March 9th, 2014
New research suggests losing weight can extinguish flames of passion, but there are ways to keep your relationship – and your waistline – stable.
A recent report by North Carolina State University and the University of Texas has found that relationships can come under strain when one partner loses a large amount of weight.
In a survey of 21 couples – in which one partner of each couple had lost at least 15kg in under two years – results showed that overall, relationships improved. However, in couples in which one partner was not receptive to the healthy shifts of another, relationships began to crack.
Researchers learned that in some couples, both are not equally committed to making lifestyle changes. Some admitted to making critical comments towards their significant other, while others attempted to sabotage their partner with unhealthy foods in order to derail their efforts and prevent them, and the relationship, changing.
Losing weight and getting fit can be life changing, but it doesn’t have to play havoc with your romantic life. In order to ensure losing weight doesn’t affect your relationship, consider these simple tricks:
Eating out can be an intimate, social occasion for you and your partner, but restaurant food can add pounds to your waistline and deduct them from your bank account. Cooking together at home is just as beneficial for your relationship and can help you to bond over favourite recipes and cooking tips. Plus you can control the fat and calories of each meal by cooking with fresh and healthy ingredients.
Chilling in front of the TV every evening can become a habit, but you can spend just as much quality time together if you go for a bike ride or a swim. Better yet, a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that those who exercise with their partner lose more weight than those who exercise on their own. Why not sign up for a marathon together to set yourself a shared challenge?
Load up on healthy snacks
Doing couply things like going on a road trip or heading to the cinema is a great way to relax and strengthen your relationship – but try to avoid tucking into sweets and other unhealthy snacks. For the car, pack some grapes, nuts, chilled melon cubes and bananas to satisfy your sweet tooth, and take light popcorn packs to the cinema so you’re not tempted to buy a big bucket of the salted version.
If you’d like some extra help in strengthening your relationship you can always talk to a relationship coach. They can offer guidance and support, and help you to overcome any issues that are affecting you as a couple. Found out more by visiting our relationships page.
View and comment on the original Women’s Health article.
March 5th, 2014
Simple tips to help you find fulfilment and joy at work.
We spend a large portion of our lives at work, so if we’re unhappy at work, we often feel unhappy in life. Even if you aren’t in your dream position, there are ways of making the working week more bearable.
So, if you’re struggling to find joy at work, try the following tips:
Make an effort
We’re talking about making an effort with everyone. Offering a sense of respect to everyone you meet at work can help to transform your workplace. When people feel valued, they feel happier and more willing to collaborate – so don’t leave this responsibility to those in charge, you can do your part too.
Liking the people you work with can make even the most mundane job bearable. Take the time to connect with co-workers on a personal as well as professional level.
Don’t get involved with negativity
In most working environments there is negativity to be found. Whether it’s a group of employees complaining about the company, or people bitching about each other – this negativity can have a huge impact. Try to avoid such discussions and confront co-workers with the idea of finding a solution to their problems rather than complaining about them.
Leave the office on your lunch break
Getting outside will not only give you some space from work issues, getting fresh air and a healthy dose of vitamin D will do wonders for your mood. Aim to leave the office every lunch break, even if you only go for a stroll around the building.
Be proud of your achievements
Even if you don’t receive positive feedback from superiors, be sure to keep track of your achievements. Try not to rely on others to remind you of your worth – look to yourself instead. Keeping note of everything you’ve achieved will not only boost your confidence, it will prove useful evidence when going for that promotion/pay rise.
Try to inject a little fun and camaraderie into the office. Go out for team lunches or organise a company fun-run to help bring people together. Having a sense of fun in the office will help to ease stress and make working life that much more enjoyable.
Still struggling to enjoy work? You may need to consider a career change. Find out how a life coach could help on our career coaching page.
View and comment on the original Yahoo Lifestyle article.
February 28th, 2014
We recognise when our friends are unhappy in their relationships, so why can’t we do the same for ourselves?
Falling in love with someone can make it incredibly hard to see when the relationship goes from happy and healthy, to unhappy and toxic. At the beginning of your relationship you may have thought your partner was the ‘one’, and even though things aren’t great anymore – you convince yourself that you’re just going through a rough patch.
Denial can be an incredibly powerful thing.
