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Posts Tagged “Business Coach”

3 Ways Coaching Can Make Your Work More Financially Viable

3 Ways Coaching Can Make Your Work More Financially Viable

Coaching helps you make money and it can help you make your work more financially viable. It’s the truth, and it’s a very real – and valid – reason many people learn to coach. Coaching has helped CEOs, housewives, and everyone in between, transform their lives. It’s why there are so many coaches out there – as I’m sure you’ve heard, or seen. “With so many of them,” you might wonder, “how are any of them successful?” Or, “How can I be successful if the coaching market is already saturated?”

I can assure you that, while you may not be the next Tony Robbins, you can use coaching to start making more money right away. How far you choose to go is, of course, up to you. Are you willing to invest the time now to make the rest of your life easier? Are you ready to invest the money in your own training to make your work more financially viable?

Coaching is a powerful tool to support any modality of work you do with people – be it holistic or more traditional. It supports people in their growth, is widely respected, and can help elevate your business. Participants of my Coaching Training Program are consistently surprised at how many applications coaching has in their lives and how soon they start bringing in additional income because of it.

This is because coaching provides the following:

The Brand-Recognition Effect — If you’re working in a healing modality that is less mainstream, tying your work to a modality that is well-recognized by the greater public is a great way to get your foot in the door with new clients. They may not understand the benefit or process of energywork, or other healing modalities, but they likely have a friend or someone close to them who has benefited from hiring a coach.

Sometimes Quantity Does Mean Quality — If you are devoted to helping people transform, the more tools you have to support this transformation, the more likely you will be able to offer clients what they need. Learning differently modalities enriches whatever product you have to offer. Coaching helps people understand and reach their potential and is especially helpful when the results of what you are doing with clients might otherwise be felt, but may not completely understood.

Understanding the Healing / Transformation Format — Many times we train in modalities that help us achieve positive results with clients, but we do not understand the steps that truly get them there. Learning coaching helps you know how to guide people step-by-step in their transformation, even if you never call what you are doing “coaching” or call yourself a “coach.” The basic principles can be applied to whatever process you are guiding your clients through.

If you want to understand how coaching might help you be more effective with your clients, we invite you to an initial conversation with Dr. Kate Siner. Sign up for your session here by completing a short questionnaire first, then you’ll be brought to her booking calendar.

Or, you can first read more about her Integrative Transformational Coaching program.

How to Easily Increase Your Monthly Income

How to Easily Increase Your Monthly Income

Whether you are already trained to work with people, or you are curious if coaching might be a good addition to your day job, learning how to coach people can be the key to your financial prosperity. Adding coaching to whatever you do is an easy way to increase your monthly income.

HOW CAN COACHING HELP YOU INCREASE YOUR MONTHLY INCOME

Even if you have no intention of ever calling yourself a Coach, learning to coach will help you gain fundamental interpersonal skills so that you can be better at whatever we are doing –parenting, sales, managing coworkers, or facilitating healing or transformational work. Developed from foundational helping skills from the field of psychology, Coaching teaches us how to best facilitate our interactions with others when we are trying to assist them.

Coaching skills will help you be more successful in almost any situation – in life or at work. If it seems like everyone you know is becoming a coach, it is because they are tuned into the opportunities that integrating coaching into their lives can open for them and they are pursuing them.

When I first started my career as a personal development coach, I added coaching to my healing and helping practice and it set me on the path to the success I have today. Learning how to coach opens the door for more success and better results. Increase your monthly income, strengthen your conflict-management skills, and boost your marketability by becoming a Coach.

YOU HAVE THE ABILITY, YOU JUST NEED THE TRAINING

The best thing about learning to coach is, you already have ½ the toolkit! Being a coach is founded in human experience and the ability to listen. Coaching training helps us realize how our human experience can best be used to help guide others. It teaches us how to listen more effectively so that we can better understand how to be of assistance.

You need that other ½ of the toolkit to really be effective. You need to learn the do’s and don’ts of the foundational strategies of coaching so that you can easily move past your own limitations to understand your client’s process. The second ½ of the coaching toolkit is about training your natural ability so that you can get the best results possible.

