Chartered Psychologist and author Kimberley Wilson shares her thoughts on brain health and education on Happiful's podcast
Ahead of the release of How To Build A Healthy Brain, Psychologist, author and former Great British Bake Off finalist Kimberley Wilson joined Happiful’s podcast team to chat about brain and whole body mental health.
Kimberley has a long and varied career in psychology working both for the NHS in prisons as well as in private practice. Her speciality, she shares, is where food overlaps with psychology and her deep interest in this area was the catalyst for writing her upcoming book. The concept of brain health, Kimberley believes passionately, is one that we need to educate ourselves upon.
“This book is based on the observation that we all know a lot about taking care of our physical health. If I stopped somebody on the street and said; ‘How do you reduce your risk of heart disease?’ someone would say ‘You know, exercise, don't smoke, eat fruit and vegetables…’
“But if I said; ‘How do you look after your brain?’, I think most people would be pretty stumped. It's a bit strange because our biggest health risks are brain related.
“Dementia is the leading cause of death in the UK and women have twice the risk of men. So women should also really be listening to these sorts of ideas. For young people, after accidents, the leading cause of death is suicide, which of course is associated with depression.
“We also have a rise in mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, autistic spectrum disorders and behavioural disorders. There's a real crisis in brain health. Yet people don't think that there's anything they can do to help protect themselves.”
Kimberley is hopeful though and has the research to back up her cautious positivity. “Not making any wild promises but there are things that we can do. Evidence suggests we can start to practice and implement certain activities into our lives to help our future brains, protect mental health and reduce the risk of getting some of these conditions. And that's really the message I wanted to get out there.”
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MY DECADE || On the left are the books I have contributed to over the last decade. It’s really been such a privilege to be a part of these projects. And fun! On the right is my own book. It's a different thing to have my own name on the cover. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet that I will be starting the decade as an author. But it is very cool. Looking at the pile on the left I know it seems strange that I didn’t write a book on food. Truthfully, I would *love* to write a book on food, eating and psychology BUT I decided that, if I only have the chance to write one book in my life, this is a book that needs to be out there because despite mental health being such an important issue, in real terms it is very much neglected. Depression and dementia are leading causes of disability and death around the world, from the young to the elderly. The NHS website explains that ‘dementia is not an inevitable part of aging’ but there is nowhere near enough *practical* information for people on how to actually take care of their brains and reduce the risk of these devastating illnesses. So I've written #HowtoBuildaHealthyBrain to fill that gap. Taking my perspective of ‘Whole Body Mental Health’ I've covered all the bases from basic brain anatomy (like the IGTV videos I have been doing) to neuro-nutrition, breathing techniques, money, emotions and problem-solving. Because brain health and mental wellbeing are profoundly affected by what happens in the body and the environment, as well as how you think. And I want to empower you with the information you need to take better care of your brain.💕 ° ° So, not a food book (although nutrition is covered) but I’ll still be talking about it on here. And maybe if this one does well I will get the chance to write that one! Fingers crossed!🤞🏿 ° ° Thank you for all your support this year. I am, frankly, astounded by how many of you have stuck around for the ride (I feel like this account is very random 😂) but it’s lovely to have you here and I’m hoping we can, collectively, do a lot of good next year (and beyond!).🙏🏿 ° ° Wishing you a peaceful, prosperous and very Happy New Year, team. Xx. . . . . #10yearchallenge
Kimberley’s passion is clear and she's keen to spread her knowledge, not only through her book, but on her brilliant podcast Stronger Minds and events throughout the spring, including Live Well London. She’s looking forward to talking more about the subject that matters so much to her.
“You won't be able to shut me up for the next six months or so. I'm going to be basically talking to anyone I can find. I’ll be stopping people on the street and telling them to eat vegetables and go for a walk and look after their brains!”
Listen to Kimberley’s episode of I am. I have to hear more about brain and whole body mental health, the need for wellness to be inclusive and her time as a finalist on The Great British Bake Off.
Happiful are the Headline Media Partner for Live Well London, running from 28 February - 1 March at Old Billinsgate.
Live Well London are offering I am. I have listeners 15% off standard tickets, just use promo code Happy15 at the checkout.