Mental Health and Magic Mushrooms

This year has presented myself and my family with unprecedented challenges due to a tragic loss. For me to navigate this, I’ve chosen to be pro-active at finding and using three mental health supports available to me. I’m sharing this for you to consider how you might support yourself or a loved one in a time of need.

#1. I hired a coach who is guiding me towards and through my first medicine journey. I work as a coach myself, and am so grateful to have found a coach who can support me at this time. If you’ve never worked with a coach and would like to try, reply to this message and let’s talk.

#2. I started regular counselling with an excellent counsellor who I found through the Calgary Counseling Centre. Early this year, this organization received funding from the Alberta government to offer, “Effective and affordable counselling for all Albertans.” I highly recommend exploring their services – available on a sliding scale – if you, or someone you know would like mental health support at this time.

#3. Finally, I decided to try micro-dosing magic mushrooms or psilocybin for the first time. What I’m finding from consuming a 1/8 gram of this medicine every other day is a greater sense of groundedness, more certainty around the decisions I make, and an overall generally greater sense of well-being. People can take a smaller or larger dose and still be considered a “micro-dose” and this amount has been almost entirely sub-perceptual for me. If you are curious about the incredible healing powers of these so-called, “magic mushrooms”, look up the documentary called, “Fantastic Fungi” which is currently available on Netflix. For a very scientific explanation of how mushrooms could save the world, watch this TED Talk by Paul Stamets.

Alberta will be the first province in Canada to partially legalize the medical use of such substances in January 2023.

The combination of these three types of support have lifted me out of deep uncertainty and moments of hopelessness to a place of positivity and optimism in a relatively short period of time.

I see the way the that the mycelium network supports soil health and nutrient distribution in the earth relates to how we as people need a network to survive as social animals. It is profoundly important to nourish and care for our social connections for our own mental health. Connecting with new people is another way to be supported in this way.

Of course, none of what I have shared above is prescriptive. This is all just my own experience. We should always speak with a mental health professional before making any decision about how to better take care of ourselves.

I encourage you to consider what options might be readily available to you at a time when you need support for your mental health.

“Stranger Encounters” is a segment on how I met someone  new recently. Take what you like from my experience to learn how to meet people, in real life. 

July 20th, 2022 at Mt. Nelson Athletic Park, Invermere, BC

On this  morning in Invermere, British Columbia, I met David, his wife Jennie, and their children in the park pictured above. I enjoyed watching the family play a game of Ultimate Frisbee while having my morning coffee on a park bench. It was fun to witness this family play together and to hear the parents competitive sides come out. I used to play Ultimate Frisbee so that was the excuse that I used to say hello to them.

I approached them by saying, “Hello. I just wanted to say that I enjoyed seeing you play Ultimate Frisbee because I used to play Ultimate.”

Notice how I didn’t sit and try to scheme something clever to say, but rather, I pretty much just explained what I observed as my ice-breaker. I did consider that they might not want to hear from me – a total stranger – but I know from experience and from the research that I likely wouldn’t get rejected.

And this lead into a really enjoyable conversation.

They shared how as parents they are happy to play two-on-two Ultimate with two of their three children.

We also talked about van-camping as my partner and I had slept in our camperized van on a random street the night before. Their family is considering doing so in the future as well so David in particular had lots of questions for me. On this subject, we had what I call an “Information Gift-Exchange”. You can read about this concept in the Talk2MorePeople book.

I gave David a Talk2MorePeople sticker that has my contact information on the back. He told me a story about how he met one of his best friends eight years ago while walking with his young daughter. In that instance he invited the stranger over to his house for a barbeque and they have become lifelong friends.

Often when I meet new people, I invite them to remain in contact with me by giving them a sticker. When I do this, it’s always so enjoyable to hear how often people share their stories with me about how meeting a stranger once changed their lives.

I’m grateful for this enjoyable conversation and to have met them. It brightened up my already sunny morning. You can use your simple observations to connect with new people and you may very well be surprised just how well those conversations can go.

This Start Stop Challenge just might change your life.

While doing an online yoga class for the first time in weeks yesterday, I got an idea. As I’ve benefited greatly from doing 30-day challenges in the past, I thought, “Why not do a healthy 30 day challenge in January?” Of course as January has 31 days, let’s call it a 31 day challenge. “I’ll do a yoga class every day for the month” I thought, but I know that I can do more than that.

Research proves that having someone to keep you accountable greatly increases the likelihood that you’ll reach your goal so I’m looking for people to keep me accountable. Will you be one of them?

