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Keys to a Happy Life

Notes from the Neuro Café 4th August 2021 by Linda S.

Conor began the by asking what everyone had been doing. Most people were out and about, including taking the mobility scooter for a drive - just down the road - which involved meeting and talking to various people. It was noted that every time you go out on one of these scooters, you invariably meet and chat to people.

Do I know you?

Remembering whether you already know people you meet can be tricky; people may assume this is the result of neurological damage, but it may be an occupational hazard. For example, one participant, having been a medical doctor, with a 15-minute slot to see patients, got accustomed to seeing patients, interacting with them, then forgetting them and moving on to the next person.

As a language teacher you give away all sorts of personal information when you practise discussing family and daily lives with students; all forgotten by doctors and teachers once out of the hospital and classroom but apparently not by students and patients! It can be disconcerting to meet total strangers who seem to know you and all about you.

Some LEGS participants are not going out as much as usual; one look at grey skies and you may decide not to go out. But people who persisted and ventured out reported it was actually quite pleasant.

Some are not sleeping so well. Reminder we all need rest to regenerate the batteries.

Conor is busy in his new job and work is going well. The past few weeks have gone by fast and a new rotation is due in six months. COVID-19 hospitalised patients seem to be those who have not been fully vaccinated.

Action for Happiness

Conor showed us some slides which revealed useful suggestions to the keys to living a happy life. The slides can be found on the LEGS Members’ Area on

Action for Happiness is a movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society. Get the action for happiness app or find out more details about the 'Action for Happiness' movement on their website here.

Image: Action for happiness (

10 keys to happiness

  • Do things for others

  • Connect with people

  • Look after your body, be active, relax, rest

  • Live life mindfully, take time to smell the roses, live in the moment

  • Keep learning new things, lose yourself in what you love

  • Know what you are looking forward to, set goals

  • Find ways to bounce back from things you can’t change

  • Look for what’s good, focus on the good bits

  • Be comfortable with who you are

  • Be part of something bigger: the meaning of life is a meaningful life

Do a daily action for bigger change

Happiness is contagious!

Ripples of kindness - Psychologist Vanessa King describes ripples of kindness where doing good, and feeling good lights up the same part of brain as treating yourself.

Try to do things for others e.g make tea for someone else. The ripple effect begins at home, then spreads out to neighbours, towns, countries.

Positive feedback is beneficial. Do not let negative thoughts take over your mind.

What made us happy this week?

Little things can make you happy. Also why not ask someone you know how they are?

  • Taxi driver was kind and spoke using her name

  • People being kind and being invited out for coffee

  • Planning to see the V&A "Epic Iran" exhibition

  • Daily walk, greeting people on the walk

  • Gardening. Many have a passion for fruit growing, there is always something to do!

Gardening Update

Some LEGS participants seem to have green fingers - tomatoes are doing well. We have two red tomatoes and some green too. No sign of strawberries, but they might have been eaten by birds and squirrels. Others have plants not doing so well - do they need to feed them? Look at YouTube for helpful tips. Try magnesium or epsom salts or fertiliser? On inspection, perhaps thin them out, looks like too many plants in the container. Remove half of them and get a bigger pot.

You could always take one slice of a tomato and plant that, that way you get fewer seedlings.

The group noted that unlike previous efforts, there were no mushrooms growing in this container!

Chilli peppers mostly died…but watering one resurrected it from the dead. A suggestion: try and grow a curry plant which should be trouble-free.

The advice is don’t give up, there is always hope!


Finally we discussed the Olympics and favorite sports, which included relay swimming.

We are enjoying watching the new additions such as BMX bikes and skateboarding. We noted a 13 year-old won a medal and then wondered what we were doing age 13?

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