Life coaching is a powerful means of establishing your purpose and achievement of goals. It allows time and space to identify what is most important and to align thoughts, words and actions to achieve your goals and purpose.
Tips and Guidance
- Few of us realise that the first 15 minutes or so at home can be a danger zone for relationships. It is a prime time for dumping complaints on each other and the time during which up to half of all arguments are started or escalated. Consider an alternative in advance with family members. Greeting warmly, limiting initial comments, and then taking 10 minutes to do gentle exercise or other fifteen-minute activity time-out.
- There is no such thing as work/life balance anymore. It is about how you integrate your personal life into job design, work processes and organisational structures. Breathing space is the ability to create islands of peace in the midst of your weekly tasks, problems and the rest of your demands. It is essential to find creative ways of breaking away from work at work. Removing limits on what people can achieve can be a perverse invitation to burnout. It’s exhilarating to be stretched to your limit, but after a while you need a break before you break. Mindfulness – the conscious awareness of self exercises such as focusing on your breathing and thoughts – and releasing challenging thoughts little by little, can create islands of peace in an otherwise busy day.
- Another way of managing anxiety, can be to include making select calls to people you enjoy talking with or finalising tomorrow’s schedule or organising an upcoming project. Eat a late day snack high in carbohydrates like wholegrain crackers or some fresh fruit. This snack produces a surge of tryptophan, an amino acid that activates the brain neurotransmitter serotonin, which promotes a healthy relaxation response. When you have enough protein, you alter the chemical structure of the amino acid tyrosine and stimulate the group of brain neurotransmitters known as catecholamines that promote increased emotional energy and alertness lasting up to 3 hours.
- A regular routine of simple exercise stimulates the production of endorphins in the brain; these counter depression and boost energy levels. Before embarking on a rigorous programme, bear the following in mind:
It is important to check with your doctor first in order to preclude any adverse physical side-effects. Always warm up before exercising and cool down after exercising. When muscles are warm, they are less prone to injury, so start exercising with an extra layer of clothes which can be discarded as the body warms up. Don’t exercise just after eating.
- Try to strike a balance between creative relaxation (playing a musical instrument or doing needlework), passive relaxation (reading, watching television, listening to music), active relaxation (exercise) and social relaxation (with people whose company you enjoy). There are many different ways to relax.
- Take time to appreciate nature and get regular doses of fresh air. Develop breathing techniques which will result in steady, deep measured and controlled breathing. This strengthens the respiratory system and calms the nervous system. The following routine can be used twice a day for fifteen minutes:
Sit or lie in a comfortable position. Try to clear your mind of all thoughts. Concentrate on your breathing for five minutes. Rest your hand on your diaphragm; this will help to channel your focus. For the next 5 minutes start relaxing individual muscles, tensing and relaxing each muscle three or four times. Start at the top and work down the body from your forehead, cheeks, to jaw, etc. down to the toes. In the last five minutes imagine yourself in a pleasurable place, in a happy, relaxed frame of mind e.g. walking on the beach, experiencing the sounds, sights, smells and sensations being there.
- Decide what is urgent and what is important.
Plan your day realistically and prioritise tasks between what is urgent and what is important to maintain a sense of proportion. Analyse what is of real value and what can be discarded. Conversely, do not over-analyse and over-dramatise. Break your day down into manageable sections instead of being overwhelmed by one huge task. Set realistic goals – you do not always have to be the best. Failure to attain unrealistic objectives may result in disappointment and depression. Do not overextend yourself or spread yourself too thinly, leaving insufficient time for yourself, e.g. if you have several commitments and find that you are not coping, resign some of these. Learn to delegate instead of trying to do everything yourself. Try not to be a perfectionist all the time. Be more flexible – do away with excess rigidity and inflexibility. Develop a sense of the ridiculous and learn to laugh at yourself. Laughter can relax the muscles, the heart, lungs and abdominal muscles and enhance resistance.
- The way you see yourself inside yourself is the total of all the impressions which you have of yourself, your body, your intelligence, your abilities and achievements. In addition to this, you also have a set of ideal characteristics, which you have chosen for yourself to make up your ideal self, based on people whom you admire or envy. What is important to remember is that your self-image may be based on inaccurate perceptions and beliefs about yourself which you hold as truth. As you probably realise, there is a discrepancy between a person’s self-image and their ideal self. The smaller the discrepancy, the happier the person will be. This discrepancy therefore is a rough measure of a person’s self-regard.