Sign Me Up!

Click on the image below to fill out a short form and to enter the draw to win $250 by participating in the Start Stop Challenge.

 

 

What’s the Prize?

I’m offering you a chance to win $250 CAD by joining me on this self-improvement journey for 4 weeks. On January 31st, 2021, there will be a draw held between the people who have remained engaged with the challenge. That does not mean that you need to complete your challenge perfectly to qualify. Rather, you only need to show that you you are working on it by attending one or more zoom meetings with me in January, by emailing in your progress or by indicating your actions on Instagram. I will pay out this prize only if I have at least 10 participants for this challenge, so if you know of anyone else who would be interested to join, please forward them this LINK to this page.

What’s the Challenge?

To enter this draw, you only need to fill out a simple form letting me know at least one healthy habit that you are going to start doing (that you will do every day, daily) and at least one thing that you are going to stop doing (and not do for a single day) in January 2022. You don’t need to get your Start Stop Challenge perfect, but will need to remain engaged to qualify for the draw on January 31st. After filling out the form, you will receive an email from Tony with further details.

The deadline to enter is midnight MDT on Sunday evening, January 2nd.

I’ll start my challenge on the first but know that some people will benefit from the extra two days to get started. This short video below explains the concept.

Why is there a prize for participation?

1. I genuinely want other people to play towards their own self-improvement goals with me, and a little incentive can make the difference between thinking, “Oh, yeah, that sounds interesting” to “Heck, I’ll sign up now!”

2. I do good work in the world as a virtual event producer and a Solution-Focused coach. Since I left Facebook at the end of August, 2021, I’ve been on social media much less. This has been great for me and I’m ready to have fun with a new project. I know that this project has the potential to help many people and can also put the spotlight on the good work that I do. 

3. I love a good challenge.

What I will START and STOP

You only need to commit to one “start” and one “stop”, but you can do more if you like. Below is what I’m committing to for January 2022.

START:

Yoga every day. I recommend this YouTube yoga instructor named, “Kasandra”. I’ll take her “Morning Yoga Movment 30-day challenge“.  These classes are all around 10 minutes long.

Green smoothie every day. I like the recipe created in “Wildfit” called the “Alkagizer”. Blend up 1/2 avocado with 1 piece of celery, about 3 inches of cucumber and your choice of greens. Yummy!

Outdoor movement every day. I’ll go for a walk or get some kind of exercise every day in January. If you fancy a day on the slopes, reach out to me as I’ve got a season pass at Lake Louise and go often.

Daily Journalling. I’ll write a list of things that I’m grateful for every morning and also set an intention every day this month in my writing process.

STOP:

No caffeine. I’ll take a break from my love of coffee and also not drink tea in January 2022.

No alcohol. I’ll do a “Dry January” and won’t take even a sip of a pint or a tasty cocktail this month. January is always a great time to give my body a break from alcohol. Sometimes it lasts for several months and I find that my energy is much better without it.

By participating in this challenge, you will be invited to some optional free events on Zoom to connect with other people taking the challenge, you may be offered a complimentary coaching session and you will almost certainly have fun.

How about you? What could you accomplish next month?

So don’t hesitate, take 3 minutes, register and help me and help yourself get the new year off to a great start!

Tony Esteves is a virtual event producer and facilitator at Neole Inc, a solution focused coach and a circus performer. Tony is also the author of the book, “Talk2MorePeople: Change Your Life by Meeting people.” He is passionate about spending time in the mountains and creating human connection. He also owns a mirror suit. To connect on LinkedIn or to find Tony in other digital spaces, click HERE

You need to change your life by meeting people.

More than 75 years of research indicates that good quality personal relationships are essential for your mental and physical health and can indicate how healthy you will be later in life. These high quality social relationships in mid-life are predictors of how healthy you will be later on. But this fact often gets overlooked in our ongoing pursuit of happiness.

Photo by Anthony DeLorenzo

My personal experience from a journey of intentionally meeting a new person every day for a full year absolutely changed my life. It helped me get out of depression, helped me build self-confidence and introduced me to my partner. Unlike the photo of me above from 2008, meeting new people had me head-over-heels in love with life and the daily pursuit of a meaningful goal.

Today I’ll share a short story – a recent, true story – of how meeting a stranger changed my life and explain why you need to change your life by meeting people too.

