I have a problem with the word ‘Happiness’, it means such different things to different people and is therefore very hard to describe. Also happiness tends to be very illusive it comes and it goes and it comes and goes again. Whatever you do to make yourself happy it will still come and go, so maybe we should a word more personal to ourselves? perhaps excitement or contentment, energised or peaceful?
Another interesting thing about happiness is where it comes from. Recent scientific research has shown that 50% of our happiness levels are pre-determined by our DNa, so we’re stuck with it. Only 10% of our happiness levels come from the things we spend our time and energy on. These are our job, our family, material things and even our health. The remaining 40% is achieved by how we choose to see the world and our attitude to life’s events. Which explains how some people are more resilient than others and can be happy despite misfortune.
It also suggests that if we want to calm our restless and dissatisfied mind then we need to focus more on our emotions and feelings. This would give us the greatest chance of being truly happy (or another word for it!)
In today’s society most women could be described as striving for perfection physically and in their careers, families and homes. American author Deborah Spar, in her new book Wonder Women: Sex, Power And The Quest For Perfectionism, says we should be ‘satisficing’ instead. Her word, which is a combination of satisfactory and suffice, is another way of saying ‘good enough is good enough’.
So why do women insist on pushing themselves to do everything to 100%? What would happen if you chose not to do overtime, not to ferry your kids to every after school club, not to worry about those extra pounds you weigh? Would your friends and family no longer approve of you or love you, or would you feel empowered and relaxed? Instead of trying to be the best mum, top career woman, sexy model wife and have a magazine style home, why not accept that you’ve done your bit and that is good enough.
Many of us feel low at points in our lives and experience sadness, hopelessness and fatigue, but are we actually depressed or just in a temporary state of sadness?
If you have experienced a sad event such as bereavement, redundancy, divorce or high stress, you may suffer from the following symptoms:
A need to cry and to isolate yourself from others for short periods
A need to share emotions with friends and family
Changes in your usual behaviors
These are generally temporary feelings of sadness and will pass, but if you find they have persisted for several weeks or months you may want to seek professional help.
Depression itself is a mental health disorder and is characterised by a variety of symptoms in patients such as:
Low self-esteem and confidence
Ongoing negative thoughts
A feeling of inadequacy and hopelessness
Feelings of sadness and despair
Inaction and inertia
Isolation from others
Irritability and impatience
It also tends to be a long term condition that affects all areas of a persons life and again it is recommended to seek professional help.
For mild to moderate depression a GP has a variety of treatments available such as talking therapies and medication. In addition to this treatment depression coaching can prevent the dip into more severe depression and fight back against the existing symptoms.
As a depression coach I would help you:
Become aware of your symptoms and the areas of your life that need to change
By supporting and motivating you to have hope for your future
By using specialist techniques to explore and change your thinking patterns, which would lead to appropriate changes in your behaviour.
Drop or change the areas of your life that are dragging you down and incorporate more of what brings you joy
To find out more about my depression coaching programme please contact me
How to be Happier With Your Life Sometimes we get into a rut in life without realising it and it can be quite a happy place to be, the danger of this is that we become tired of the same routines and nervous of coming out of our comfort zone to try something new.
Being in a rut can be in any area of our lives work, relationships, family, friends or free time and recognising the feeling is the first step to getting out of it. You may feel quite happy with your life, but also believe there is potential for greater happiness or more out of life.
With my encouragement you can identify the areas in your life that can be further improved and how to achieve that potential. This program would involve looking at all areas of your life and identifying where the greatest improvements can be made, then exploring your beliefs and values to understand what is important to you and what steps you can make to change.
If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. NLP
To learn more about my How to be Happier With Your Life programme please contact me.
Depression affects 1 in 4 people in Britain and the group in which it is growing at the fastest rate is middle aged men. But when does the sadness associated with the low periods in life become depression and how as a partner can you support them and get help whilst maintaining your relationship?
We’ve all felt hopeless and sad at some time but if your partner has many of the following symptoms and has had them for a long period of time, they could have depression:
Feelings of hopelessness
Loss of interest in daily activities or hobbies etc
Withdrawing from family and friends
Sleep and appetite changes
Anger, irritability and self loathing
In men specifically, there is a tendency to show other symptoms such as:
Blaming others – stress at work, finances, relationships
A need to control
Using alcohol, TV, sport or sex to ‘self medicate’
It is very difficult to watch a partner change and struggle with depression, especially if they won’t admit to it. However when a man reaches middle age in our current society they can find themselves under more pressure in their lives than when they were younger, due to stress at work, the weight of financial responsibility, relationship issues and a feeling that there are no more opportunities to achieve goals that were important to them. All of these can lead to depression and it’s important that these symptoms are recognised and not just seen as a need to ‘pull themselves together’.
As a partner it can be very isolating and frustrating if your loved one is depressed or shows signs of depression. The most important thing is to encourage them to seek help, this can be difficult if they are severely depressed and so unable to leave the house or are in denial that there is anything wrong. You could offer to go with them to see their doctor, or if they refuse, contact the doctor yourself for some advice. Life coaching has also been shown to very helpful in recovery from depression, but contact your doctor initially.
Being there to listen to your partner and helping them to open up is also important, however frustrating it may be, and not judging them or being defensive, even if they make illogical arguments. Researching depression and understanding more about the illness will help you with this.
Finally be sure to take care of yourself, emotionally and physically, allow yourself to feel angry and upset but avoid showing this to your partner. Ask your doctor about counselling for yourself or contact a life coach to help you through the difficult times. Ensure you use family and friends as a support, don’t isolate yourself out of embarrassment, people will understand and want to help.
With our increased understanding and openness about depression, hopefully more people will feel able to admit to their feelings and more relationships will be saved by working on the illness together.
For more information on how life coaching can help with depression please contact me
Summer is almost with us and it’s a great time to be more relaxed and positive. If you want to make the most of this period and achieve the things that make you happy, you need to get prepared.
There are lots of articles written about ‘getting that bikini body’ or ‘how to have a perfect tan’ but do you ever think about what you actually want to achieve this summer and what is important to you, to ensure you have an enjoyable time?
Here are a few tips to help you prepare:
Use visualisation to picture yourself at the end of summer feeling relaxed and happy. Imagine what things you have seen, heard and felt to achieve that positive state. What activities have you done, who have you spent time with and what have you learnt and achieved.
Make a plan for how and when you can include these events or experiences into the summer
Discuss with family and friends how they can support you in what you are doing, and maybe they will make their own plans too.
Use a camera to record your progress , so you can look back on your great memories
Start a diary to help you record your memories and also prepare for next summer.
Produce a list of things you achieved and enjoyed last summer to boost your confidence
Practise being assertive, by asking for what you want or telling others how you are feeling, in a calm and firm way.
Act confident, walk tall and smile. With time it will become a natural habit and will make you look far more attractive than any diet.
Good luck and have fun!
For more information on being positive and confident, please contact me