If your partner isn’t treating you right, it may well be time to consider your options. Remember that being single is far better than being in an unhappy relationship, no matter how scary the transition may feel.
Signs that you’re in an unhealthy relationship:
1. You’re losing friends
Many of us find we lose friends as we get older – it could be down to geography or simply because you drifted apart. This is quite normal, you should be worried however if you are losing friends because of your partner. Maybe he/she has a jealous streak and doesn’t let you have friends of the opposite sex, or maybe your friends simply don’t like your partner because of the way he/she treats you, or the way you act when you’re around him/her. Whatever the reason, if you find yourself losing friends because of your partner, it’s time to look at the relationship.
2. You feel as though you have to delete innocent texts/emails
If you find yourself deleting texts or emails because you are worried that your partner may misinterpret them – it may be time to take a step back. If your partner has a habit of getting angry over innocent messages and you feel as though you have to hide perfectly innocent correspondence, your partner may well have trust issues.
3. You’re unhappy most of the time
An obvious one, but happiness is a tricky thing to define. You may say you are happy in your relationship, but do you truly feel happiness or are you just happy to be in a relationship? If your partner puts you down or you feel anxious and unhappy most of the time, it may be time to put your happiness first and get out of the relationship.
4. He/she lets you down
Does your partner agree to plans and then let you down at the last minute? If this is a regular occurrence it may be worth asking if they value your time. If your partner can’t commit to simple plans like this – how well do you think they’ll commit to you in the future?
5. Your loved ones don’t like your partner
Chances are – your mum’s right when she tells you ‘he/she is bad news’. If family and friends tell you they don’t like the person you’re dating, it may be worth listening to them. Of course some friends will have an opinion no matter who you’re dating, but if all of your loved ones agree that you aren’t being treated right, give them your time and listen.
If you feel you could use a little extra help in the dating game, why not speak to a relationship coach? Find out more on our relationships page.
View and comment on the original Inspiyr article.
February 27th, 2014
Moving abroad is a life changing experience, yet it can bring with it a number of challenges. Here’s some advice on how to emigrate successfully.
Every week 2,000 people leave Britain permanently in search of new lives abroad, and the start of the New Year is typically the main time that they choose to do so.
Yet while emigrating for a fresh start may be a spur of the moment decision, the actual move takes a lot more time, effort and preparation than a few months.
Essentially, a great deal of planning is required and you need to be completely sure that it is the right decision for you and your family.
If you are determined to relocate and leave wet and windy Britain behind for good, here are five top tips to help you make your move abroad a success:
You need your finances to be strong when you move abroad due to the number of costs involved (including visas and the possibility of living without an income for a while). Try not to spend all your savings on the move, as you are likely to need a financial buffer. Also, be sure check the tax regime in your new nation.
Tie up loose ends
As well as sorting out your finances, you will need to consider work – handing in your notice and finding a job in your new nation. The same applies to other members of your household, and if you have children you will need to arrange where they can continue their schooling abroad. You also need to consider what is going to happen to your house and the possessions you are leaving behind.
Rent rather than buy
You should only consider buying a property in a new nation after having lived there for a period of time. Then you can be sure you are buying in the best location for you and your family and will have better understanding of how the property market works in your new country.
To ensure you integrate into your new way of life and community successfully once you move abroad, you need to learn the language and be prepared to embrace new cultures, food and lifestyles. Actively making friends and getting involved in the community will help you to better settle in and establish a new way of life.
Moving abroad is more than just changing location and signing papers; it’s a massive emotional upheaval and a complete life change. Sometimes people can end up feeling overwhelmed by the whole process, but a life coach can help to add a new depth of clarity to a challenging situation. It’s about bringing potential problems out from the shadows, exposing obstacles and then finding ways to overcome them – essentially helping you to better manage the transition from one country to another.
For more information on how life coaching can help with moving abroad, see our moving abroad page.
View and comment on the original ShelterOffshore article.
February 25th, 2014
Advancements in technology and the rise of social media appear to have made us more connected than ever – but how is this affecting our real life relationships? Life Coach Directory look at the ways technology can help or hinder a relationship.
