4th July 2018
Smile, it will change your brain and your body will respond. Every time you smile Dopamine, Endorphins and Serotonin are all released into your bloodstream, making not only your body relax, but also work to lower your heart rate and lower blood pressure. Humans are also pack animals who mirror each other so smiling is contagious. I just left a really successful coaching session, as my client had a real breakthrough and I tested out some new techniques that really worked. Beaming with a broad smile upon leaving her office I strolled through the city and everyone smiled back. I felt light and confident, motivated and happy and people felt that. There's another really important trick to smiling, if you force yourself to smile when sad, angry or not happy your body will STILL RELEASE HAPPY HORMONES just because you mimicked smiling. This can stop anger and frustration escalating. Even a grimace will work. You don’t have to feel happy to reap the benefits of smiling simply because your body will respond to the physical act of a smile…even if it’s forced!
12th June 2018
What's inside your gut?
Over 60% of your immune system is located in your stomach so what you put in your mouth literally fuels your body. You could compare it to filling a car with low grade oil and expecting it to run like a dream and never break down? That isn’t going to happen so why expect your body to be any different? Feed your stomach with living foods filled with vitamins and minerals, natural enzymes and water to hydrate and help do all the magic stuff that keeps you alive and thriving. You will get less colds and flu, lose weight and keep your weight at a healthy level. You will also reduce your risk of cancer and circulatory disease, feel fitter and stronger and have a clearer head and more motivated mind-set. Start with one healthy meal a day and notice how it makes you feel. Add more fresh fruit to your diet and swap processed carbs for complex carbs. Drink lots of water and slowly reduce coffee, sugar, alcohol, processed foods, ready meals and meat. Shift the balance from unhealthy beige processed food to healthy brightly coloured food that looks and tastes alive.
26th May 2018
Leave the car, start walking, get running
You could do a park run, 10k, half marathon or marathon. You could get a pedometer, walk to the shops, walk the school run or walk the dog. You could walk to the pub, hike in the hills or along the beach, walk to work or power walk in your lunch break. You could get of the bus, or train or tube one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way. You could walk up the stairs instead of using the elevator or walk up a hill or take the long way round. You could walk on the spot whilst watching TV or walk around the garden for a few minutes every day. You can do anything as long as you are warm and slightly breathless for 10 minutes twice a day. You don't have to find extra time, just tweak what you're already doing. This is called Functional Fitness and Active Travel. If you do this you can stop Mild to Moderate Depression in its tracks, manage blood sugar levels, reduce pain and joint inflammation and reduce your risk of many cancers by up to 30%. Research also shows that smokers who run are less likely to develop cancer so even if you’re not ready to quit or cut down you can reduce your chances of heart disease, cancer and stoke but increasing your physical activity levels. Think about it next time you jump in the car to save time. Walking and running can save your life, ease pain, rebalance mental health and reduce your risk of lifetsyle related illness, disease and death.
22nd April 2018
The world is a difficult place to live in these days with war, bullying, mass inequality, poverty, unaffordable housing, race hate, internet peer pressure and a never ending pile of work that just keeps growing. It's all-consuming and scary and we need to take care of our mental and physical health more than ever before. We can use the 5 Ways to Wellbeing approach to make sure that every day we connect, notice, learn, give and are active. This helps to keep ourselves safe, feel valued, integrate in society and feel strong enough to tackle all that life throws at us. But there's more yopu can do…
1. Limit the time you spend reading the news. It's never good and can often end up making you feel angry and hopeless.
2. Schedule in empty time every day. This could be 10mins of sitting quietly or gazing out of the bus or train window or even driving listening to calming music. If you're having a particularly stressful time then you'll need more time to let yourself recharge and get back on an even keel. Stress is one of the biggest causes of mental health problems so keep stress in check and rebalance manic moments with a calming balm.
3. Limit social media time and take up a hobby which gives you an outlet rather than constantly taking information in. Find something simple you can do in down time that let's your mind wander or focus on solving puzzles or planning. Board games, cards, gardening, DIY, colouring books or painting, singing or dancing, running or hiking, waking your neighbours dog or sanding your floors. It doesn't matter what you do as long as it feels like you're doing something, this is what we call Moving Meditation.
