exploring new information and experiences can promote brain plasticity, which is the ability of the brain to reorganise and adapt by forming new neural connections.

Our real challenge lies not in trying to awaken a forgotten trait, but rather in recognizing that we do thirst for knowledge and understanding

In turn, these physiological triggers have long-term, beneficial impacts on our health, happiness, and well-being:

Reduced Stress: Engaging in activities that spark curiosity can distract the mind from stressors and promote a more positive mental state.

Better Emotional Well-being: Exploring new things and gaining knowledge can contribute to a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, leading to improved emotional well-being.

Increased Energy and Motivation: Pursuing one’s curiosity often involves a sense of purpose and motivation. This motivation can lead to increased energy levels and a willingness to overcome challenges.

Curious adult

Recent research shows that curiosity is not just limited to children, but it remains an innate quality in adults as well. In fact, as we grow older, our curiosity may even intensify. So, our real challenge lies not in trying to awaken a forgotten trait, but rather in recognising that we do thirst for knowledge and understanding and creating opportunities to satisfy this inquisitive nature.

From boosting our mental well-being to expanding our horizons, engaging our curiosity has a plethora of benefits that can truly transform our lives. So, throughout the month of May, let’s dive into inquisitiveness, capture our curiosity, and feed our need for new knowledge and experiences. Ready? Let’s go!

I am making 2024 the Year of Living Deeper and, this month, I am exploring the importance of curiosity and inquisitive exploration.

Join me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for regular tools and tips and be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter as we dive deeply into the benefits of a curious nature.

Deep inner wisdom and empowered decision-making

Our love affair with logic may be coming to an end …


Stop. Take a look around you. Now ponder this: your life in this moment is a reflection of all of the decisions that you have ever made.

Sure, you have sometimes been confronted with events that appear out of your control but it is ultimately your decisions – trivial, significant, easy, agonising, instantaneous, or meticulously planned – that have shaped you, guided you, and delivered you to the present moment.

Over the past 300 years, since the dawn of the Age of Enlightenment, most people have been encouraged to use logic, rationale, and reason when making decisions. Our minds have been considered to be infallible computers and it has been assumed that, with the right data, intellectual prowess, and step-by-step logic, we can always “think” our way to the best outcome.

However, in recent years, researchers have started to unravel the truth behind our choices and have confirmed that unconscious factors often influence the decisions you make, without you being aware. This is concerning for a number of reasons, particularly for those who rely purely on intellect and logic to make life’s important decisions.

Firstly, it is understood that your subconscious mind is positively teeming with thoughts (estimated at up to 11 billion pieces of information per second) and yet you will only ever be aware of a tiny fraction of this mental chatter (40 -50 bits per second).

Secondly, it is believed that between 90-96% of your thoughts today are the same thoughts you had yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that … Effectively, your subconscious mind is a broken record, stuck on a loop created in your early childhood.

What this means is that, no matter how hard you resist, most of your decisions are subject to a huge array of invisible factors such as others’ actions and suggestions, unconscious prejudices and biases, old emotional patterns, and the ingrained expectations of how your life should look. Even your most rational, logical, and well-planned choices can be unconsciously driving you to repeat the past, fulfill others’ expectations, or manifest a deep-set belief about yourself.

This is obviously not a problem for those who have been blessed with positive self-chatter and uplifting subconscious programming (“I’m a success. I draw abundance to me. I am capable of anything”). However, for most of us, it is negative self-talk and limiting thought patterns that underpin each and every decision we make.

How do I make more empowered decisions?

Recently, modern science has confirmed that logic is truly only helpful when faced with simple decisions; when it comes to complex choices, it is our instinctive, gut-driven decisions that often prove to be most effective.

This makes sense when you take into account recent, irrefutable evidence of a powerful unconscious force within you; a natural mental aptitude that, if utilised, can help you make wiser and more empowered decisions.

