May 22nd, 2013
Some argue great leadership is in the blood, others insist it simply takes the confidence to try. Here the Life Coach Directory asks experienced business coach Karen Perkins for her tips on how to be a successful leader in a modern business environment.
Surrey (PRWEB UK) 20 May 2013
Sheffield-based life, executive and business coach Karen Perkins has over 20 years experience in public sector management and strategy development . She coaches clients hoping to develop their leadership skills in order to gain more confidence, respect and efficiency in the workplace. Leadership, Karen claims, is something we can all achieve if we really want. Now online network Life Coach Directory asks: what does it take?
A booming voice, authoritative demeanour and no-nonsense attitude might get a person noticed in business, but it doesn’t automatically make them a good leader. Leadership, Karen explains, requires a certain level of emotional intelligence and selflessness. Leaders have to think about the team’s improvement, not just their own personal development.
“Leadership is NOT about you,” says Karen. “It’s about the needs of the team, organisation and individual.”
You don’t have to be a manager or top executive to be a good leader. Even team members can support and encourage their fellow members by leading by example and offering guidance. Karen finds that many of her clients come in believing leadership is ‘a role for a boss’, which stops them seeing the potential of their own personality.
A big aim in coaching is to give clients the confidence to break out of their perceived roles so they can finally stop imposing limits on themselves. Karen believes there are five core leadership skills anyone can practice: Read the rest of this entry »
May 17th, 2013
No matter what kind of day you’re having, taking 10 minutes out for yourself will offer a refreshing break and can help to improve your health, focus and happiness.
Research from the University of Bath has recently revealed that taking just 10 minutes a day to go for a walk can prevent long-term health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
This got us thinking – what else could we squeeze into 10 minutes that would benefit us? Taking just a small amount of time out of your day to do the following activities could help you feel healthier and happier…
1) Learn to meditate
Taking the time to learn to meditate can help you achieve clarity of thought using simple breathing techniques. Often confused with relaxation, meditation is in fact a separate technique that requires practice. If you want to give it a go, take a look at Headspace for tips and advice.
Having a good laugh has been proven to boost the immune system by up to 40%. When we laugh, our whole body gets a workout, from our core muscles to our face – so build up a collection of films, books or even YouTube clips that make you chuckle and aim to have a good giggle every day.
3) Have a power nap
Studies have shown that a quick power nap in the afternoon can help to improve memory and increase productivity. You don’t even have to fall into a deep sleep, simply lying down and closing your eyes for 10 minutes can help you feel more alert. Be sure to limit yourself to 20 minutes of snooze time max so you don’t affect your body clock.
4) Have a healthy, mindful snack
For many of us, snacking is a mindless task done while we’re working or watching TV. This can lead to us overeating as we end up eating too fast. Try to prepare something healthy next snack time and take 10 minutes to focus on what you’re eating, savouring every bite.
5) Get creative
If you find meditating or power napping too difficult, why not get creative instead? Take 10 minutes to do something artistic, whether that’s painting, writing or playing the piano – anything that isn’t work-related. By taking these 10 minutes to create something you will discover a new sense of satisfaction.
If you think you should be taking more time out for yourself, why not speak to a life coach who could offer guidance? To find out more about what a life coach could help you with, please see our Personal Development page.
View and comment on the original Express article.
May 15th, 2013
As well as providing you with years of unconditional love and company, it seems your furry four-legged friend may also be boosting your health and protecting your heart.
Experts at the American Heart Association (AHA) have found evidence to suggest that people who own a pet – in particular a dog, have a lower risk of developing heart disease.
It seems dogs may truly be man’s best friend. According to Barbara George, director of the Centre for Cardiovascular Lifestyle Medicine at Winthrop University, people who have pets tend to have lower blood pressure. She said they also appear to have more mood-related brain chemicals, lower cholesterol, lower weight and a better stress response.
In an official statement released last Thursday, the AHA said that pet ownership can even improve survival amongst heart disease patients.
A study of over 5,200 adults found that those who owned dogs did more physical activity than those who did not own dogs. They were also 54% more likely to reach the recommended level of physical activity every day.
“Walking your dog is a healthy chore; it is a great way to exercise without thinking about it,” said Dr. Nieca Goldberg, clinical associate professor in the department of medicine at the Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.
Most dogs require a great deal of exercise for their general health and happiness, which forces owners out into the fresh air when they might otherwise stay at home. According to the AHA, having a pet can also act as a de-stressor and help reduce anxiety and depression.