Picture the scene: It’s Valentine’s Day, you get home from work, thank your partner for their e-card and power up your laptop to get some last minute emails signed off. After dinner, you pick up your tablet and browse Facebook and Twitter while across the room your partner is glued to their Smartphone watching YouTube videos. Occasionally you glance up to complain that there is nothing on TV, but most of the evening is spent in silence.
Is this a relationship in trouble or an accurate portrait of a modern day relationship?
We asked visitors to Life Coach Directory if they thought technology was affecting our relationships, and the answer was a resounding yes with many respondents citing social media and miscommunication as relationship roadblocks1.
Of course others argue that there are ways that technology can help to strengthen connections; so does modern technology help or hinder relationships? In reality the answer is: a little bit of both. It isn’t necessarily technology that is the problem, more the way we use it.
How it can help:
One in five relationships now start with the click of a mouse, proving that when it comes to searching for love many of us are happy to do so online2. There are countless dating sites dedicated to every niche and preference you could possibly want, allowing singles the chance to browse potential suitors from the comfort of their own home.
Thinking about looking for love online? Relationship and life coach Madeline Corr has some pointers3:
- Before you get online, know your outcome. Know who you are, what you want and your non-negotiables.
- I promote the importance of pacing, even when you’re online – so think about timing when responding to emails, preferably 24 hours.
- If you’re meeting for a first date, again, know your outcome, which might be to prequalify or disqualify your date as say a life partner (if that’s what you want) and decide if you want to see them again.
Long distance relationships
Whether your partner lives far away, or you are separated by a temporary trip – technology can help you stay connected. Through the power of Skype and FaceTime you can see and speak to each other as often as you want, providing you both have Internet connection, while social networking sites allow you to bond and connect wherever you are in the world.
Random acts of affection
While telling your partner verbally how much you appreciate them is crucial in a relationship, being able to send them the odd text or picture message with the same sentiment can help to solidify bonds and smooth tensions.
How it can hinder:
Venting on social media
Talking to our friends about the trials and tribulations of a relationship helps us to gain perspective and feel emotionally lighter. Unfortunately now that a lot of our friendships are conducted from cyberspace, social networking sites become poor substitutes for real advice. As we vent about our partner online we invite judgement and opinion – often from complete strangers.
Social networks allow us to edit our lives as we see fit – we can tell the world about life’s sunnier moments while excluding the tears and fallouts. Seeing our friend’s seemingly perfect life unfold via stylised wedding shots and pregnancy announcements online can cause us to call our own relationships into question. If we let it, this can lead to jealousy, insecurity and conflict.
Being able to connect with people around the world is fantastic, but it can come with consequence. More and more couples are fighting over online friendships, and while there may not be any physical contact involved – emotional infidelity can ruin a relationship.
It is thought that over 90% of all communication is non-verbal, so when online messaging removes this factor, we find ourselves stranded with the bare bones of conversation. Ultimately this can lead to miscommunication, the seed of almost all conflict.
How we can stay connected (in real life)
The Internet can be a great tool if we use it correctly, the key is to know when it is helpful and when it isn’t. Some couples find that having at least one tech-free evening a week to focus on each other and talk honestly is helpful. Those who have a habit of airing their arguments online should try to take 24 hours before posting anything, by then you may have calmed down. Remembering that social networks are not true representations of real life is also key, so try to resist the urge to compare yourself to others online.
1 Results from 12 respondents to survey posted January 29th – February 19th.
2 Statistic sourced from Huffington Post.
3 Madeline Corr is a Surrey-based life coach with experience in relationship coaching.
For further information or to arrange an interview with a life coach, please contact Katherine Nicholls:
Tel: 01276 301239
February 22nd, 2014
An Oxford University study has shown a link between video games and improved reading and attention skills.
New research highlights that video games – especially the action packed games – are beneficial to those with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, as it helps to improve sufferers’ reading and attention skills.
While it is well known that dyslexics process low-level visual and auditory stimuli such as video games in a different way to non-dyslexics, the Oxford University study aimed to highlight audiovisual multisensory processes – the processes dyslexics need to succeed in video games.
36 participants were involved in the research – 17 with dyslexia and 19 without – and they were required to press a button each time they heard a sound and/or saw a flash of dim light patterns.