4. Bring physical and human contact back into your life. Touch the forearm of the person you are speaking to. Hug your family more than once a day. Make eye contact with a stranger you pass on the street and give them a contagious smile. Be brave with yourself and be kind to yourself.
18th March 2018
There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen. Rumi
There is a skill, an ability we all have but few have mastered. We listen to respond not to hear. We are already planning what to say next when someone is speaking to us. We want to help, to provide answers, relate, give our opinions or judge and we forget to stop and listen. Most people have the answers to their questions they just need someone to hear them, someone to reflect back what they say with empathy and patience. Most people can be led to finding their own solutions, they can calm themselves down if they are listened to. Next time someone has something important to say to you try and only reflect back what they say and ask just one question. Give them the space to talk, encourage them to tell you more and reflect back key points of their issue. Don't make it about you, be generous enough to give someone 10 minutes to talk about themselves; how they feel and what's important. If you have comments or advice you think are important write these down and share them when it's your turn...they'll most likely have come up with the same observations and solutions by the time they have finsihed talking anyway. Most often people just need someone to listen to them.
7th February 2018
I am not a product of my circumstances I am a product of my decisions. Stephen Covey
It's easy to get trapped in the blame and complain cycle. It's my parents fault, it's because I never have any money, I just can't seem to catch a break, I put on weight just looking at cakes, I always pick the wrong people to get into relationships with, I just don't have the time to exercise, I never get recognised at work...it's not your experiences that shape you but how you respond to them. Build exercise into your daily routine using functional fitness, learn to be an extrovert at work to get recognised, create 5 non-negotiables for all personal relationships, seek counselling for childhood trauma, think positively about food and learn to balance treats and nourishment, write down everything you eat for a week and make a note of how you feel every time you eat, leave your debit and credit cards at home for one month and only use cash to spot bad spending habits, learn to say no, learn to say yes and most importantly learn to ask for and accept help. If nothing changes everything will stay the same. What's more moving into the new or unknown shifts your brain from autopilot into thinking. You notice more, react more strongly and can find out more about your strengths and limitations than at any other time. Take yourself out there today and talk to a stranger, walk a different way home from work, try a different style of food, clothing or music. Dance in the kitchen, talk to a mum in the playground, do that presentation or contact a company you love on spec just to connect. Be wild for a few minutes. I guarantee you won't regret it.
4th January 2018
Setting, Achieving and Maintaining Goals
Every day in every way I’m getting better. Emile Coue
Big dreams need small achievable goals to use as steps to get you where you want to go. Want to run a marathon but can't even run for the bus? Get a pedometer to set daily walking goals, start power walking a few days a week and when you're ready lift your knees and try a light run. Your overall goal might change over time but what you're doing is getting yourself started with realistic goals that give you a win. Success breeds motivation. Start small, dream big. It really is the little things. Setting small achievable goals every few week’s works. The more regularly you practice the more you're turning those goals into habits. Slow and steady like a tortoise. Small wins create big success because behaviour change has a snowball effect and the more you exercise willpower in one area of your life the more you will develop the strength to challenge yourself in other areas. Think of willpower as a muscle.
Career goal date looming? Tempted to push it back? Starting something doesn't mean to complete it means to START. Do one small thing. Start with the easy stuff, the stuff you're good at, the stuff you enjoy. That will motivate you to tackle the more difficult tasks later on. Don't ignore those tasks and delegate if you can. Ask your partner to do your accounts. Ask friends to share your info with decision makers at their company. Hire a student to build your website. Don't underestimate the value of research, networking and planning, this is important work. Set time aside to do one thing every day, no matter how small. Be your own boss breathing down your neck and keep a vision of success in mind.
When you think about quitting ask yourself why you started? Look back at each stage of the goal or project. Take time to reflect on what your life was like when you started and any key issues that prompted you to start. Do this even if you're not faltering, make this part of the journey, part of the learning process. Even if quitting is the best option looking back will help you rationalise your decision, especially if you're done with a project.