“Only love can give our souls peace” is the life motto for Egyptian prominent relationship author Ghada Karim that she wrote in the conclusion of her book “The Catalogue of Love”. Karim has written 6 bestselling self-help books in which she shares first and second-hand experiences and practical tips with focus on women’s mental health, family, well-being and challenges.
Karim gives her advice to readers sending their issues to the problem page of Egyptian magazine Nos El Donia or Half The World. Moreover, she communicates actively with her 600,000 followers on social media and was among well-known authors and guests attending the Sharjah International Book Fair recently. Gulf Today sat with Karim and talked about her views on love, marriage, and happiness.
How did you start your writing career?
I graduated from the Faculty of Science in 2004. I studied Biochemistry ranked second in my batch and outstanding student. After graduation, I started working in prominent organisations related to my specialisation.
Then I started my own project in making candles, it achieved a huge success, I became famous and was hosted on a popular TV programme. Many journalists started to follow my account on social media and see my writings. Later, I was approached by editor-in-chief of digital version of Rose al-Yūsuf (a Cairo-based magazine) to write a weekly article. My first articles achieved big success and were “most read” on the magazine’s online page. Then I started to learn writing as a profession through reading. I collected all the articles I wrote for years in my first book “7 signs of Love”, the rest is history.
Explain your famous words “Only love can give our souls peace”?
It’s the last words in my third book “The Catalogue of Love” and I so much believe in it. And later I explained that “love” does not mean only romantic love. Love here is all types of love, name it passion, family, friends and most importantly there is self-love, which we mostly forget. For a woman to be psychologically balanced she must have 3 pillars in her life that she divides her time and priorities between.
The first pillar is family, including husband, kids, family, friends…etc. The second pillar is work including work, passion and hobbies and the third pillar is metime or what I do to boost my mental health for example. listen to my favourite music, or drink my favourite flavoured tea. Self-care and self-love is very important, it’s the way you keep your cup of happiness full so you can give some to others you care about.
Tell me about the challenge of 100 days of happiness you give in your workshops? And how can one find happiness?
Happiness is a decision when you change the way you look at things around. We all have blessings all the time even if you go through hardship or trauma, remember that things will not stay the same forever. Time will pass and things will change this is the law of nature, change is the only constant in life.
For the challenge of 100 days of happiness, I made it when I was writing my second book and found out amazing benefits that it changes one’s mindset. How it works is to practise gratitude, every day before you go to sleep. You write in a notebook things that made you happy on your day which include simple things like you made an accomplishment, someone said something nice to you, your son’s birthday…so on. After 3 weeks of practice your mindset will change to see positive sides in any situation.
If you feel nothing happened on your day, you do things that make you happy, for instance you can buy flowers to yourself, watch your favourite movie, read a good book.
How can someone deal with life issues, stress, sadness and take care of his or her mental health?
By resistance and effort, when life gives you sadness and depression you should do something good to yourself on the other side to keep the balance. Four hormones of happiness one can do to himself without external help. First one is Endorphins, it’s a natural painkiller and produced when you do exercise or watch something funny for 30 minutes. Second one Oxytocin is released when you hug someone you love, pet your dog/ cat.
Third one is Dopamine released after accomplishing a task. The fourth happiness hormone is Serotonin and it’s released when you get some sunshine, do meditation or go for a walk.
In your opinion why are divorce rates increasing in?
I think divorce rates are going up because most people are open to the culture of replacement, they don’t fight for their relationship. I advise them to grow love and all good things between them. The grass is not always greener on the other side. There is investment and effort we put in our relationship along with patience.
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