Are you SAD?

Posted November 9th, 2017

Sad Woman Looking Out Window

As the days get shorter and the weather turns colder, winter can affect our mood in many ways. But if The Winter Blues leaves you feeling miserable, irritable and tired every year, you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

SAD is a form of depression that can affect your mood, appetite, sleep and energy levels. It can play havoc with all aspects of your life – from your relationships and your social life to you sense of self-worth. You may feel that you’re a totally different person during the winter and find it tough to function normally. Then, come spring, it’s like a dark cloud has lifted and you can feel yourself again.

Treatment for SAD typically involves light therapy, using a light box that delivers up to 10x the intensity of normal daylight that is missing during wintertime. Daily exposure will trick the brain into producing less melatonin (the hormone that makes you feel sleepy and less energetic). Phototherapy is an effective treatment but it doesn’t work for everyone. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can also be highly beneficial for suffers of seasonal depression.

Whichever treatment plan you favour, it’s important to combine it with self-help techniques that will help you manage your symptoms. By adopting healthy daily habits and scheduling time for fun and relaxation into your day, seasonal affective disorder can be controlled in the short and longer term.

Top 5 Self Help Tips for SAD

1 – Get as much exposure to natural light as you can by spending time outdoors in the winter sunshine, and keep curtains and blinds wide open during sunny days.
2 – Take regular exercise (preferably outdoors!) – 30-60 minutes a day are recommended. It will help you boost all those feelgood brain chemicals, improve your sleep and self-esteem.
3 – Be social and reach out to friends and family, meet new people or take up a hobby. Being around other people will take you out of your shell and provide inspiration to make positive changes.
4 – Eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables to keep your energy up. Stay away from sugary foods and simple carbs, choosing whole grains instead to minimise mood swings.
5 – Beat stress and counteract negative feelings through daily relaxation techniques including yoga and meditation, and make time for fun activities that make you feel good.

If you feel that you would benefit from speaking to a trained counsellor or psychotherapist to discuss any of the issues mentioned above, please contact the KlearMinds team on 0333 772 0256 or email your enquiry to info@klearminds.com. We are delighted to have helped many people overcome a wide range of concerns, empowering them with the skills to maintain happier and more fulfilled lives.

Filled Under: Depression

6 questions that mean you should practice some self-care

Posted October 16th, 2017

Stress at work

Regardless of how much energy you dedicate to your job or to other people, you need to ensure that you don’t neglect yourself. Looking after Number One is often easier said than done, but it’s important to find the right balance to ensure your wellbeing.

We all lead busy lives with never enough hours in the day to get everything done. Stress and anxiety disorders are common complaints in our 24/7 Western society. Admitting that your needs and wants are just as important as any item on your to-to list is the first step to a sustainable way of managing your life. You can’t be a superhero all the time; you’re human, after all.

1 – Are you neglecting your basic needs?

Skipping breakfast once in a while because you’re running late is fine, but making a habit of it is not healthy. Nor is getting only 5 hours sleep a night, or working 14 hours a day on a regular basis. Over time, these and similarly unhealthy habits mean that you’re depriving your body and mind of vital nutrients and rest.

If you’re not eating or sleeping properly, you’re literally running on empty, sacrificing your own health for your career. Without the energy to perform at your best, you won’t excel at work. In fact, your productivity is bound to suffer.

2 – Do you feel as if you’re stuck on autopilot?

Do you work to live or live to work? If your life is a case of ‘eat, sleep, work, repeat’, you may be stuck in a vicious circle that just allows you to go through the motions every day – with nothing left in the tank for anything other than the basic necessities.

What about your other needs? We all have emotional desires and social needs, and a drive for self-fulfilment. Crucially, we also need to get out there and experience all that life has to offer, rather than letting it pass us by.

3 – Are you always doing something for others?

While putting other people’s needs first can be a wonderful character trait, there are those who will take advantage of your good nature. If you’re a giving person, you will find it hard to say ‘no’ to others – but it’s essential for your own wellbeing to learn to define your boundaries.

You can’t give from an empty cup, as the saying goes. In order to stay strong, you need to protect yourself. Recognise when others are asking too much of you, and decline firmly but politely, putting your own needs first.

4 – Have you lost touch with friends or family?

When was the last time you met up with friends or family? If you’re spending too much time with co-workers who mean nothing to you on a personal level, your personal relationships with the people you love most will suffer as a result.

