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Health

Value in Focus: Wellbeing

waterlilyAfter a week off and a gorgeous spa weekend away, this week’s value in focus has to be Wellbeing.

Definition of Wellbeing:
‘It is understood as a state of health, happiness and/or prosperity,
with which one is satisfied.’

I have seen an increase in this value’s popularity in the top 10 core values held by my clients.  This is unsurprising, in view of the growth in the Wellbeing Industry in recent years.  People are attracted to the word that describes what is important to them, however interestingly it means very different things to different people.

For some, it is about feeling a sense of balance between work and home life, for some it is more about how they feel about themselves or how good they feel on the inside, a sense of inner peace perhaps.  For others, it is more about whether they are eating well, getting enough exercise and maintaining their ideal weight and body shape.  It can also be linked to levels of energy and vitality.  These things, of course, are all inter-connected.

This value is more in our control than some others.  In my last blog post, I focused on Love.  For that value to be truly honoured, it involves others loving us, as well as us loving others and ourselves.  Whereas, Wellbeing is more about how we feel about ourselves and in ourselves, which is much more within our own control and much less about our interaction with others.

Our circumstances may affect our Wellbeing but ultimately, it is the choices we make that can really enhance or detract from honouring this value in our lives.

The word ‘satisfied’ in the definition is key here too.  Everything is relative and it depends on our expectations.  What would give satisfaction to one person may not to the next.  So this is a very personal and individual value.

The sun has just come out and Spring is on the way, that alone enhances my own sense of Wellbeing.  Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, think about what Wellbeing means to you and reflect on choices within your control to enhance that value in your life.

For more information on Values, please visit my website, you will find a free values identification exercise to help you discover what is important to you.

www.careercoachlondon.com/values.html

Wishing you well.

Lindsay

Wellness Coaching – ‘You get what you focus on’

‘You get what you focus on’ is a saying that for me 
is a very useful reminder to make sure we focus on the right things.

If we focus on how stressed we are, we just end up feeling more stressed.   If we focus on how tired we are, we start to feel even more tired.  If we focus on losing weight by eating less, what usually happens is that all we can think about is food and eating it!

So, from a wellness coaching perspective, it is so much more effective to focus on what you want (rather than what you don’t want) to enhance your state of wellness or sense of wellbeing.

If we are focusing on what we want to stop doing e.g. smoking, what we want to lose e.g. weight, or what we don’t want to feel e.g. stressed, then we are focusing too much on the problem and often the problem actually gets worse, e.g. we smoke more, we put on weight, we feel more stressed.

If, however, we focus on the desired outcome, the thing we want and state it in the positive, then we are much more likely to achieve that goal.  For example, if we focus on increasing our relaxation time, taking more holidays, doing more exercise or making healthier eating choices then with these things in our mind, we are much more likely to change our behaviour and take action to make them happen.

When choosing your wellness goals and activities, state them in the positive, ensure they are things you do want to do and take care to choose things that make you feel healthier and happier.

For more information on Wellness Coaching, please visit my website
www.careercoachlondon.com/wellness-coaching.html

Enjoy!

Lindsay

Life Coaching Tips for Boundaries and Saying No


Clear boundaries help us to thrive

Some of us feel we were to born to please others and so often say yes when we really want to say no.  This can lead us to do things we don’t want to do, become overloaded with work or run out of time to do what we really want to do.

This lack of clear boundaries can contribute to feeling stressed, frustrated and even angry because we’ve given in again or our good nature has been taken advantage of and we are not focusing on what is important to us, just what is important to someone else.

To change this pattern of behaviour:

 Step 1: we need to draw on our value of honesty and start by being honest with ourselves.  Decide what is ok and what is not ok, trusting our ‘gut instinct’ to recognise when we really do not want to do something.       

Step 2: we need to start being honest with others, tell them kindly that we would like to help, but cannot agree to their request, at least not within the timescales they are asking. Say what would be ok or when we could help or agree to their request, but only within the boundaries that are really acceptable to us.