Over the past century, researchers have revealed that we are all intuitively connected to the world around us and even, according to some experiments, to possible future events. It is exciting to note that when we draw upon this intuitive connection, we can bypass the limiting thought patterns, prejudices, and self-sabotaging beliefs that dwell in the shadows of our personal subconscious.

Instead, we approach decisions from a truly empowered position; one where we are instinctively aware of the intentions of others, the probable consequences of our decisions, and, importantly, the true depth of our own talents, purpose, and strength.

By balancing logical thought with our inner GPS, we are able to make decisions that lead us away from the patterns of the past, and into a life of new possibilities.

Learning to move beyond logic and ‘hear’ your inner GPS can take time and practice but, thankfully, there are evidence-based tools and practices that can help you train your intuitive connection. Check out my self-paced online course if you’re keen to learn more.

2024 is the Year of Living Deeper — a year where we make space and time for our inner GPS to guide us and inform our most important decisions.

Join me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for regular tips throughout the month. And be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter as we embark on this transformative journey together.

Revisiting the Healing Power of Touch

Nurturing Deeper Well-Being through Embodiment

Touch is one of the most basic human needs and yet many modern-day practices and attitudes are antithetical to the idea of touch, intimacy, and embodiment.

In my late twenties, I was employed as a duty manager at a well-known tourist hotel in Rotorua, New Zealand. One morning I arrived at work to hear that, tragically, an elderly gentleman from a Japanese tour group had passed away overnight due to a heart attack. There, in the main lobby, the man’s shocked wife sat silent and alone. The tour guides stood awkwardly nearby while the rest of the tour group huddled together on the opposite side of the room.

I was deeply moved by the woman’s isolation and aloneness so I approached her quietly and took a seat beside her — so close our legs were touching. Then, I gently reached over and took her hand in my own. For the next half hour, the two of us sat there in silence, holding hands, sharing each other’s space, and allowing her unspoken grief to be acknowledged and witnessed.

At a time when no words were possible — she spoke no English and my Japanese was very basic — it was gentle, compassionate touch that allowed us to be there with, and for, each other in our shared humanity.

It is impossible to overstate the immense benefits of welcome touch on our ability to thrive.

For decades, and around the world, researchers have shown that touch is not only a basic human need but also an essential element for our overall health and well-being. Studies have shown that touch can lower stress hormones such as cortisol while stimulating the production of endorphins, which are natural painkillers. Regular touch has also been linked to improved immune function, better sleep quality, reduced anxiety levels, and enhanced mental clarity.

When we engage in positive physical contact with others our bodies release oxytocin, commonly known as the “love hormone.” This natural chemical promotes feelings of trust, bonding, and relaxation.

On the other hand, evidence has shown that a lack of touch can lead to increased mental illness, emotional dysfunction, retarded development in children, and even death in infants.

Image by Olga Drach | Unsplash

Touch deprivation in the modern world

For millennia, our ancestors were fully embodied in the world; bare feet on the earth, wind and rain on the face, gathering and harvesting food, communal sleeping and eating. However, these days, most of how we interact is with our fingers and hands: our phone, our keyboard, our coffee cup, our remote control.

Technology has undoubtedly brought countless benefits to our lives, enabling us to connect with others across vast distances. However, it has also inadvertently created a profoundly touch-deficient society. The joyous act of cuddling or holding hands, the deep connection formed by in-person gatherings, the physical sensation of printed books and newspapers, the immensely tactile hobbies of knitting, woodturning, and gardening — many of these embodied activities have been replaced by fingertip scrolling, mental stimulation, and virtual connections. As we become more engrossed in our digital lives, the subtle beauty of gentle touch has faded into obscurity.

What’s more, societal norms have gradually discouraged physical affection in public spaces*. In our (understandable) desire to protect ourselves and others from unwanted touch, we have inadvertently demonised all forms of tenderness, comfort, and intimacy. This physical isolation has left us starved for genuine human connection, trapped within emotionally sterile societies that lack the natural comfort and connectedness of touch.