When Opportunity Knocks

Having recently left the big city for the small town of Canmore, Alberta we knew no-one here. Not a soul. On the third day in Canmore, there was a knock on the door. It was a man who I’d never met before, David. He was here to see if a remote control that he had forgotten was still in the apartment. It was. David was the tenant who lived in our apartment just before us. 

I invited him inside and we talked for about a half an hour. Quickly we learned that we both have an appreciation for nature and for outdoor activities. He told me that last summer he cycled from Canmore to Banff more than 70 times and I mentioned that I really wanted to get a mountain bike. We agreed to go hiking together sometime and to keep in touch. I thought,

“Bonus! My first friend in this new town.”

Sometimes opportunity literally comes knocking at the door.

We exchanged phone numbers and have kept in touch. We have since gone hiking together. 

Here’s how David – a total stranger – unknowingly changed my life. 

On September 18th, he kindly sent me this photo of Ultimate Sports in Banff. As I had told him that I was in the market for a new bike, he pointed out to me that rental shops in Canmore and Banff often sell off their inventory at the end or the beginning of their seasons to make room for new equipment. As the bikes are used, they can sell for a good price, and they typically sell quickly. 

That same day, we zipped up the road to Banff to see if we could score a deal. They didn’t have my size, but two weeks later (after a number of follow up calls), they did, and my partner and I each bought new (to us)/ used mountain bikes for just under $500 each. 

This was so impactful for me because I had been feeling overwhelm at the idea of shopping for a bike in this bike-Mecca that is Canmore. So many questions were going through my head:

“Do I go for single suspension or dual suspension right away?

“How much will I actually use this thing as it’s going to start snowing soon?” 

“How much should I spend on this new hobby at this time?”

Questions like this have held me back from starting to participate in a sport or activity that I’ve wanted to join in the past. It had been paralysis by analysis instead of just getting started doing the thing. 

But David’s recommendation to check out the deals at the rental shop cleared away that confusion in one fell swoop. This was an answer that would suitably get me into the sport and for a good price. We each purchased an Aspect 960 for just under $500. Between the two of us, doing so saved us several hundred dollars on entry level bikes – which is what we need at this time. 

Sometimes you just need a little nudge to try something new. And that nudge can come from a stranger. 

We have since been cycling often and it’s been exhilarating. I’m starting cautiously as my first experience on a fat-bake up in the Yukon ended with a few bruises. Interestingly, that visit followed a spontaneous bike trip across Canada with a stranger, but that’s a story for another day.

Why is mountain biking so exhilarating?

  • it’s a new sport that I’ve now finally started to participate in
  • there are countless trails around my new home to explore at all levels of difficulty
  • it’s another way for me to exercise my body which is extremely important to me
  • I found my first bike by having a conversation with a stranger
  • my touring bike got stolen earlier this year and it’s great to get back in the saddle 
  • I have now felt the rush from winding down a narrow, winding trail in the mountains challenging my skill level
  • it is providing further opportunities for me to meet new people

So that’s how a conversation with a stranger recently changed my life. There’s a very good chance that I would not have gotten past my sense of overwhelm at purchasing a bike this season had I not met David and told him that I was in the market for a mountain bike. Never mind the excitement that I’ve listed above by starting to ride the trails, but consider the physical and mental benefits for me to have this athletic outlet now? As a coach and virtual event producer and facilitator at Neole Inc., I clock my fair share of hours online and welcome the physical activity outdoors.

It’s Time to Change Your Life by Meeting People

Of course, you may not have friendly strangers literally knocking at your door, but my wish is for you to witness just how much good can come from at least being open to connecting with new people. I believe that it is essential for each of us to be open to these opportunities. They create moments of human connection and ripple effects of positivity. 

What might you learn through your next conversation with a stranger?

How might you help a person out with your broad life, or business experience and make someone’s day? This is how friendships and meaningful relationships begin and as mentioned at the beginning of this article, those very relationships can actually extend your life. If you’d like to take a deeper look into the science behind that, do an internet search for the term, “Polyvagal Theory” and see what you learn.

I will be forever grateful to David for sharing his local knowledge so willingly and for helping my partner and I get into this amazing sport and more into the culture of this beautiful mountain town. I’ll see you on the trail!

If you would like to explore how you too can change your life by meeting people, book a complimentary 30-minute call with me and we will explore this together. As a Solution-Focused coach, I am sure that we will have an interesting and productive conversation.

Happy connecting.

Tony Esteves is a virtual event producer and facilitator at Neole Inc, a solution focused coach and a circus performer. Tony is also the author of the book, “Talk2MorePeople: Change Your Life by Meeting people.” He is passionate about spending time in the mountains and creating human connection.