Life coach training teaches you how to build structure into your work with others and how to convert this structure into financial success. If you are already working with others in a helping/healing capacity, coaching helps you make this work more accessible and effective. First, because it helps you qualify the results that you can get for your clients and second because when it is joined with business acumen, it allows you to see how to leverage your work more effectively.

The Integrative Transformation Coaching training is designed to teach you how to bring coaching work to what is most important to you – whether this is the growth of your practice or being more effective in a specific area of your life. Click here to learn more about how Integrative Transformational Coaching can help you be successful so that you can increase your monthly income.

6 Signs that Learning to Coach is Right for You

6 Signs that Learning to Coach is Right for You

Ever wonder if learning to coach might be right for you? A lot of people have. However, they often are unclear on how to assess whether or not they might be a good coach or whether coaching is right for them. This list will help you tell if this might be a good path for you.

1. You are trained in one (or more) therapeutic or healing modalities. Coaching can be an ideal way for you to leverage your work because it adds value for your clients through helping them integrate what they are receiving through working with you.

2. You have an avid interest in personal development (for yourself and others). Coaching is a great way to guide others on their personal development path. Coaching requires that you, as the coach, continue to grow and develop so that you can be even better at helping others grow and develop. It provides the tools you need to help both you and others on this path.

3. You are interested in training as a coach. Interest alone is a good reason to learn how to coach. Whether or not you choose to use this work professionally or not coaching is a tool that can be used in many aspects of your life to get better results and work more effectively with others.

4. You feel held back from reaching your greatest potential as a healer, helper, or practitioner. If you are on a path to become a healer, coaching is a must have skill that helps you help others. Not only will the process of learning coaching help grow your work but also will help you grow personally.

5. You work with other people and are sometimes challenged with the issues they present. Working with others can be full of challenges. Each person comes with their own strengths, weaknesses and quirks. Working effectively with others is a skill and training can aid you in being as effective as possible.

6. You want to increase your income. Whether you are quitting your day job or just looking for some additional income, even coaching a few clients provides you with additional money that you can use to do all the things you aspire to do more easily.

If you see yourself in some of the above, it could be helpful for you to pursue coaching. Your first step is to set up a time to talk with me so that we can dive deeper into your personal needs and see if this is in fact the best option for you at this time. Sign up for your session here by completing a short questionnaire first, then you’ll be brought to my booking calendar.

Or, you can first read more about my Integrative Transformational Coaching program.

Bringing The Passion Back To Your Life

Bringing The Passion Back To Your Life

You have probably heard me say this a bunch by now but your life is what you make it. If it is lacking passion then, it is your job to bring it back.  Sometimes, this requires a mental shift. Sometimes, this requires taking action to create more of what we want in our external life. A little of both can go a long way.

Recognize that passion wears different faces:

Pay attention to what a passionate life really means to you. Maybe it looks different in different parts of your life. Maybe passion at work looks different than passion with your lover, or passion about a topic. How do you know you are passionately engaged with each aspect of your life? Write it out so that you can clearly see when things are what you want them to be.

Be vulnerable:

It is hard to feel passionate when we are under lock and key. If we are afraid to be vulnerable, we lose out on feeling connected to ourselves and really known by another person. Sometimes, showing love and showing joy can be as vulnerable or even more than when we need to show weakness. Are there places where you have a hard time being vulnerable? How can you open up those parts of your life?

Clean up your messes:

Baggage weighs us down and holds us back. When we live with a lot of unresolved stuff it stops us from being present and passionate in our lives.  What grudges are you holding onto? What pain from your past is it time to let go of? Find a way to clear your past so that you can be in the present.

Let go of limiting beliefs about what is fun and what is not:

Work is not fun. Vacation is fun. Even if we don’t totally buy into that idea the vestiges of it –like I was mentioning in my note- are there nonetheless. If we think more about an attitude of passion or joy instead of an experience giving it to us then we might be a lot happier. What does an attitude of passion or joy mean to you? How can you cultivate it?