Dyslexics typically find it more difficult to process both reading materials and auditory instructions, and the study showed that in comparison to participants without a learning disability, dyslexics exhibit deficits in the pathways that enable a quick shift of focus from one process to another.
This means that although dyslexics tend to have good creativity and innovation, the process of information between different areas of the brain is unnaturally slow.
Action packed video games are thought to be of benefit because they are filled with sensory stimuli that includes all areas of the brain. In order to succeed and win, the dyslexic is forced to improve their connectivity between the two parts of the brain, so that information processes faster.
These findings suggest video games may be more efficient in helping to make life easier for dyslexics than the commonly used approach of phonetics. Although phonetics does combine visual and auditory processes, the confusion dyslexics experience over the shapes of certain letters means it is not completely effective.
A lifecoach can help you to overcome the challenges of dyslexia, and will encourage you to develop your skills and learn new approaches. For more information and advice, see our dyslexia coaching page.
View and comment on the original Examiner.com article.
February 19th, 2014
Keep reading for five ways to ensure your contribution to the company is recognised.
You can be the best person in the world at your job – but if your boss doesn’t see what an asset you are, chances are you’ll get left behind when it comes to promotion time. When the decision makers consider people for raises and promotions, they can only base their decisions on what they know you’ve done. This makes it incredibly important to keep them in the loop and to be visible throughout the year, not just at review time.
The following tips should help you step out from the shadows and into the career spotlight:
1. Keep your manager informed
A lot of employees find it hard to talk to their bosses on a regular basis. This could be due to busy schedules or even a strained employee-boss relationship. Whatever the reason, now is the time to address it. Schedule in a catch up with your boss every couple of weeks and use this time to keep your manager up to date with your current projects, progress made and any accomplishments you’ve achieved.
2. Focus on results over activities
During meetings with your manager it can be easy to get lost in a checklist of things you’ve done, i.e. ‘I spoke to 10 potential clients’, rather than the results or implications. Try to look at the bigger picture when discussing your activities and mention their impact, i.e. ‘I spoke to 10 potential clients who are hungry for business and should bring in X in terms of revenue once I wrap up negotiations.’
3. Get back up
When you accomplish something and a colleague or customer gives you praise, keep note of it. If the praise came from a work colleague you could even ask them to send your manager a quick email to let them know. This kind of back-up will come in handy when providing evidence for a raise/promotion.
4. Get in front of the decision makers
Presenting your ideas and results well to the right people can carry as much sway in your career as doing the work itself. To get in front of the right people, ask your manager if you can present some ideas to those higher up to help practice your speaking and presentation skills. You’ll be making your boss look good by taking the initiative so work together to offer something of substance.
5. Take back any stolen ideas
It happens to the best of us – you tell a colleague about a great idea and they present it in a meeting as their own. While it is generally frowned upon to kick up a fuss and scream “that was my idea!” across the boardroom, there are ways you can regain control. When the idea is presented, expand on it with your own research and data to prove that it was you who put in the work.
If you think your career could do with a boost, why not consider career coaching? Find out more on our career page.
View and comment on the original Daily Muse article.
February 14th, 2014
A new survey highlights a very bleak view of relationships in Britain.
Research commissioned by SodaStream UK has found that three out of every four couples feel that their relationship has lost its spark, with more than a fifth confessing they feel stuck in a rut with their other half.
In the latest assessment of modern life, it seems the honeymoon period is wearing off quicker than ever before, with one in 10 admitting that the spark began to fade within the very first year of their relationship, while 16% said it disappeared just months after moving in together.
As for the average relationship, the spark eventually wears off after around three and a half years – so much for the seven-year itch!
The poll of 2000 couples did however reveal that partners are aware of their failures in a relationship, with 57% per cent admitting they take each other for granted, and 64% saying that it’s hard to keep a relationship fresh once daily life gets in the way.
With more than half of those polled saying they would be happier in their relationship if their partner made more of an effort to be romantic, it’s no surprise that many look forward to Valentines Day as a delegated ‘date night’.
A romantic break and kissing each other goodbye were rated among the best ways to get the spark back, and 26% even admitted that receiving nice text messages would make a difference.
Fiona Hope, MD of SodaStream UK said: “It’s great to think that, while there are couples struggling, many want to get that sparkle back. Holidays, “date nights” and weekends away are being planned.”
