We started the Free Hug Events after I was talking to a friend who said that she had attended a similar event in Sydney and she was feeling on such a high from it. I thought it could work here in Wellington.
It was very easy to get a group of volunteers together and our first Hug event was such a HUGE success!
We gave out approximately 1500+ hugs over a 2 hour period.
It was Heart Opening, Inspiring, Joyful, Powerful, Loving, Epic, Amazing... Words truly don't do it justice.
We are doing this to raise mental and emotional health awareness. Hugs are a primary love language and need of this 'physical touch' is often not being met, either in personal relationships or at work. This was highlighted by the amount of people we gave hugs to.
We are running monthly events up until Christmas here in Wellington and are also doing one in Auckland on Sunday 24th November. If you are keen to join us a a volunteer please get in touch.
It's September and the world is talking about Mental Health Awareness - bringing this once taboo subject into the light.
In New Zealand, we have some of the highest self harm and suicide rates in the world. Most recently our beloved ex-TVNZ presenter, Greg Boyed, chose to end his life, just one of the 600 New Zealanders who decided to end their lives in the last 12 months.
It's a sobering thought that our annual suicide rate is twice our annual road death toll. You could well ask "Where are the suicide prevention sign posts, the check points, and the safety belts to make our mental health road trips safer?"
If suicide, attempted or merely contemplated, is the ultimate declaration of unhappiness, then surely it follows that it may have started with a much smaller level of mental dis-ease and discomfort.
Each and every one of us is privately engaged in an ever changing conversation with our inner voice(s), feelings, desires, and thoughts. In fact, formal studies suggest that we have 60,000 - 70,000 thoughts per day, and over 90% of these are similar to the thoughts we had the day before!
We each are constantly, both consciously and unconsciously, comparing our internal mental model to what we perceive to be the real world. When we each detect a discrepancy between what we want and what we have or expect to have, we make the mental choice to accept, deny, or do something about it - and we are each happy or unhappy as a consequence. Unchecked, thousands of discordant thoughts can lead to repeated, self-reinforcing and ultimately destructive feelings.
Fortunately, backed by numerous repeatable scientific studies, proven techniques and tools exist to establish and maintain a healthy, resilient mental state, in the face of the challenges, and the highs and lows that life brings. These approaches can be tailored by each of us, on the basis of what we experience and learn about ourselves, and allow us each to intervene if necessary to adjust the path of self-reinforcing behaviours.
When we each learn to acknowledge and our negative emotions and understand our beliefs around them, we can use proven techniques to build positive feelings and make more coherent and positive choices. We don't need to sacrifice honesty, vulnerability, or privacy to do so.
So, I would like to ask you - Are you or your co-workers experiencing:
My expertise is in supporting people like you, on an individual or group basis, to achieve more and feel better doing so, in and outside of work.
I do so with proven tools and techniques, which you utilise to get to the next level in terms of self-confidence, happiness, and achievement, on a supportive, confidential basis.
Get in touch today for more information!
email@example.com call 044995732 or 02102625148
Nicole Wijngaarden, Relationship | Mental Health & Wellbeing Coach Wellington, New Zealand