Make time for the people who matter to you. After all, which are you going to remember in 5 years’ time: the months you spent working late, or the times when you watched the kids perform in the school play?

5 – When was the last time you had fun?

When was the last time you left all your worries behind and just had fun? Perhaps you’re associating ‘fun’ with being a child, and feel guilty when you’re not working? Having a healthy work/life balance means that there should be regular time for enjoyment and relaxation in your life.

Make sure you ringfence some time for yourself and spend it on whatever makes you happy. Go for a walk in the country, eat an ice cream, take up a sport or a hobby, book a holiday.

6 – Can you remember who you are?

If you don’t take an active interest in yourself, then what are you left with? A humdrum existence that revolves around work and chores? Where is the person who once had hopes and dreams, who laughed and loved without the weight of the world on their shoulders?

Take some time out for yourself and find out what it is you need to do to get your life back on track. Life Coaching can be incredibly helpful to build confidence, overcome blocks to success and improve your quality of life. Call KlearMinds today on 0333 772 0256 or contact us here.

Filled Under: Happiness

Are you afraid of heights?

Posted October 3rd, 2017

Fear of heights

A fear of heights may be irrational and excessive to the onlooker, but it’s a very real anxiety disorder and a frightening experience for those who suffer from it. Of course, there are varying degrees of severity – some people may be just about able to manage a flight journey, while others would rather drive an extra 50 miles than go over a bridge.

There are actually several height related phobias including:

• Acrophobia – an extreme fear of heights where the person may only be able to function at ground level
• Aeroacrophobia – an irrational fear of open high places such as being in an aeroplane or in a hot air balloon, or on top of a mountain
• Illyngophobia – an extreme fear of spinning and dizziness, usually due to the height
• Climacophobia – an irrational fear of going/climbing down for a great height such as ladders, stairs or slopes
• Bathmophobia – an extreme fear of stairs or slopes, regardless of whether they’re being climbed

The symptoms of height related anxiety vary from one person to the next and can include sweating and cold flushes, trembling and dizziness, a racing heartbeat and a sense of panic, tight chest, nausea, numbness and many others.

If you encounter someone who is in an acute state of panic, you can help by providing empathy and reassurance. Stay with the person and, if possible, move them to a quiet space where the view to the ground cannot be seen. Be calm and explain in short sentences that s/he is not in danger and that you will help them get back down as soon as possible.

Living with a phobia means living in fear – but it doesn’t have to be this way. Therapy can be extremely effective for treating phobias such as being scared of heights. Counselling can help you confront your fear head on and learn to overcome it completely. The particular treatment option depends on the individual concerned, but the most common approaches include:

• Talking therapy (Counselling)
• Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
• Exposure Therapy

Alternative therapies such as Hypnotherapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) may also be helpful.

Alternative therapies such as Hypnotherapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) may also be helpful.

At KlearMinds, our therapists have many years’ experience of dealing with all kinds of phobias including a fear of heights. For more information or to book an appointment, please call 0333 7720256 or get in touch here.

Fear of heights - Trift Bridge

Filled Under: Phobias

Are you having a panic attack?

Posted September 27th, 2017

Anxiety Wordcloud

A panic attack is an extremely intense psychological event. An overwhelming wave of fear may strike without warning or apparent reason, but with an intensity that is both debilitating and immobilising. In fact, the sudden onset of severe anxiety may make you think you’re going crazy or are about to die.

You may only ever have one panic attack or suffer from recurrent episodes that may be triggered by particular circumstances that make you feel endangered and unable to escape. Triggers can be specific situations that are particularly fear inducing to you, such as public speaking, being stuck in a lift or crossing a bridge.

Whether you are normally a happy and healthy person or your panic attacks are part of a wider mental health issue such as panic disorder, social phobia or depression, it is treatable and the sooner you seek help, the better. Coping strategies can be used to deal with the symptoms, while effective panic attack treatment can help you regain control of your life.

Signs and symptoms

A panic attack develops suddenly, typically reaching its peak within 10 minutes and lasting about half an hour. Perhaps surprisingly, the signs and symptoms are physical rather than mental and often mimic very serious health issues. Typical symptoms include:

• Chest pains
• Shortness of breath
• Dizziness or fainting
• Muscle weakness
• Racing heart
• Tingling or numbness in hands/feet
• Hot and cold flushes
• Nausea
• Trembling all over
• Feeling detached from reality

Could it be a heart attack?