George believes humans can benefit from both the physical and mental rewards of pet ownership. Our pets give us something to love and something to get up for every day. They offer us a sense of responsibility and provide us with constant company. Getting out walking is a great way to keep the body and mind healthy, setting the foundations for a longer, happier life.
The AHA statement was published on May 9 in the online journal Circulation.
If you are looking for new ways to boost your health and happiness, why not seek the guidance and support of a life coach? To find out more, please visit our Health page.
View and comment on the original iVillage article.
May 10th, 2013
A recent study has listed 50 activities Britons feel they need to achieve before they die – how many have you done?
Researchers spoke to 2,000 adults aged 18-65 to find out what they feel they need to do in life to be living it to the full. The results have been displayed as a list of activities we feel are essential for living a ‘full’ life.
Romance was a prominent feature on the list with activities ranging from ‘finding true love’ to ‘kissing a stranger’ and even (rather sweetly) ‘being married to someone for longer than 20 years’.
Learning new skills and experiencing new things were also included, with activities such as ‘learn a new language’, ‘travel alone’ and ‘learn how to play an instrument’ being listed.
While most of the activities listed are productive and potentially life enhancing, a few less savoury activities were also included, such as ‘blow a load of money on a shopping trip’, ‘have a one-night stand’ and ‘have an all-night drinking session’.
So, while we don’t advocate every item on the list, it certainly is interesting to see what we feel we need to do in order to ‘live life’ as a nation. Our 10 favourite activities on the list are as follows…
1. Stop worrying what other people think.
2. Take pleasure in the small things in life.
3. Experience cultures other than your own.
4. Be true to yourself.
5. Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have.
6. Use your money on experiences rather than saving for a rainy day.
7. Make time for friends and family.
8. Volunteer for a good cause.
9. Take up a new challenge.
10. Spend time with children (even if they aren’t your own).
If you feel unmotivated about the way your life is going, speaking to a life coach could help you reignite your lust for life. For more information about what they could offer you, please see our Life Coaching Areas page.
View and comment the original Telegraph article.
May 9th, 2013
Sometimes in life we realise we’ve ended up in a place we never thought we’d be.
It tends to happen when we reach a milestone age, or notice other people in our lives accomplishing things we haven’t. This can lead to a confusing mixture of regret, envy, longing and hope.
Some of us wallow in these thoughts, others distract themselves with the daily routine but, however much you resist that voice, it will continue to call. Sometimes the only way to silence that inner critic is to listen to it.
Your critical voice might say things like: “I am not destined to be successful, otherwise I wouldn’t have spent all this time doing things I’m not 100% happy with”, or – “There is so much competition and so many others just like me, what’s the point in trying?”
To overcome these limiting thoughts, draw up a list of everything your critical voices say and then put it away for the time being. Now you will come to a powerful moment – you can listen to this voice and you can identify the deeper message beneath the noise. What is the deep longing underneath your fears? What does your soul desire? What is it that you actually want to do? To start a new hobby, uncover a talent, explore somewhere new both physically and spiritually?
It is never too late to discover your real desires in life. You don’t have to squash them down because you think it’s ‘the wrong time’, or you’re ‘too old’. Each moment is new and full of possibility – your feelings of inadequacy or panic will only wrap you further up in your fears.
If you feel stuck, or that you’re not at the place you’d like to be in life, then hiring a life coach could help you develop a way of thinking that could help you out of that rut. Often it’s our own critical voices that stop us from being happy. Knowing what it is you’re afraid of will help to silence that voice so you can move forwards in life.
Find out more by visiting our Personal Development page.
View and comment on the original Inspiyr article
May 3rd, 2013
Many of us consider an evening in front of the TV as quality relaxation time, but is it affecting our health? And what should we be watching?
Ever since the television made its debut at the World’s Fair in 1939 it has become a mainstay in the majority of households around the world. Our TVs are now our source of news and entertainment, and life without them would be odd to say the least.
The question is – does watching TV damage our health? There have been countless studies on this subject with some conflicting results. One study has said that for every hour of TV we watch, our life expectancy decreases by 22 minutes. This dramatic conclusion has most likely been met because watching TV tends to be part of a relatively unhealthy lifestyle involving poor eating habits and insufficient physical activity.
Another study revealed that children who watch a lot of TV are more likely to eat junk food and less likely to eat fruit, while another study discovered that those who watch little to no TV are happier than those who watch a lot.
In contrast to this, other studies have revealed that educational programmes can help children perform better academically than those who watch other kinds of TV shows. Watching our favourite show has even been shown to boost brainpower and increase our knowledge of political issues.
