Coaching for health and wellbeing
How can coaching help with health and wellbeing? Well, because it's a problem-focused approach, coaching is very good at targeting a particular problem - work-related stress, say, or insomnia - and helping someone deal with it in as short a time as possible. And cognitive-behavioural coaching - an approach based on cognitive-behavioural-therapy, or CBT - is especially well suited to health-related problems, because it helps people overcome the negative, unhelpful thinking that’s at their root.
For example, if you are suffering from stress, the key thing to understand is that it’s not only the situation (demanding boss, heavy workload, frazzling family life) that’s causing your stress, although of course some situations are far more stressful than others. Far more important is the way you’re thinking about that situation, yourself and the other people involved.
Let’s take the demanding boss as an example. If he makes critical and demeaning remarks to you in front of your colleagues, it’s important that you deal with him assertively. (A lack of assertiveness is a common cause of chronic stress). So if he’s rude to you, an assertive response would be to find a time to speak to him alone, then tell him that you would appreciate it if he spoke to you respectfully in future.
Why would you not do that? Because you might be thinking things like, ‘If I speak up to my boss he will fire me,’ or ‘He’s probably right, I am rubbish at my job so I deserve a telling-off.’
So it’s these thoughts that are stopping you being assertive, which allows your boss to be rude to you, which makes you stressed. In cognitive-behavioural coaching you learn how to become aware of and then modify these negative thoughts, which can help with a whole host of issues such as stress or low mood, fear of public speaking, social anxiety, a lack of confidence or low self-esteem… the list is endless.
The good news is that, however difficult your situation, you have the power to help yourself feel better about it – change your thoughts and you really can change your life.
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