Since the signs and symptoms of a panic attack are so physical and severe, it is easy to mistake them for heart attack symptoms. However, there are some important differences:

• Heart attack induced chest pains tend to radiate more through the shoulder
• Heart attacks peak straight away while panic attacks tend to peak after around 10 minutes
• Heart attacks may involve vomiting

Panic attacks often cause incredibly intense feelings of impending doom, like something terrible is about to happen. Unsurprisingly, many panic attack sufferers will head straight to the doctor or hospital to get treatment for what they think may be a life threatening medical emergency.

Admittedly, the symptoms can be confusing to the lay person and often the only way to obtain clarity when you’re having an attack is to seek medical advice right away.

How to treat panic attacks

Panic attacks can be treated successfully with counselling and psychotherapy to help sufferers understand and manage symptoms, overcome attacks and reduce the frequency of occurrences. Panic attack management therapies can also help with the development of skills needed for coping successfully with any future attacks.

Panic attacks can be treated successfully with counselling and psychotherapy to help sufferers understand and manage symptoms, overcome attacks and reduce the frequency of occurrences. Panic attack management therapies can also help with the development of skills needed for coping successfully with any future attacks.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is generally viewed as the most effective psychotherapy for dealing with panic attacks and panic disorder. Focusing on the thinking patterns and behaviours that bring on panic, CBT can help to reshape these thought patterns. Relaxation training and exposure therapy may also be used to help overcome the problem.

Psychotherapy is a useful tool to help panic attack sufferers understand the root of the problem through childhood experiences, previous personal difficulties or past relationships and remove any underlying issues that may give rise to panic.

Finally, it is useful to have an arsenal of self-help tips at your fingertips to help you cope with anxiety and minimise your exposure to it. These include:

• Deep breathing exercise to relieve hyperventilation and calm yourself down
• Relaxation techniques (e.g. meditation, yoga) practised regularly to combat stress
• 30 minutes of regular exercise a day (e.g. walking, running, swimming, dancing) to relieve anxiety
• 7-9 hours of good quality sleep per night to maintain a healthy balance
• No smoking, alcohol or caffeine or other stimulants since these can provoke panic attacks in some people
• Social contact with friends and family to avoid isolation induced anxieties
• Education about panic and anxiety to help you recognise symptoms

Filled Under: Anxiety, Panic

7 new ways to challenge yourself

Posted September 25th, 2017

7 ways to challenge yourself

Do you feel unhappy with the way you look, your job, relationships or finances? Are you feeling stuck somehow, unable to make progress on issues that are important to you? Whatever it is that’s keeping you in a rut, there are ways to motivate yourself to make changes and move forward with your life.

Anthony Robbins, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford and Mark Twain have variously been attributed with these wise words: If you always do what you’ve always done you will always get what you’ve always got. It’s clear that you need to make changes – but how?

We’ve compiled 7 ways that you can challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and see what you’re really capable of.

1 – Increase physical exercise

If you want to lose weight, being more physically active is non-negotiable. In any event, exercise is good for your health and the endorphins released during physical exertion makes you feel better about yourself. No need to join the gym or do hours of gruelling exercise. Start with a simple 10-minute routine – perhaps a walk or jog round the block or 10 minutes of dancing around your living room – and notice the difference.

2 – Keep track of your spending

Many people struggle with money management. Whether you’re overspending or failing to save for a rainy day, proper budget discipline can be learnt. Challenge yourself to break your current financial habits, using a spreadsheet to keep track of your outgoings. Set a realistic limit and record every expenditure on your sheet. Try it for a week, or month, and see what you can learn. Have you saved any money?

3 – Learn a new language

If you’ve always fancied learning a new language, try tools such as Duolingo, a free app that’s fun to use. From Spanish or German to more far flung languages such as Russian or Japanese, there’s no need to attend traditional classes. Whether you’re hoping to boost your skills on your CV or your own personal development, the emphasis is on playful learning – from your phone, tablet or computer.

4 – Confront your fears

If you’re afraid of talking to people on the phone, or of public speaking, it may hold you back in your career. Whatever you’re feeling uncomfortable about, if you can learn to overcome the things you’re scared about and emerge a stronger person. Challenge yourself to set 5 minutes aside each day to acknowledge, analyse and face your fears. Be persistent and have courage.