Ultimately no one is saying that watching TV will damage your health, the problems seem to lie in what we do when we watch TV and what we’re watching. Sitting in a stagnant position for hours on end watching a violent horror film and eating junk food isn’t likely to do our health any favours.
To make the most of your TV time try watching a programme that teaches you something (like a cooking show or a historical documentary), avoid mindless snacking and use every advert break as a reminder to get up and move around.
If you are struggling to tear yourself away from the TV, speaking to a life coach could help to increase your Energy levels and Motivation.
View and comment on the original Greatist article.
May 1st, 2013
Studies show that early birds – people who wake up early in the morning, are more likely to be healthier, happier and more successful than their night owl counterparts.
If you are the type of person who springs out of bed at the first hint of sunlight in the morning, then you’re in luck. In 2008 a Texas University study found that students who identified themselves as morning people scored (on average) a full grade higher in their exams than those who preferred to stay up late and lie-in.
For most people, the idea of leaping out of bed when it’s still dark, going for a quick jog and getting an hour of work done before breakfast is too exhausting to even think about. Surely people who do this are ready to slump and go home by midday? According to one study by a biology professor at the University of Education (Heidelberg), people who woke up early were more likely to feel energetic and willing to ‘make things happen’ in life than those who enjoyed a lie-in.
While studies show night owls to be more intelligent and creative than their early rising peers, they are also more likely to display traits such as depression, pessimism and neurotic behaviour. Early birds on the other hand tend to exhibit optimism, satisfaction and conscientiousness.
Of course, it makes sense that early risers tend to be happier, healthier and more successful because, while everyone else is busy dribbling into their pillows, those people are out there exercising, working, or simply preparing themselves mentally for the day ahead.
Rising early can take a lot of self-discipline, especially when it’s cold and dark outside and you’re dreading the day ahead. However, with practice getting up early can become second nature. Here are the golden rules for getting yourself up in the morning:
1. Get to bed at a reasonable time – Only you know how much sleep you need to feel energised the next day. Plan a ‘bed time’ and half an hour before that time, switch off all electronic devices, get into your pyjamas, pick up a book, or simply close your eyes and visualise a place or scenario that makes you happy.
2. Never hit snooze - Hitting snooze on your alarm clock is just asking for trouble. That extra 10 minutes in bed isn’t really going to benefit you in any way and it’s never good to start the day in a rush. Looking bedraggled, forgetting your lunch and turning up late for work are all sure-fire ways to taint what could have been a great day.
3. Make your bed the moment you leave it - That way you can’t get back into it!
4. Do five minutes of exercise – Make a habit of doing five star jumps, five sit ups, five press ups and two minutes of stretching before you jump into the shower. It’s a small amount of exercise but it’ll wake your brain up and help you stay fit over time.
5. Drink a glass of water and always make time for breakfast - This will rehydrate you, kick start your metabolism and fuel your body for the next four or five hours until lunch.
If you need to reshuffle your life or daily routine in order to meet your goals and aspirations, hiring a life coach could give you the confidence and structure to do that. Find out more by visiting our Motivation page.
View and comment on the original Inspiyr article.
April 26th, 2013
Whether you wake up feeling lethargic, or you find your energy levels flag as the day goes on, finding healthy and natural ways to boost your energy can help you make the most of every day.
When our energy levels decrease, many of us reach for coffee or chocolate for a quick fix. While this may feel great at first, a couple of hours after this fix we tend to feel even worse.
The following tips are healthy and natural ways to boost your energy levels without any unwanted side effects.
1. Start your day right – a great ‘power breakfast’ of porridge and fruit can get you off to a fresh start and help you feel powered up for the whole day.
2. Think about your posture – by readjusting your posture and sitting up straight, you will increase the amount of oxygen in your body, helping you to feel energised. When you are feeling tired, think about your posture and take a few deep breaths.
3. Hydrate – make a conscious effort to drink water every hour. Even the smallest amount of dehydration can make you feel sluggish.
4. Step away from the screen – sitting in front of a computer all day can easily lead to eyestrain, and where eyestrain starts, tiredness generally follows. Make sure your screen is clean, at an appropriate height for you and that you use a font size of 12 points or above. Also be sure to take regular breaks to give your eyes a break from the screen.
5. Open a window – letting some fresh air in will not only make your room less stuffy, it will also reduce carbon-dioxide build-up (which experts have linked to fatigue).