Express your anger:

Anger and passion are on the same continuum. If you have totally shut down your anger, it will be very hard to experience a passionate life. This does not mean that you should be ranting and raving all the time. It just means that if you tend to say that you “never get angry”, you might want to take a look if what you are really saying is you don’t let yourself feel angry or that you are actually being apathetic.

Make time for it:

Everything important deserves its time. If you want more of something in your life, make a point of scheduling time to bring more of it in. Just by answering these questions and making some quick changes you will see a passion infusion in your life.

How long has it been since you leaped out of bed and excitedly entered your new day? Have you stopped thinking that was even possible? Being passionately connected to our lives is possible and here are some practical ways to do it. Join Dr. Kate along with special guest Sexual Empowerment expert and thought leader, Amy Jo Goddard as they discuss ways bring passion to every area of how you live on this weeks Real Answers Radio.

What Is A Life Purpose, Really?

What Is A Life Purpose, Really?

Like many of the personal development terms that have become common in our vernacular, life purpose is something that many people talk about and feel they should have and often times wonder how they would know if they had it.

While some people might think of life purpose in terms of fate or destiny, I prefer to think of it in terms of the expression of your whole self. In other words it is less important that we know it and more important that we are it.

In truth that is a little bit of a stretch, there is no way for us not to be our purpose. However, we can feel more or less connection and pleasure from it. And, that is the reason for us to “find” our life purpose.

In my Make It Happen Guide, I write, “Whatever you want or dream of you can have it. It is in you. You are the one you have been waiting for.” One of the problems with life purpose is that people go looking for it. Then because they are looking for it they feel perpetually disconnected from it. It becomes something beyond themselves that they must find instead of a natural expression of who they are.

So, connecting with your life purpose is really about connecting the deeper and truer aspect of who you are and to do that you can do the following.

  • Pay attention to where you feel connected, excited, passionate, of positive. These are clues to deeper truths about yourself and therefore your life purpose. Do more of what makes your feel good.
  • What if bad things make you feel good? Sometimes people get stuck because what they feel they want to do is destructive or negative. If you feel this way, you might say, “if I did what I wanted to all the time then I would ____.” Fill in the blank with some negative outcome. But even your negative pleasure can lead you in the right direction if you approach it in the right way.
  • Honor your dreams. They are with you for a reason. The hints that you get along the way from your fantasies can profoundly connect you to yourself and your purpose.
  • Your purpose is not necessary a vocation. But, it may be able to be turned into one. Think less about what work you want to do in the world and more about what kind of impact you want to have or what kind of contribution you want to make.

I love this topic of life purpose and I look forward to talking with you about it more on my weekly radio show, Real Answers this week.

Working with Your Inner Critic

We all have one — an inner voice that expresses criticism, frustration or disapproval about our actions. It might sound like, “you should,” “why didn’t you?” “what’s wrong with you?,” or “why can’t you get it together?” The actual self-talk is different for each of us, as is its frequency or intensity.

It is a cultural norm to believe that criticism or guilt-induced comments will motivate behavior. Perhaps the thinking is that if you realize that your actions aren’t good enough or ideal, you’ll want to change. The critic also gives us a sense of control. So others in our lives may make “helpful,” yet critical comments to reinforce and control our behavior or control their feelings. We can also use judgmental or controlling thoughts with ourselves as a way of coping with fear, shame, and the unknown. Over time, these comments (from both others and ourselves) internalize and become our “inner critic,” the persistent negative self-talk that keeps us stuck.

Unfortunately, this type of communication is anxiety-provoking and shaming, which is the opposite of motivation. It triggers us to avoid, reduce anxiety and stay safe. Avoidance (reducing anxiety) is not the same as motivation to change. Avoidance generally includes things such as procrastination, addictive behaviors (such as overeating, grazing when not hungry, drinking, smoking); behaviors such as constantly checking your smartphone, or watching excessive TV; or even avoiding the source of the criticism or shame such as the person, activity, place, or even yourself (i.e., staying busy to stay out of your own head).

