Mental Strength with Scandinavian Gurus

Author: Caroline Brandelius   Date Posted:6 September 2020 

Now more than ever, we need tools to stay calm and find strength throughout these difficult and uncertain times. But sometimes it can be hard to know what to focus on and what type of mental training is right for you. Here are some Nordic mental health gurus you can learn from. 

Yoga Girl, Rachel Brathen

She started an Instagram account doing all her amazing yoga poses from her home in Aruba and got millions of followers. Touring the world around doing yoga classes and inspiring people to a healthy and meaningful life, Swedish Rachel Brathen is one of the best to take wisdom from when it comes to mental health and practicing yoga. She has talked about how self-isolation can work as a spiritual boot camp. How we can take the time at home to just listen within. Acknowledge what we are feeling and just let us be, not work harder or come up with new amazing creative ideas. Self-isolating is a good time to reflect, look within and not run away from our inner thoughts and feelings. Rachel believes that every one of us needs to take time for meditation for a healthy mind. And she thinks people who don’t have time to do 20 minutes of meditation daily need to do it for an hour. The idea of not having time is just an illusion. 

Rachel has a podcast, Conversations from the Heart, where you can listen more to her philosophy around well-being and the light within. 

The engineer who became a Buddhist monk, Björn Natthiko Lindeblad

Björn left his busy engineer job in Sweden one day to become a Buddhist monk in Thailand. For seventeen years he lived as a monk in a monastery. After getting diagnosed with ASL (a nervous system disease) and one to five years left to live, he decided to go back home to Sweden. Today he is a famous public speaker and adviser when it comes to mental health and finding meaning in life. One of his tips is to not believe in everything you think. What we are thinking are just thoughts that will direct our feelings. If you have negative thoughts your mood goes down, if you have positive thoughts your mood goes up. It is all in your hands. And do not freak out of all your negative thoughts, they are just thoughts.  Here are Björn’s three tips for peace on mind:

1 Let Go

It is important to let go not just from material things but also from your thoughts and judgments. 

2 Face your fears

When you face your fears or dark sides they become less fearful.

3 Have trust

When everything feels hopeless and there is no light in the tunnel, have faith, even the hardest times will pass. 

Björn has written a lot of books and you can get guided meditation with him on Spotify, he is also a popular guest in podcasts, unfortunately most of his material is in Swedish but there are some in English versions too. 

Stay safe and look after yourself. 


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