6. Switch off – any electromagnetic equipment you have in your bedroom can interfere with your brainwaves, making you feel tired. Try to keep any electronic equipment like clocks, TVs etc. at least eight feet away from the head of your bed – or better yet, remove them completely or turn them off.
If you are struggling to maintain your energy levels, speaking to a life coach could help. For more information, please see our Energy page.
View and comment on the original Express article.
April 24th, 2013
Spring means big bucks for magazines and products advocating weight loss. The ‘lose 14lbs in 2 weeks!’ slogans, ‘beach bod’ workouts and increasingly bizarre fad diets are now in full throttle as we head straight into shorts season.
According to love, sex and health expert Dr. Pam Spurr, countless women and increasing numbers of men dread warmer weather because they don’t want to strip off. They worry that, because their bodies aren’t like the ones they see in the media spotlight, partners or potential partners won’t find them attractive, and that people will judge them by the shape and size of their bodies.
With magazines and news sites bombarding us with images of stick-insect celebs frolicking on the beach, it’s no wonder we’re all feeling a little disheartened about how we look. Often, the figures people desire are only really achievable through five hours of exercise a day and near-starvation. For most of us, this simply isn’t realistic – it would also do untold damage to the body and make life pretty miserable.
Instead of feeling bad about yourself and spending summer lurking under layers of clothing in the shade, Dr. Spurr recommends you take the following tips for body confidence:
1. DON’T be mean to yourself. If you stop to think about it, the worst comments about your looks probably come from you. Remove all mirrors in your home and challenge that negative voice pinpointing all your ‘flaws’. Research shows the more you look at your reflection, the more you’ll obsess about your body shape and size.
2. DON’T attribute your self-worth to your body size or shape. If you ever catch yourself wondering if people would respect you more, or take more notice of you if you were thinner, then you’re probably pinning unwarranted blame on your body. Address the real issues at hand – don’t blame your looks for everything that goes wrong in life.
3. DON’T put up with a partner who criticises your body in a disrespectful way. While it is natural for loved ones to be concerned if your weight is affecting your health, any digs or jibes designed to hurt you need to be challenged. Some people use other people’s insecurities as a way of controlling them. Make sure you are not in this kind of relationship.
4. DON’T diet because you feel bad about your body. If you want to lose weight, do it for positive reasons. Do it because you want to live for longer, get fit, or feel happier. If you cut out your favourite foods because you hate your body, you’ll resent your new diet and you’ll resent your body even more for putting you through it.
5. DO keep track of your progress. Think about what you’re doing well and praise yourself for every achievement. If you say ‘no thanks’ to a colleague offering biscuits, give yourself a mental pat on the back. It’s the small things that make big differences and if you take note of these, you’ll see what a great job you’re doing every day.
Remember that healthy change takes time and it’s important to feel good about yourself regardless of your size or shape. Every small change will make a difference eventually.
If you’d like support and encouragement making changes in your life, why not get in touch with a life coach? Find out more by visiting our Health page.
View and comment on the original Express article.
April 19th, 2013
A new study has revealed that those with a younger outlook on life are more likely to be healthy in later life.
For some, age is nothing but a number, for others it is a defining attribute. Those who consider themselves old and frail are more likely to disregard activities that could keep them healthier and active for longer. In contrast, those with a more positive outlook tend to remain more socially active and enjoy a better quality of life, even if they have equal or greater levels of weakness to those who consider themselves frail.
Researchers from Exeter University conducted a study interviewing 29 people aged between 66 and 98 with varying levels of health. Some participants lived in care homes and others lived independently.
The interview questions asked participants about their experience of ageing to help determine how their attitude affected them physically. Most of the people interviewed considered themselves to be in good condition (including those in the worst physical shape) and one commented that those who think they are old and frail will act like they’re old and frail.
Within the study, two people did consider themselves frail. In these participants researchers identified a ‘cycle of decline’ in which their outlook had led to a withdrawal from social and physical activity, even though they were in fact physically stronger than some of the other participants.
Past studies have already revealed that elderly people who have a rich social life and are physically active remain healthier and happier for longer in old age.
Leader of the study and PhD student Krystal Warmoth presented her findings at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society saying:
“It is almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. A person’s beliefs about their self could lead to a loss of interest in participating in social and physical activities, poor health, stigmatisation, and reduced quality of life. You are as old as you feel and your own views of yourself, or taking on this identity of being frail, is not what you should be doing.”
If you are keen to change your outlook on your life and health (whatever your age) speaking to a life coach could help. For more information, please see our Health page.
View and comment on the original Telegraph article.