If the messages are shaming, such as “what’s wrong with you?” or “you’re not good enough,” we can become paralyzed. When we feel shame, we feel that something about us makes us so flawed that we don’t deserve to be in connection with other people. Shame disconnects us from others and teaches us to feel alone. As humans, we are hardwired at a cellular level for connection. When we feel shame, these feelings physically make us want to go inside ourselves, withdraw, and can further trigger avoidance behaviors as a way to comfort or soothe. The point is that shame and self-criticism keep us from doing the things we need to take care of ourselves and ultimately find comfort, connection and motivation.

Awareness is the first step to recognizing and letting go of your inner critic. Many of us don’t even realize its presence. Catch yourself the next time you’re aware of feeling anxious, distracted or numb. Identify the voice of the inner critic. Identify the situation that may have triggered the inner critic. What are your authentic feelings about this situation? Remember, the inner critic helps you to feel in control. So ask yourself, “what am I afraid of? What would it mean if that happened? And what would that mean?” Allow yourself space to dig deeper and find your most vulnerable feelings about the situation. This is what the inner critic is protecting you from feeling. Do you really need all that protection? Probably not. You can handle it!

Here’s an example:

Jessica went shopping. She didn’t know her sizes at this store and tried on a few things. She thought, “Ugh, these clothes are tight, they don’t fit, I feel like such a failure, I’m so fat and ugly.”

What is she afraid of? “I’ve gained weight, which means I’m a failure. It means I’m old. I’m ashamed and scared of getting older and gaining more weight.”

What authentic feelings might she be having about this situation that aren’t related to shame triggers? What are her vulnerabilities? (Identify your vulnerability and feel those feelings.)

Jessica says, “I feel out of control, fear, grief/loss. My body is reacting differently than it did in the past. It’s harder to maintain weight and muscle tone, it feels hopeless. I feel afraid, overwhelmed.”

What do you really need? Jessica says, “I can deal with it. Acknowledging my vulnerability prompts me to take better care of my health. When I feel worthless, there’s no hope at all. Shame is not motivating.”

Try this for yourself. What are some self-criticisms that you are aware of hearing yourself say? Say it in the second person. For example: “You’re such a coward. You’re despicable, worthless. Be careful or you’ll get hurt. You should try harder.”

How do you feel as you hear that? Get in touch with that feeling. What are you afraid of or afraid of feeling? What are some authentic feelings you may be having about this situation that aren’t related to shame triggers?

What are some opposite feelings? What are some reactions to these?

What do you say to that voice that says you are useless?

What do you really need to take good care of yourself? Or, what is it that you really need to hear? Express this to your inner critic with compassion in the following steps:

Express empathy for the inner critic’s fear and out-of-control feelings (what you felt in step 3 above). For example, “I understand that you are terrified of getting hurt and feeling rejected. I know you’re trying to protect me from those feelings.

Express your reaction (steps 4 and 5). For example, “Your critical voice is not helping. Please do not talk to me that way. It is preventing me from getting what I need, which is to feel connected to others. I will be OK. I will be able to cope with whatever happens. What I really need (step 6) is to reach out and connect with others. I don’t have to be afraid nor do I have to deprive myself out of fear.”

The inner critic’s self-talk tends to fall into one of two categories, “bad self” and “weakness.” Bad self is shame-based. Those who struggle with it might feel unlovable; flawed; undesirable; inferior; inadequate; deserving of punishment; or incompetent.

The weak self is based on fear and anxiety. Those who fight it might feel dependent on others; unable to support themselves; submissive; unable to express emotions without something bad happening; vulnerable; worried about loss of control; mistrustful; isolated; deprived; or abandoned.

These beliefs are neither useful nor helpful. They are generally destructive. Practice listening for clues to these beliefs by paying attention to the self-talk of your inner critic. Challenge those beliefs! They are not true. You are worthy, capable, and deserving of love.

reposted from psychcentral.com

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How to Fight: 10 Rules of Relationship Conflict Resolution

Great relationships develop not from the absence of conflict, but from determining an agreeable pattern for how to resolve conflict. Defining the rules of engagement for how you “fight” with someone you care about is ultimately much more important than trying to never have a disagreement.

