Breathing Therapist From Istanbul – On How To Live Your Expat Life To The Fullest
Helin is a breathing therapist from Istanbul. In this interview, she shares valuable information about how we can achieve happiness and fulfillment in a daily life. At the end of the interview, she also shares her tips for a better expat experience in Turkey, so make sure you read them, you’ll be happy you did. 🙂
Here is what she says about herself:
I am from Istanbul, Turkey. I studied Economics and now after 15 years since my graduation I started studying Psychology with a double major in Sociology. I have been working as a Breathing Therapist since 2014 which is a kind of therapy that changed my life in many positive ways. I am also a professional dance instructor and award-winning dancer in the oriental dance field. I speak 5 foreign languages at a very good level and have traveled to more than 40 countries. I love nature, yoga, philosophy and science.
As someone who is on the way of becoming a psychologist and as a breathing therapist what would be your piece of advice for achieving happiness, health and better life in general.
I can answer this question as a breathing therapist, rather than as a student of psychology. It is very important to have a goal in life and be productive. With my clients, we sometimes work on the issue of finding a goal since sometimes people say that they feel ” lost ” and do not know where to begin from or what to do.
Determining one’s interests and their dream is much more important than finding out what skills one has. I can give an example from myself. I have always heard since my very young teenage years that I look silly when I dance and that I should avoid doing it in front of people. However, I loved dancing. So, when I was 27, I started taking lessons. From the instructor’s face, I could see that there is not much hope for me but my soul and my body needed to dance so much that I did not give up. At the age of 34, I won the 3rd place at the Danish Open International Oriental Dance Competition in Copenhagen, Denmark. I also work as a professional dance instructor now and people say that they love watching me as well as learning from me.
I am trying to say that, if you love something really much, you can make it even if you were made to believe that you do not have any skills for that specific field. Having a dream, making a goal out of it and working towards it keeps one away from yielding in the disappointing challenges of life since one would then know which direction he/she is going.
Another very important tool to sustain happiness and easiness in life is to stay in the moment. I know that this is said everywhere. There is a plenty of books written about it too, which is fine. However, this can be achieved truly only via breathing therapy and nothing else. Conscious breathing keeps one in this very moment where there are no problems. Problems are always related with the memories of the past events or with the anxiety of future expectations both of which do not exist in this very moment. With the practice of breathing therapies, this vicious circle comes to an end, allowing one to feel freer.
Do you organize workshops for expats in English? If yes, where do you do it, how long do they last and do you believe it’s a good place for connecting with other expats in Turkey?
Every Tuesday, with other breathing therapist colleagues, we organize workshops which are followed by a full breathing session for the people to experience the magic of their own breath. Depending on the number of the participants, we hold these workshops either in the Anatolian Side at our office, or at a famous hotel in Dolapdere, Şişli. They last around 2,5 hours and it is a very fast way to feel close to each other because via a breathing session, you remember yourself, the virtue and beauty of being a human. The rise of these positive vibes makes everyone to communicate more with each other and on a heart to heart level, without any masks of the social life.
Is there something you would like to share with our fellow expats, some advice about how people can overcome obstacles in life that are put in front of them. Where should we put our focus to and how to train ourselves to be more optimistic and positive in general?
If we are to consider some big shocks of life, we should beware that sadness and anger also belong to life and they are among the basic emotions as claimed by the psychologists.
Lately, I have come across some authors and healing practitioners who spread the word that a life without sadness and anger is possible. I believe that ignorance will sooner or later result in the habit of denials which would then cause a major depression and likely psychological disorders. When life brings about obstacles, small or big, the first thing is to feel the emotions it brings about too.
After this stage, with a set up mind, it is crucial to look at it with all of its aspects and try to analyze what this thing has to say or to show to you. Does it ask you to change your path? Does it show you the next step you should take? Does it show you what you should take into your life or out of your life?
It is like a dance. But now your partner is the life itself and will ask you to move through a new direction and to grasp a new feeling, a new gesture. After this stage comes the time to take the steps forward to the new setting. We should understand that as long as we stay resistant to reality, we will not gain anything but will lose against it. We do not know the big picture. Something seeming like an evil obstacle right now may as well be the milestone of a more joyful and fulfilling life. This is what I have been experiencing with my clients and friends as well as it being the personal experience that I have gathered myself.
How people can find you?
Do you have some tips for expats in Turkey on how to live their expat life to the fullest?
I have never really lived in another city other than Istanbul longer than 3 months, however through all the travels I have made close expat friends I have in İstanbul, I believe I have some opinions of how it may be living as an expat in Turkey, in a culture that is very different than one’s own.
My suggestion to all the expats would be , to no surprise, to learn the language as much as possible , to have local friends or at least some acquaintance who knows good English as well, to learn about the culture and the history via unbiased sources in order to have a better empathy with the locals and the reasons of their behaviors which might seem totally nonsense as regards to one’s own customs.
Herewith I would like to underline the importance of that taking people as humans rather than races would be a more healthy way of thinking because cross-cultural studies also show that human behavior is what accounts on top of everything else. While living as an expat, having hobbies, learning new skills, traveling within the country to explore would all be beneficial to make the most out of the time spent in Turkey.
I believe that it is in one’s hands to make life more beautiful . Just choose it ! I am sending my friendly greetings to all expats who read this interview and wishing everyone joyful beginnings for 2019.