A quick tip on how to meet new people

Learning how to meet new people can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to. You can use your interests to meet new people. In this short video, I explain how you can do this too.

To read more detail about this technique, pick up the Talk2MorePeople Book.

It truly is worthwhile to use your interests to connect with people. Be courageous and dare to strike up a conversation with someone and you will likely be rewarded for doing so. The research proves that you are more likely to be liked than you expect so why not give it a try?

I met these people at Coastal Coffee near Lochalsh, Ontario. (which is close to Amberly and Kincardine, Ontario). I highly recommend their coffee and how they’ve made use of the old church is fantastic. Head in on a Friday or a Saturday and have a chat with Ben, Ben or Bri. They’ve got a really interesting story.

This enjoyable conversation with three strangers in this video was born because it was clear that they were cyclists. Having this in common with these people (the cycling) it was easy to strike up a conversation. You can do this too!

Don’t overthink it

Far too often we overthink our way out of taking small risks in life – like approaching a person we’ve never met before. But as most people don’t want to live with regrets, at some point, you’ve got to take some small risks.

Give the spontaneous side of you a chance to express itself so the next time you think about saying something to someone – which may come very naturally to you as you use your own interests to come up with what to say – just speak up!

Doing this regularly can change your life for the better.

If you would like to learn how to change your life by meeting people, check out The Human Connection Adventure – a course on how to do just that which starts in September, 2021.

Tony Esteves is an international facilitator, coach and circus performer who is passionate about creating human connection. He holds a B.A. in Communication Studies, intentionally meets new people regularly and loves to play and improvise. Tony is based in Canmore, Canada. 

He is the author of the book, Talk2MorePeople: Change Your Life by Meeting People which is based on how he once met a stranger every day for a year. This book teaches the benefits of meeting people and how you can do it too.

He shares the mental health benefits of connecting with people in his workshops, presentations and one-on-one coaching.

This past weekend in Toronto I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend a “Pop-up-Playground”. This is a place were adults can play together in a safe, inclusive environment. I highly recommend that you take a look at the great work that Reset is doing to help the city of Toronto with their social recovery. In this video, I share a little bit about what the experience of the pop-up-playground was like for me last weekend.

Just Play!

The event was fantastic and expertly facilitated. I don’t want to spoil the surprise of what to expect, but I’ll just say that it was a multi-sensory experience that has left a lasting positive impression. These events are happening until September so get out there and just play.

What is Reset?

Reset is a non profit social enterprise with a mission to create inclusive spaces for adults to play together. Learn more about Reset on their ultra-playful and colourful website, HERE.

International facilitator, virtual event producer and Solution-Focused coach Tony Esteves is passionate about creating human connection. He is the author of “Talk2MorePeople: Change Your Life by Meeting People” and holds a B.A. in Communication Studies. When not facilitating live, or managing virtual events, Tony can be found hiking in the Rocky Mountains west of Calgary or performing in the circus. He is leading a program on how to change your life by meeting new people called, “The Human Connection Adventure” starting in September, 2021.

Progress is a very important part of a solution-focused coaching conversation. It’s an even more important part of living a happy life. 

It is easy to get caught up in a busy life and to overlook the progress we’ve made towards our goals while life moves forward. But not taking time to reflect on your own progress can be a costly mistake. We risk feeling stuck or living with the mistaken belief that there has been no progress at all.

How can I get past this?

To get past this, you only need to take a little time to measure where you are, against where you were. And the nice thing is that you get to set the parameters. I recommend looking six months or one year into the past for this exercise, and that you measure something that is important to you. Doing so most often leads to discoveries that real progress has been made. 

For example

Here is personal example of mine. One year ago today, I was in the middle of what would turn out to be an 8-month process of editing my Talk2MorePeople book with my editor. It took much longer than I expected and at that time, I still wondered if I would ever publish the book. 

But six months ago today, on January 21, 2021 I did indeed publish that book! And now it has sold 246 copies in 10 countries. As the author, with this accomplishment I have the option to view the cup as half empty or half full. I can lament that I’ve only sold 246 copies because I set a goal to sell 1000 copies in my first year. But I also have the choice to enthusiastically celebrate that I’ve sold 246 copies which far exceeds the statistical average of less than 100 copies from %90 of indie authors. Furthermore, the book has a perfect 5 star rating on Amazon worldwide. 