If you care about someone, then consider adopting these 10 rules as part of the way you communicate with them when you are trying to resolve a conflict:

Rule #1: Don’t yell. 
Adding emotion clouds the clarity of what actually happened. If the other person is yelling, it becomes especially important that you don’t raise your voice so as to prevent a natural escalation of competing interests.

Rule #2: Always start and end the conversation by affirming that you care about the other person. 
In the midst of a disagreement, you can never underestimate the power and importance of reminding the other person that you care about them and believe in them.

Rule #3: Be open to the idea that you made a mistake even if you are sure you did not.
People rarely get upset for no reason, so there is a good chance that there is at least a kernel of truth to what they are saying.

Rule #4: Don’t speak in generalities of another person’s behavior; speak only to direct examples and instances of action. 
It’s hard for anyone to own up to a generalization and so you’ll likely just see his or her defensiveness activate. By isolating an instance of fact, everyone can quickly see where he or she was right and wrong.

Rule #5: Always work to be the first to apologize when any dispute arises.
Although the idea of waiting for the other person to apologize first seems vindicating, it’s actually a guaranteed sign of how you care more about being right than in coming to a reconciliation.

Rule #6: Focus on trying to discover what’s right, not who is right. 
When thinking about what happened, try to remove yourself from the situation and evaluate right and wrong based solely on the actions that took place regardless of which side you’re on. Treat it as if you are refereeing someone else’s game.

Rule #7: Do not cuss. 
Exaggerated language is often proof of an exaggerated understanding of what actually happened. If you swear, the other party is likely to only hear the expletives and will stop listening for any validity in what you’re saying.

Rule 8: No name-calling. 
Belittling a person always shifts the focus off of resolving the actual problem. Verbal abuse is never welcome to a conflict resolution party.

Rule #9: Remind yourself the other person also cares about reconciling the relationship. 
One of the fundamental causes of many disagreements is feeling hurt that the other person is no longer considering your perspective, but if they didn’t care about a resolution with you they wouldn’t be fighting for one.

Rule #10: Remind yourself to never expect the other person to fill a hole in your life that only they can fill. 
Sometimes we fall into the trap of placing improper expectations on other people because we are hoping for them to satisfy a need in our life that they are not really capable of satisfying.

If we are fighting with someone, it means we both care about finding the best course of action and we both care about preserving the relationship. If we didn’t care about one another, then we would just ignore each other and leave.

The reason these 10 rules are important is because as long as they are in place, then no disagreement or conflict will ever shake the critical bedrock of knowing that the other person cares about you. As long as we know the other person cares about us, it will give us a common ground to work from as we try to unite two seemingly conflicted views.

Reposted from www.huffingtonpost.com (more…)

Returning To Love In A Conflict Situation

It is often the case that the people we love most are those that we have the worst conflicts with. Our most intimate relationships can touch upon our deepest places of hurt, mistrust and wounding often leading to misunderstandings, distance or fighting. Although these bumps along the path of relating may be inevitable, we can smooth the ride (or at least manage to stay on the path!) by remembering to return to a place of love in all situations of conflict.

What does this mean? Well, It means that no matter how you are triggered, how right you feel, how hurt you are there is nothing that will support your relationship (and you) more than being able to stay connected to the deep love that you feel for the person with which you are in conflict.

There are lots of ways to practice this but today I want to give you the step by step of how you actually make the physical, mental and emotional shift from negative emotion to a place of love. So, that you can be more effective at solving the conflict and building trust and intimacy. These are the steps to take when you start to see red while engaging with someone you love. Whenever possible, as soon as you become aware that you are getting agitated, take a breath and a moment to do the following:

Step #1: Recognize where you are. See your desire to hurt, blame or separate from the other person.

Step #2: Switch your perspective. You don’t have to forgive, agree or accept them, anything they say, or what they are doing. Just remember what it feels like to love that person.

Step #3: Think of what you would do or how you would act if you were feeling this love. In other words, if you were to choose loving connection over hurt, blame or disconnection what would you do.

Step #4: Decide what you want. Now that you have seen each of the options, which is the one that you want to choose?

