How healthy is Daphne Feller?
by Eduard Schaepman, on 23 Jun 2021
Daphne Feller, brain expert, owner of BrainExplainers and author of the book 'Brain Heart Being' was born in The Hague and grew up in Naaldwijk. As a young girl she was adventurous and sporty, and after high school she decided to follow the same study as her brother. After a year of Commercial Economics at the HES in Rotterdam, she switched to P&O. In her final year, she got a great assignment at a beautiful company and moved to Amsterdam.
Daphne has always had the desire to help others. When her mother suffered a stroke when she was 15, and a difficult time followed for the whole family, this wish only grew stronger and was specifically aimed at health. However, she only further pursued this ambition later in life, when she decided to enter the pharmaceutical industry after graduating. Her last position was a sales and marketing position in Europe, where she worked with policy makers to find ways to help patients more effectively. During this position, she had the opportunity to follow an executive MBA, for which she had to write a thesis.
For this thesis, Daphne described ways to increase employee engagement, supported by insights gained from neuroscience. Her husband had invested in a neuroscience company at the time, which had sparked her interest in this particular field. She immersed herself in the subject and talked a lot with neuroscientists, rekindling her old love of helping and understanding people. During this research she saw possibilities to use the knowledge of neuroscience in the workplace. She gives the example of stress; when someone experiences stress they produce cortisol, which has a direct effect on the brain. In the longer term, it can cause problems such as forgetfulness, a shorter fuse, not getting a good night's sleep and feeling rushed, which can reduce an employee's performance. By reducing moments of stress you can reverse that physiological process and restore a normal cortisol level, which will make you more able to focus, make choices and so on. Although it is a physiological process that every person can experience, many employees are afraid to talk about it with their supervisors for fear of their jobs. Daphne decided she wanted to share this knowledge and other insights about the brain with others, and decided to start giving trainings.
She founded BrainExplainers 5 years ago, an exciting step in which she suddenly had to do everything herself. Her first clients followed after giving a lecture, and by now she has supported many individuals and organisations to improve their well-being and leadership, and she also enters into long-term development projects. In addition, she recently launched her first book: 'Brain Heart Being', also from her wish to share knowledge.
Daphne moves around 6 hours a week, from gyms and HIT training sessions at the gym, to a brisk walk - without a phone so the brain gets some rest too. To really get some peace, she meditates for 10 minutes every morning after first asking herself some questions ('how do I feel'). Her health is completely checked 1-2 times a year - a result of two heavy pregnancies, and it was optimal the last time, too. That is why she gives her health an 8.5 and her happiness a 9.5. Her tip for us office nomads is one she practices herself. She advises us to plan a quiet moment for ourselves 1-2 times a year, by going into nature for 2-3 days. Without mobile phone (turn it off!) and without laptop, and just walk through the forest and reflect.