David and Stephen Flynn
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David and Stephen Flynn

The Happy Pear Podcast

Dave and Steve are on a mission to make fruit and veg sexy and this podcast is about inspiring you to be a happier, healthier version of yourself.

Each week, there will be great conversations which will give you practical takeaways to enable you to be at your best.

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Niall Breslin

Episode 9 – Niall Breslin (Bressie) on Mental Health and The Importance Of Perspective

This week’s episode is with the incredible Niall Breslin A.K.A Bressie.

What can we say about this man? We admire him so much.

You would be incredibly hard pressed to find something Niall hasn’t done in his lifetime. He is a bestselling author, podcaster, musician, philanthropist, and a former professional athlete. However, right now he is on a mission with regards to mental health.

Over the past decade, Niall has become one of Ireland’s most formidable and inspiring mental health advocates. He has undoubtedly been one of the spearheads of the mental health conversation in Ireland and bravely stepped up to speak on the issue years before it became a mainstream discussion.

Niall is also the founder and creative director of the mental health advocacy charity ‘A Lust for Life’, a multi-award winning movement that uses content, campaigns and events to facilitate young people to be effective guardians of their own mind. For more information on this, visit:  www.alustforlife.com

“Most people really struggle with just slowing their thoughts down. So, I always say ‘What’s your favourite song?”. If you close your eyes, and you can hear the creeks in the piano of the song and hear feet moving on the ground, all of the sudden, you are in that space. That’s meditation and that mindfulness.”

In this episode, Bressie talks us through his incredible journey through life thus far and how it has shaped his perspective on mental health and mindfulness today.

In his early years, Bressie was a massive sport enthusiast and ultimately worked tirelessly to get the opportunity to play rugby at an Elite level.  After sport, he ‘naturally’ moved into music and again, while he loved the industry, he knew he wasn’t coping with the stress and the pressure it put on him. Following a panic attack after a live TV appearance, he knew he needed to finally seek professional help for his issues.

Niall spoke so openly about his realisation of needing help. Unfortunately, given what is often the nature of seeking support with mental health issues, Niall struggled with reaching out, mostly out of fear of disappointing those closest to him. One of the most interesting insights from Niall was that he felt he couldn’t tell those closest to him about his struggles ‘out of fear they would have felt lied to for years’. Obviously, once he did open up, this wasn’t the case. In fact, the opposite was true.

Niall Breslin

Niall discussed how we all need to work through our emotions, no matter how hard they might be to deal with. Niall spoke about his 10-year journey with therapy, which is still ongoing today and spoke to us about the importance of attitude, choosing our perspective and understanding when suffering is inevitable and allowed.

We also shared a really frank conversation with Niall around emotional connection in our personal relationships and how we have failed and succeeded in this aspect of our lives. We talk about the importance of these close relationships and the further importance of true connection within them. We also spoke openly about the dangers of social media obsession and the challenges we have faced from our time in the spotlight.

Niall also brought us through the exciting emerging area of music therapy and how it is being used in mental health services in Ireland today. There are some amazing practical tips with this conversation around anchoring your attention that you can implement right away, so we highly recommend listening through.

Niall shared his 6 fundamental principles which he encourages people to follow when they begin their mindfulness and meditation journey:

  • Making it work for you.
  • Non-judgement and understand you are only beginning your journey.
  • Letting go of the idea you need to be ‘good at mindfulness’
  • Moving on from thoughts and focusing on the breath.
  • Being curious about the process.
  • Being compassionate to yourself.
  • Acceptance and meditation on the good, the bad and the ugly.

Niall is so honest in everything he talks about and we really found so much practical value in speaking with him. This episode is a fantastic listen and should have some great takeaways. We learnt so much and it was an honour to shed more light on this important topic.

Big love,

Dave & Steve

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