Step#5: Love yourself for making the best choice you can in the moment regardless of what it is.

It is really easy in the heat of the moment to lose sight of everything that we valued and believed when we were not in the conflict. Simply by reconnecting with the memory of being loving towards the other person, it frees us up to find new options for resolution and connection.

Join Dr. Kate Siner with her guest, relationship expert, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and founder of Romantic Alchemy, Tabatha Bird Weaver as they discuss ways to connect with compassion no matter what situation you are in on this weeks hour of Real Answers Radio. Tune in for the tools to reduce conflict and create deeper levels of trust and health in all of your important relationships. Thursday, March 12th at 12pm EST. Learn more here.

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Work-life balance: Tips to reclaim control

There was a time when the boundaries between work and home were fairly clear. Today, however, work is likely to invade your personal life — and maintaining work-life balance is no simple task. This might be especially true if you’re concerned about losing your job due to restructuring, layoffs or other factors. Still, work-life balance isn’t out of reach.

Start by evaluating your relationship to work. Then apply specific strategies to help you strike a healthier balance.

Married to your work? Consider the cost

It can be tempting to rack up hours at work, especially if you’re trying to earn a promotion or manage an ever-increasing workload — or simply keep your head above water. Sometimes overtime might even be required. If you’re spending most of your time working, though, your home life will take a hit.

Consider the consequences of poor work-life balance:

Fatigue. When you’re tired, your ability to work productively and think clearly might suffer — which could take a toll on your professional reputation or lead to dangerous or costly mistakes.

Lost time with friends and loved ones. If you’re working too much, you might miss important family events or milestones. This can leave you feeling left out and might harm relationships with your loved ones. It’s also difficult to nurture friendships if you’re always working.

Increased expectations. If you regularly work extra hours, you might be given more responsibility — which could lead to additional concerns and challenges.

How to strike a better work-life balance
As long as you’re working, juggling the demands of career and personal life will probably be an ongoing challenge. Consider these ideas to find the work-life balance that’s best for you:

Track your time. Pay attention to your daily tasks, including work-related and personal activities. Decide what’s necessary and what satisfies you the most. Cut or delegate activities you don’t enjoy or can’t handle — or share your concerns and possible solutions with your employer or others.

Take advantage of your options. Ask your employer about flex hours, a compressed workweek, job sharing, telecommuting or other scheduling flexibility. The more control you have over your hours, the less stressed you’re likely to be.

Learn to say no. Whether it’s a co-worker asking you to spearhead an extra project or your child’s teacher asking you to organize a class party, remember that it’s OK to respectfully say no. When you quit accepting tasks out of guilt or a false sense of obligation, you’ll have more time for the activities that are meaningful to you.

Leave work at work. With the technology to connect to anyone at any time from virtually anywhere, there might be no boundary between work and home — unless you create it. Make a conscious decision to separate work time from personal time. When you’re with your family, for instance, keep your laptop in your briefcase.

Manage your time. Organize household tasks efficiently, such as running errands in batches or doing a load of laundry every day, rather than saving it all for your day off. Put family events on a weekly family calendar and keep a daily to-do list. Do what needs to be done and let the rest go.

Bolster your support system. At work, join forces with co-workers who can cover for you — and vice versa — when family conflicts arise. At home, enlist trusted friends and loved ones to pitch in with child care or household responsibilities when you need to work overtime or travel.

Nurture yourself. Eat a healthy diet, include physical activity in your daily routine and get enough sleep. Set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy, such as practicing yoga or reading. Better yet, discover activities you can do with your partner, family or friends — such as hiking, dancing or taking cooking classes.

reposted from the Mayo Clinic Online.

5 Quick Tips to Reduce Stress and Stop Anxiety

Like a monster from under the bed, stress and/or anxiety is stealing the peaceful nighttime Zzzzzs of nearly 70 million Americans. Anxiety may also be sabotaging your confidence, turning your stomach into knots, and impacting your general wellbeing. Learn how to squash the uncomfortable consequences of stress and anxiety with these 5 tips.