I have made the choice to celebrate this progress which is why I’m writing today. Here are the main these three reasons that I’ve made this choice:

  1. I am genuinely proud of this accomplishment. I have learned that it is far more important to take time to celebrate accomplishments rather than to continuously seek new challenges to “level up”. Happiness is an inside job.

  2. I know that acknowledging progress is something that I used to struggle with, and doing so just makes me feel positive. I know and believe that I deserve to feel good, and so do you. I get to share this positivity with those around me and with the clients who I am fortunate to work with. Doing so creates a virtuous cycle.

  3. Taking time to remember how I felt “back then” really helps put into perspective just how far I’ve come. It pays to slow down and to think about this from time to time.

So what progress have you been overlooking? It might be helpful to have a friend or a coach ask you this question as it can be easier to view someone else’s accomplishments as more significant than our own. Sometimes we are blinded by our own perspective. 

In case you are curios the book has landed in Canada, the USA, UK, Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, South Africa and Australia thus far. In case you are really, really curious, take a moment to view another project that I am making progress on. It’s a course that I’ll lead starting in September and it’s called, The Human Connection Adventure.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Now, what progress do you deserve to celebrate today?

International facilitator, virtual event producer and Solution-Focused coach Tony Esteves is passionate about creating human connection. He is the author of “Talk2MorePeople: Change Your Life by Meeting People” and holds a B.A. in Communication Studies. When not facilitating live, or managing virtual events, Tony can be found hiking in the Rocky Mountains west of Calgary or performing in the circus.

Not magic, but still magical

No, I wasn’t picking magic mushrooms. Yes, I have enjoyed magic mushrooms, many times. 

When I read the headline above, it makes me curious. “What type of mushrooms is he talking about?”

So I’ll apologize in advance if I let you down that this article is not about magic mushrooms in search of psilocybin, or the profound insights you can experience while under their influence, or the laughter, or the mental health benefits when used appropriately. Rather this article is about lessons from picking mushrooms. But this was still a magical experience.

Random is a good option

My most random friend, and contributor to the Talk2MorePeople book, Rob Gregory suggested that we go. He provided us with GPS co-ordinates, we had the weekend open and we said, “Yes.”

We had heard tales of how you can earn hundreds of dollars per day harvesting these rare mushrooms that only grow in recent forest fire locations. Rob sent us GPS coordinates and we headed to BC from Alberta. We weren’t motivated by the potential of making big bucks (although that would have been welcome) but instead were interested to try this because of the element of adventure. It just sounded like such a cool, random thing to try.

But it wasn’t until we were out of range of reception and still trying to find the location when we realized that we didn’t even know what a morel mushroom looked like! We though, “Hmm. Probably should have Googled that one before heading out.” We actually knew nothing about mushroom picking besides the fact that you can pick them in old “burns” and sell them to buyers who camp in the area. 

After a couple of turns up the wrong roads, we found a buyer in a tent marked – very helpfully – “Mushroom Buyer” who happily gave us a tutorial on the spot. His name was Bruce. He showed us examples of the mushrooms and even lent us a handy bucket to gather with. A colleague of his with wild eyes and a big smile just encouraged us to get out there and to “look for them with our ears.” He explained that when you walk on thick pine needles, you can hear this crunching and the mushrooms are often there. 

And so that’s what we did. We just headed up into the bush, parked the van and went searching. 

Hiking aimlessly int “the burn”, (which really was a very ashy forest floor with blackened trees everywhere) might not seem like your idea of a good time, but we had a blast. 

It took less than 15 minutes to find the first mushroom. 

When Renee found it, I felt like we had just won a prize! It reminded me of the shot of dopamine we receive from a social media interaction. That very thing is one of the reasons why I’m scaling back on my social media use with plans to get off it completely. But this was all a completely natural fix. 

Every single person we met while out there was kind and friendly.

I was so grateful for the experience as I had just completed a very busy 10 days of work co-facilitating or supporting virtual events with NeOle.ca and I was ready to get off the screens. 

We learned that the price of mushrooms fluctuates dramatically. Just a couple of weeks prior, you could sell your mushrooms for $22 / lb. On this day, they were going for $13. 

We were told that we did pretty well for our first day, but I can’t help but think that they were just being kind to us. We brought in 2.3 lbs for a profit of $35. While it’s satisfying to earn a little cash while basically on a hike, we were out there searching that day for 4 hours!

But it was fun, so we did it again the following day. We harvested almost exactly the same quantity the next day but in just over half the time. Someone had told us to “go up”. and we did. While we improved the second day, it was still not profitable as we learned that there were over 200 pickers in the area due to the lack of burn sites from forest fires last year. 