The top ten signs that the spark is fading are:
- opting for sleep over sex
- not kissing goodbye
- too few date nights
- not cuddling-up on the sofa
- not saying “I love you”
- going to bed at different times
- assuming one of you will do all the chores
- spending evenings in different rooms
- watching TV in separate rooms.
If you feel your relationship is in need of a boost you might benefit from talking to a life coach. Find out more by visiting our relationship advice page.
View and comment on the original Express article.
February 12th, 2014
We’re into the second month of 2014 – time to catch up with Life Coach Directory’s blogger Kat to see how she’s getting on with her happiness project…
So, it’s been one month since I started my own personal Happiness Project for 2014 where I’m setting myself a list of goals to achieve each month. For January my goals were based around energy and organisation:
1. Start and maintain a fitness regime
Starting a fitness regime took a few days to implement, but I quickly got back into the swing of things with a mix of cardio work and yoga. There has been the odd obstacle that slowed me down (including an injured knee) but I’ve managed to keep it going by altering my workouts accordingly and avoiding high-impact moves. I found by pushing myself to exercise when I least wanted to, the more energetic I felt overall. Getting that blood pumping is definitely a must to boost energy.
2. Go to bed earlier
Again, this took a week or so to accomplish. At first I was still in the late night routine I’d picked up over the Christmas holidays and found myself struggling to switch off. By journaling any worries or thoughts before I went to bed and switching off the TV in favour of meditation – I found it much easier to switch off.
3. Clear out my wardrobe and room
This is such a simple task that makes you feel instantly better. I hate clutter and get stressed when my room is in disarray, so this was an enjoyable task for me. Since clearing out old clothes and junk from my room I’ve felt lighter and have found it so much easier to keep my room organised.
4. Tackle a nagging task
There’s always one goal that isn’t quite achieved isn’t there? I’ve been meaning to book dentist and opticians appointments since last autumn and still haven’t gotten around to doing this (will add it to the goals for February). I did however finally pass my driving test, so I like to think that is at least one nagging task out of the way.
This month is dedicated to all things relationships. I have been with my partner for two and a half years and am keen to inject a little more spontaneity into our relationship. On top of this, I want to make sure I’m giving my friendships enough attention. So, without further ado – my goals for February are:
- do something with my partner neither of us have done before
- show my appreciation for him more often
- be more proactive on the weekends and organise something special
- take the time to connect with all my close friends – even if it is just a Skype date.
Have you been keeping up with your goals for 2014? Let me know in the comments below.
February 7th, 2014
Bonding with pets is crucial for developing social skills in young adults, says study.
While pets are often associated with a number of health benefits, a recent study shows bonding with your cats and dogs can positively impact on your social skills too.
Published in the British Journal of Psychology, the study showed that young people with an attachment to a particular animal were more likely to exhibit signs of empathy and confidence, as well as a closer connection with others than those who didn’t.
All 500 young adult participants (mainly women aged between 18 and 26) were asked questions about their attitudes and feelings towards animals. They were also assessed for positive aspects of youth development, like whether or not they were confident as well as looking for signs of depression and negative emotions.
The findings also showed that the more a participant cared for and looked after an animal, the more likely they were to get involved in certain activities, such as volunteer work and helping friends and family.
There is also a strong chance that owning a pet will increase a person’s likeliness to speak to strangers. A dog in particular can serve as a catalyst for social involvement, especially among fellow dog walkers. The study found that when someone was alone, they only spoke to on average around three strangers, compared to when they were with a dog, and spoke to about 65 strangers in the same amount of time.
Ultimately the study identified a clear correlation between owning a pet and socialising more, yet despite this no causal link was found. Only future studies looking at how the animal-human relationship develops over time will offer insight into this – especially as researchers believe it’s more about the quality of the pet-owner relationship than the quantity of time humans spend around animals.
Dr Megan Mueller – a developmental psychologist and research assistant professor at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, U.S – is confident however that the findings pose “a promising starting point to better understanding the role of animals in our lives, especially when we are young”.
Find out how life coaching can help to improve your social skills and enhance friendships and relationships. See our personal development page for more information.
View and comment on the original MedicalDaily article.