1. Remember: This Too Shall Pass

Laundry is piling up, the baby has a fever, and your boss wanted that report yesterday. Sound familiar? No one managing his or her own life is devoid of stress and too much of it can lead to excessive worry, nervousness, dread, upset stomach, or difficulty breathing. The first step to overcoming such negative feelings is to recognize that you are experiencing a very common emotional state most commonly identified as anxiety (learn more signs of anxiety). Although it’s uncomfortable, the negative feelings WILL PASS. Fighting the anxiety can make it stronger. Paradoxically, accepting that you are feeling anxious helps activate the body’s natural relaxation response.

2. Learn How to Self-Soothe

Imagine walking down a nature path only to be greeted by a snarling grizzly bear — or worse, your boss demanding that report. When we are faced with an anxiety-inducing situation, our body’s sympathetic nervous system automatically triggers physiological changes. Our breathing quickens, adrenaline is secreted, and our heart begins to race. This natural survival mechanism — called the fight or flight response — is intended to help us to escape a true, life threatening emergency. However, when the threat is imagined (e.g., I’m going to bomb this presentation and everyone will know I’m a fraud), the fight/flight response is unnecessary and very uncomfortable.

Self soothing techniques that reduce the stress response:

Diaphragmatic Breathing
One of the most effective ways to activate the relaxation response is by decreasing the heart rate. Since we can’t voluntarily alter our pulse, more tangible measures are needed. Luckily, a rapid heart rate can be lowered with deep breathing techniques. The most commonly utilized strategy is breathing by contracting the diaphragm, a horizontal muscle in the chest located just above the stomach cavity.

Positive Self-talk
If a small child told you he was nervous about going to school the next day, what would you say? Unless you’re an abusive lunatic, phrases like “you’re such a dumb little kid” or “you should be nervous because no one will like you” would never leave your mouth. This is because we intuitively know how to help others combat stress sometimes better than ourselves. To increase emotional comfort, it’s imperative to practice reassuring and realistic self-talk. When anxious, practice self-talk phrases such as:
“This feeling will pass.”
“I will get through this.”
“I am safe right now.”
“I am feeling anxious now, but I have the power make myself calm.”
“I can feel my heart rate slowing down.”

Muscle Relaxation
Stress causes our muscles to tighten and become tense. To increase a relaxed state and physical comfort, tighten and release muscles beginning with the largest muscle group. Watch this video to learn progressive muscle relaxation exercises.

3. Check Your Diet
What we eat and drink largely impacts our emotional state. Foods most associated with exacerbating anxiety are ones containing caffeine and alcohol. Even consumed in small amounts, studies have found that the stimulating effects of caffeine can cause anxiety, trigger panic attacks, and increase feelings of nervousness and irritability. Caffeine — commonly found in coffee, colas, tea, and chocolate — also causes physical symptoms such as trembling and shaking. Abruptly eliminating caffeine from the diet can lead to withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, restlessness, and irritability so it’s important to decrease caffeine consumption gradually. Similarly, although alcohol is often consumed to “take the edge off” it dehydrates the body and ultimately increases anxiety.

An imbalance of bacteria in the gut can also cause many symptoms associated with anxiety and other mood disorders. Researchers at McMaster University found evidence that the balance of bacteria in your gut may have more to do with your mood than any other contributing factor.

4. Get Moving

Most of us know that exercise is good for our physical health. For the past few decades, research has suggested that exercise is even more effective than medication (learn more from this helpful article from Huffington Post (link is external)). Maintaining a regular (healthy, non-obsessive) exercise routine has been proven to reduce stress, improve mood, enhance self-esteem, and increase energy levels. During exercise, the body releases chemicals called endorphins which interact with receptors in the brain to causing euphoric feelings and reduction in physical pain.

5. Get More Sleep

Nearly everyone feels a little crabby after a rough night’s sleep. Disrupted sleep is common in many emotional disorders and it’s difficult to know which started first — stress or poor sleep. A study from the University of Pennsylvania (link is external) showed that losing just a few hours of sleep increases feelings of stress, anger, sadness, and exhaustion.

“People tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you are fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

reposed from Psychology Today

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