By following these two simple steps, we will quickly find that we become happier, less stressed and so healthier.  If we are honest with ourselves, we can then be honest with others and they will respect us more for it.

Changing behaviours takes practice, so give it a go and see how you get on, then reflect back on your progress and notice any times when you could have made a better decision. Don’t waste energy beating yourself up for it, just make sure that when that kind of situation happens again you are ready for it and make a better choice being honest with yourself and those around you.

If you have followed these steps, I would love to know how you got on, so do add a comment below.

Thanks for reading.

Best wishes

Lindsay

Wellbeing Tip: Pockets of Rest

With the stressed lives we lead, it is so important to take rest when and where we can.

My yoga teacher talks about taking ‘pockets of rest’ in certain yoga postures, during our intense 90 min class and it took me a while to really understand and value what she was talking about.  Now I find myself applying this concept to every day life.

It is possible to manage the fast-paced living, the multi-tasking, the multi-media world we live in, if we just look for and make the most of those ‘pockets of rest’.  Even if you can’t get away from it all on holiday or take a real break, you can regularly take a few moments to centre yourself, breathe deeply, take time to think and just be.

‘When am I going to find time to do that…?’ I hear you cry, well, next time you’re standing in a queue, waiting for a late train, stuck in a traffic jam, sitting waiting for an appointment with someone running late; rather than stressing yourself, getting angry at the waste of time or worrying about the rush you’re in, reframe the situation and view it as an opportunity for a pocket of rest, when you can just breathe and be, for a few moments or a few minutes. 

Put the world on hold, step off that ‘hamster wheel’ and find a comfortable, cosy place in your mind and take time to think and recharge yourself a little, you will feel so much better for it.

You’ll soon find yourself joining the longest queue, so you can take a moment for yourself!

Enjoy…

Lindsay

Coping with Change

Change aheadThey say ‘there is one thing in life that is constant and that is change’ which can make it feel daunting, however if we view change as just the transition from one set of circumstances to another, it makes it more manageable.

 This week I shall be talking about coping with change at the Wellbeing Group I run in Winchmore Hill, for details go to www.careercoachlondon.com/wellbeing-group.html 
Here are a few tips that we will be covering, which I hope you will find helpful.

 Recognise the impact of the change: it can affect people in different ways, for some its negative thoughts, worries and concerns; others feel it emotionally in negative feelings, anxiety and panic or with tears. In more severe cases the impact can take its toll physically, for example affecting our weight or giving us skin, breathing or digestives conditions.

 Grounding techniques help to regain a sense of stability, such as thinking of all the good things in your life and in the world that are not affected by this change; or thinking of other times when you have coped well with a change and remember how you did it to give you confidence to do it again; or think ‘happy thoughts’ and remember good times that comfort you.

 Face the fear by working out what it is you are afraid of and breaking the change down into small steps, plan forward but focus one day at a time to make it more manageable and give you a sense of control; reframe the change into something more positive by taking a different perspective; know and reassure yourself that the transition period of change will end and a new ‘normality’ will settle you again.

 Emotional support is essential; talk to supportive friends and family who will encourage you through the change; a hug, a smile and a cup of tea can go a long way to improving how you feel.  Understanding which of your values are affected negatively by the change is also extremely helpful and drawing on other values will help to motivate you to take action to improve things.  For more information on values and to learn more about your own, see the free values exercise on my website www.careercoachlondon.com/values.html

 Relax and energise yourself by using breathing exercises, meditation or yoga; get active in whatever way you enjoy, e.g. go for a walk, a run, a swim, to the gym, dance, sing.  Even cleaning the house or washing the car can be good exercise and give you a sense of normality.  Keeping yourself relaxed and energised will help to ensure the stress of the change does not affect your health and will keep you strong to handle the challenge.

 I hope this is helpful and I look forward to hearing your views.