Finally, as our lives have become more insulated and indoor, we have detached ourselves from nature and the elements. We are largely shielded from the sensual experiences that nature offers; the feel of grass beneath our feet, the caress of a warm breeze against our skin, or the tactile joy of gathering food from its natural source.

Is this increasing disconnection affecting our health and well-being? A lot of research indicates, yes. Increases in loneliness and isolation, depression and anxiety, and disconnection and mistrust could all be reversed if we learned to become more embodied, tactile, and willing to accept warm touch as a vital element of our daily lives.

*Touch deficiency is most prevalent in the UK and USA. In many cultures, such as in France and Latin America, interpersonal touch is still relatively prevalent.

I am making 2024 the Year of Living Deeper and, this month, I am delving into the importance of embodiment, healing touch, and tactile interaction.

Join me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for regular tools and tips and be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter as we dive deeper into the joys of embodiment.

Diving deeper into well-being in 2024

Let’s make this the Year of Living Deeper

Live Deeper in 2024

I have a pile of fascinating books next to my bed. Although I can’t seem to find the time to read them, I always find the time to scroll through social media or watch quirky YouTube videos. Sound familiar?

I have a list of beloved friends that I miss dearly and would love to connect with properly, but I never seem to have time for anything more than a quick message. How about you?

My attention span seems to be getting shorter, and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to read full-length news article, relying instead on summaries, social media threads, or TV segments to tell me what’s going on in the world. Does any of this resonate with you?

In the whirlwind of our modern lives, where the constant hum of technology and the pursuit of instant gratification often take centre stage, it’s easy to find ourselves living on the surface, disconnected from the richness and depth that life has to offer.

But here’s the thing: research consistently shows that our well-being flourishes when we infuse our lives with mindfulness, awe, savouring, curiosity, self-reflection, connection with nature, and meaningful social connections. Yet amidst the hustle and bustle of the modern world, many of us find ourselves caught in shallow living — our days filled with superficial interactions and disconnected moments.

In the coming 12 months, I have made a conscious choice to delve into the depths of life — to explore ways to enhance my experience and cultivate a profound sense of contentment and fulfillment. And I warmly invite you to join me on this transformative journey.

Throughout this year, we will be exploring many ways we can connect with life more deeply and thrive on a whole new level. Together we will unmask the illusion created by social media and technology — a world dominated by curated images and fleeting glimpses into others’ lives. We will seek genuine connections and meaningful relationships that go beyond the surface.

We will rediscover intrinsic values, shifting our focus from possessions and appearances to the deeper, more fulfilling aspects of life. We will reconnect through mindfulness and presence, embracing genuine conversations where the nuances of expression and the warmth of human connection unfold.

Stepping outside, feeling the elements on our skin, we will embrace the wonders of touch and embodiment. We’ll rediscover the joy of being truly connected with nature — of feeling the earth beneath our feet.

In a fast-paced world that often leaves little room for stillness and the savouring of life’s moments, let’s intentionally slow down. Let’s create spaces for mindfulness and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.

And let’s embark on a journey within — cultivating self-reflection, shedding light on our biases, and embracing the transformative power of self-discovery.

But it doesn’t stop there. In 2024, we will deepen our binds within our communities. Acts of kindness, shared experiences, and collective growth will be the building blocks of a more interconnected world.

We’ll rekindle the spiritual flame — the connection with something greater than ourselves. As some regions move away from religious or spiritual connections, they risk losing the profound well-being benefits of faith-based communities. Together, we’ll explore and embrace these connections.

In a world where instant gratification often takes precedence over depth, let’s shift our focus towards deeply fulfilling achievements nurtured through patience, meaningful action, and long-term effort.

And most importantly — let’s celebrate knowledge! In an age of summaries and shallow information overload, let’s find joy in diving deep into books, articles, and inspirational topics — an exploration that leads to true expertise in various subjects.