To sum it up

We camped for free on Crown Land (which you can do in many places across Canada) and the lightening storm that I witnessed in those stunning mountainous surroundings was astonishing. Check out wikicamps.co if you’d like to learn where to camp for free or for a fee in 5 countries including Canada. We cooked meals out of the back of the van surrounded by mountains and never saw the bear that a family warned us was near where we were camping. We relaxed, laughed and got exercise in a beautiful setting. It was fantastic. 

In total we earned a whopping $68 from the mushroom buyers which pretty much covered our gas and I learned some helpful lessons.

The lessons from picking mushrooms

Lesson #1. You don’t have to know everything (or sometimes much of anything) to be successful trying something new. You can learn a skill quickly by just doing it and this also applies to meeting new people. 

Lesson #2. Trying something new can be very enjoyable and satisfying. I suspected that I would enjoy this experience as I am a hiking enthusiast, but I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much.

Lesson #3. People are friendly and happy to help, so ask for help. 

Lesson# 4. You don’t know if you don’t like experiences that you’ve never had. So go collect life experiences to find out what you like to do. I will absolutely do this again.

I’ll save the lessons I’ve learned from the other type of mushrooms for another story. For now, my wish is that you will consider trying something new as a method to connect you to the earth and / or to other people. And if you’d like to learn more about connecting with other people, check out “The Human Connection Adventure” which is a course that I’m leading beginning this September. 

Stay connected and stay active!

International facilitator, virtual event producer and Solution-Focused coach Tony Esteves is passionate about creating human connection. He is the author of “Talk2MorePeople: Change Your Life by Meeting People” and holds a B.A. in Communication Studies. When not facilitating live, or managing virtual events, Tony can be found hiking in the Rocky Mountains west of Calgary or performing in the circus.

Recently we met four lovely strangers and their two dogs at the top of Ha Ling Peak in Canmore, Alberta. It was yet another reminder of how nice it is to talk to people and how easily you can create connections while in nature. If you are feeling excess stress these days, take more time to be in nature. It just might change your life!

And if you would like a real adventure, join the upcoming, “Human Connection Adventure” that will be facilitated by Tony Esteves. This 8-week course (facilitated live over Zoom) will:

  • teach you how to meet people (based on the Talk2MorePeople book)

  • help you build self-confidence

  • get you clear on what to do next with your life

Email Tony(at)Talk2MorePeople.com for the details and for more information.

 

Tony Esteves is an international facilitator, coach and circus performer who is passionate about creating human connection. He holds a B.A. in Communication Studies, intentionally meets new people regularly and loves to play and improvise. Tony lives in Calgary, Canada.

He is the author of the book, “Talk2MorePeople: Change Your Life by Meeting People” which is based on how he once met a stranger every day for a year. This book teaches the benefits of meeting people and how you can do it too.

He shares the mental health benefits of connecting with people in his workshops, presentations and with one-on-one coaching.

What does the research say?

I’ve got more anecdotal evidence than I have time to write about when it comes to the incredible benefits of meeting strangers. It’s changed my life. Here is an opportunity to learn from the research on talking to strangers.

I reference a number of studies in the Talk2MorePeople Book in particular by researcher, Dr. Gillian Sandstrom on talking to strangers. She is a senior lecturer at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom.

I had the good fortune of participating in a study of hers in 2020 when she invited strangers to meet over Zoom. In this short Science Weekly podcast episode by the Guardian, she speaks about the findings from that study. It’s a really informative podcast and they used my voice in it very briefly as well.

A quick tip?

Use your curiosity to connect with people. Be courageous and dare to strike up a conversation with someone. The research proves that you are more likely to be liked than you expect.

Have a listen to this podcast to discover things that you didn’t know about the research on talking to strangers and the psychology behind it. Take a look at Dr. Sandstrom’s extensive work on this subject on her website. You never know, this might just make you a little more open to connecting with people who you don’t yet know. Go ahead, change your life!

Tony Esteves is an international facilitator, coach and circus performer who is passionate about creating human connection. He holds a B.A. in Communication Studies, intentionally meets new people regularly and loves to play and improvise. Tony is based in Calgary, Canada. 

He is the author of the book, “Talk2MorePeople: Change Your Life by Meeting People” which is based on how he once met a stranger every day for a year. This book teaches the benefits of meeting people and how you can do it too.

He shares the mental health benefits of connecting with people in his workshops, presentations and one-on-one coaching.