Lindsay

Waste Bin or Waistline?

At The Wellbeing Group I run in Winchmore Hill this week, Bridgette Mansfield Hypnotherapist was speaking about weight loss and to all us overeaters, she said that food is better ‘in the waste bin than on the waistline’.

This advice really struck a chord with me, as I was brought up always to finish everything on my plate and I absolutely hate waste of any sort. Whilst I eat really healthy food, I do often find myself eating more than I need to, just because I don’t want to throw it away.

So I challenged myself to find better ways to avoid the waste than just eating it all up…
– Buying smaller plates was suggested to me, this certainly helps to serve a smaller portion in the first place.
– Serving up food (particularly things like pasta and chilli) onto plates and the rest onto a spare plate for tomorrow’s lunch or freezing it, to avoid having seconds works well for me.
– Drinking a glass of water before a meal, so I feel fuller quicker and am therefore happier to stop eating earlier is ok but not my preferred option.
– If I really can’t make good use of leftovers, I have changed my belief that all waste is bad, to a new more helpful belief that when it comes to food, it is indeed better in the waste bin than on my waistline.

If you have any more suggestions, I would love to hear from you.

For more information on The Wellbeing Group go to www.careercoachlondon.com/wellbeing-group.html

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Broken New Year Resolutions

Every year we have good intentions; set ourselves New Year resolutions, whether it is to lose weight, get fit or get a new job.  Strangely, something often stops us, something inside us says, ‘it’s a bit cold to go for a run today’ or ‘I don’t like to waste good food’, or ‘there’s a recession on, there won’t be any jobs going’.

So what is it in us that finds these good reasons not to do the things that would be so good for us? Let’s call it, our ‘inner saboteur’, that little voice in our head that persuades us to sabotage all our best efforts.

We all have an ‘inner saboteur’ that can disrupt our plans to be happy and successful, if we don’t learn to recognise and control the thought and behaviour patterns it brings about in us.  It uses our fears of taking responsibility and causes us to avoid change.

When our ‘saboteur’ has got the better of us, we can be so afraid of change that we became ‘stuck in a rut’, it does not have to be this way.

Here are some steps I use in life coaching to help people get their control back:

–        Firstly, we need to recognise when it is our ‘inner saboteur’ speaking or acting and separate this from what we really believe, want and know to be true.

–        Then, forgive ourselves for all the times we have let that saboteur take control; there is no use beating ourselves up for it, just forgive and clear the way to move forward.

–        Next, identify the changes we need to make to get what we really want and to be who we really want to be and welcome those changes into our lives.

–        Trust our ‘gut instinct’; follow our intuition; practise hearing what it is telling us and responding to it by taking action.

–        Overcome the saboteur’s power, by taking small steps, small acts of courage, making small decisions, taking small choices to help us to regain control.

Once we have control over our lives and our future and are responding in a positive way to opportunities, we can move forward to achieve happiness and success, in whatever ways are appropriate for us.

I recommend a wonderful book called Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss that is really helpful in learning to work with our inner saboteur.

Welcome To Lindsay West Coaching

Welcome to Lindsay West Coaching

I have always had a passion for self development.  I love learning and growing in knowledge, skills and experience and helping others to do the same.

It was an aspect of managing people that I really enjoyed in my previous career in banking and with over 6 years of coaching experience I now get to do it every day.   Most of my coaching work is on a one-to-one basis, I also do workshops with groups and teams and I run The Wellbeing Group in North London, so in this way, I have daily opportunities to share my knowledge and resources with others.

This blog is really exciting, as it gives me the opportunity to reach a much wider audience and to make a difference to the lives of so many more people.  Helping people to find their passion and make changes in their lives so that they can be happier, healthier and more successful is so important to me.  This blog will be packed with tips, techniques and resources to help make this happen.

So keep reading, share with friends or join my mailing list.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do writing it.

Best wishes

Lindsay