As we step into this new year together, let’s make a collective commitment to live deeper lives — to embrace mindfulness, foster genuine connections with ourselves and others around us — and savour the profound richness each moment has to offer.

Join me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for regular tips throughout the month. And be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter as we embark on this transformative journey together.

Together, let’s make 2024 the Year of Living Deeper — a year filled with meaning, purpose, and a profound sense of well-being.

Know someone who could benefit from a deeper connection with life? Please share this article with them.

The meaning of a purposeful life

Purpose is more important than you may realise

In our busy lives filled with responsibilities, desires, and commitments, it’s helpful for us to reflect on what it means to create — not just a life — but a life lived fully, and purposefully.

In the first week of January 2000, coroners across the western world began to notice a strange trend — from London to New York, the death rate for that particular week was 50% — 60% higher than usual. After some investigation, it was determined that the strange statistics arose out of a determination to stay alive.

Specifically, across the world, people on their deathbed had willed themselves to live to see the dawning of the new millennium.

In the years since that astounding display of purposeful living, researchers have discovered that a sense of meaning is, indeed, a powerful tool for greater health, well-being, and longevity. As well as compelling us to live longer lives, injecting meaning into our days can have profound benefits on our overall health, well-being, and happiness.

What is purpose … and why does it matter?

Living with purpose means rising above “just going through the motions”; it’s about infusing meaning into our actions and personal goals and seeking out activities that are filled with personal significance.

When we do this — when we make meaning a priority — the benefits extend far beyond the immediate satisfaction of completing a task. In fact, purposeful living has been proven to boost life satisfaction and well-being in numerous ways:

· a heightened sense of identity

· increased social interaction

· improved physical and emotional well-being

· improved self-expression

· increased confidence

· higher levels of life satisfaction; enables “thriving”

· longer life

Image: Melissa Askew | Unsplash

Unlocking the Keys to Purposeful Living

Some of you will understand the incredible sense of engagement, vitality and joy that comes from engaging in truly meaningful lives. However, for those of you who may be seeking a more purposeful life, there are two important factors to understand.

Firstly, aligning your actions with your core values is key to unlocking a life rich in purpose. Understanding what truly matters to you and living in alignment with these values leads you towards activities that resonate with you at a profound level. This alignment not only boosts your energy and engagement but also brings a profound sense of fulfilment.

Additionally, the pursuit of intrinsic rewards, those that come from within, holds more power for your happiness and well-being than external validation. Rather than chasing goals solely for recognition, wealth, or external validation, it’s more powerful to focus on the intrinsic joy derived from living authentically and with a sense of personal satisfaction, healthy pride, and inner growth.

“Your purpose will always energize and inspire you”

Tips for Cultivating Purpose in Your Life

Struggling to find what’s most meaningful for you? Here are some simple tools that can help you recognise where purpose may lie:

Know Your Values: Take a moment to identify and embrace your core values, letting them guide your journey towards purpose.

Embrace the Feeling: Shift your focus from how tasks look to how they make you feel. Prioritize engagements that resonate with you authentically.

Align with Your Strengths: Seek opportunities that align with your values and allow you to express and nurture your unique strengths and talents.

Celebrate Your Uniqueness: Recognize that your most meaningful actions may not conform to external expectations. Embrace your uniqueness and let it shine.

Balance self with the needs of others: Altruism is a powerful tool for personal and social wellbeing so, if you tend to be self-focused, seek out ways to use meaningful actions and activities to lift and support others. If you are someone who constantly puts others before self or has trouble saying “no”, appreciate that your purpose will always energize and inspire you. If an activity leaves you emotionally or physically depleted, it is probable that your giving is not ‘purposeful’ but habitual.

Together, let’s make 2024 the Year of Living Deeper — a year filled with meaning, purpose, and a profound sense of well-being.

Join me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for regular tips throughout the month. And be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter as we embark on this transformative journey together.