5 – Take up a hobby

Broaden your horizon and do something you love! Whether you tap into your inner creative and take a painting class, take dancing lessons with your other half, or learn how to invest in stocks and shares, the important thing is that it’s not work. The aim of the exercise is to challenge yourself to relax, destress and stop feeling guilty about having fun!

6 – Invest in professional development

If your career is going nowhere, start building a bridge to a better job. Sometimes, what you know may not be enough – it’s who you know that could be opening the door to the next career opportunity. Attend conferences and events that are relevant to your profession and network with industry contacts to broaden your reach. Aim to go to one career related event every month.

7 – Meet new people, see new places

Whether you go travelling to explore new cultures, or you discover a new interest in your local museum, being open to new experiences will change you as a person. Take an interest in new people including those you wouldn’t normally engage with – the checkout girl, the homeless man, the old lady next door? There’s no limit to what you can learn about the world or about yourself.

If you feel you may benefit from professional assistance, Life Coaching can be an effective way to help you build confidence, while identifying, setting and achieving new goals in your life. Why not contact KlearMinds to find out more?

How are you angry?

Posted September 5th, 2017

Anger is one of many human emotions – we all feel it on occasion. But it’s when anger gets out of control that it can cause huge problems in your life, your work and relationships, your health and your overall happiness.

Anger can manifest in different ways, and psychologists have long tried to come up with an agreed set of anger types. The trouble is that anger is unique in every case and highly affected by the cause and context that it occurs in, which makes categorisation difficult.

Nevertheless, learning to understand the different types of anger that can be experienced is essential in managing any anger issues constructively, so that self-confidence, harmonious relationships and personal happiness can be restored.

Volatile Anger

This type of anger seems to explode out of nowhere. The intensity can be frightening and verbal outbursts and physical violence, often triggered by a particular personal annoyance or a perceived wrong, can result. Anger management techniques are very effective to deal with volatile anger by teaching you to identify the signs and symptoms and employing strategies (e.g. breathing or leaving the room) to calm down.

Chronic Anger

Chronic anger can bubble beneath the surface for years, unable to express itself. Rather, it can manifest in a widespread resentment of other people or life in general. Chronic unexpressed anger is unhealthy – it can lead to depression and a range of other mood disorders, and can manifest as addiction, eating disorders and self harm.

Passive (Aggressive) Anger

Anger that’s repressed or concealed will often find a way out in unpredictable or unusual ways, sometimes without the anger sufferer being aware of what is happening. This includes sarcasm, deliberate avoidance or under performance techniques and a host of other passive aggressive behaviours. Passive anger is one of the most difficult to identify and deal with.

Judgemental Anger

This type of anger comes out of resentment or loathing resulting in unfavourable judgements made about other people or situations. Judgemental anger typically manifests as critical or hurtful comments that are deliberately directed at the source of the anger.

Overwhelmed Anger

When everything gets on top of you or circumstances conspire against you to an intolerable extent, a feeling of anger may overwhelm you. Rather than ‘giving up’ in the face of extreme adversity, your frustration may be directed outwards.

Retaliatory Anger

Anger can be a powerful motivator for revenge actions directed at a person or an organisation who you feel has treated you wrongly. Whether it’s a relationship that has ended badly, or a company refusing to refund faulty goods, this type of anger can lead to dangerous behaviour.

Constructive Anger

Anger can be a positive thing in that it provides the motivation and drive to initiate positive action. If you believe you have suffered an injustice, anger may help you to overcome any shyness or fear that might otherwise stop you from standing up for yourself. Or perhaps you deliberately work yourself into a state of anger to be in peak performance for the gym, or a boxing fight?

Whichever type of anger you may suffer from, the anger management counsellors at KlearMinds are well placed to help you understand how and why your anger occurs, helping you to recognise triggers and manage and express your feelings safely and constructively. Using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) alongside other psychotherapy techniques allows us to tailor our therapy to suit your individual needs and circumstances. For more information, please contact us confidentially on 0333 7720256.

Filled Under: Anger, Anger Management

7 inspiring books to read on holiday

Posted August 18th, 2017

What do you read while you’re on holiday? The latest thriller or romantic novel? Perhaps an old classic or, God forbid, some work related material? This summer, why not pack something much more inspiring. We’ve come up with 7 excellent books of an altogether different nature – they’re all about finding happiness. Take your pick and happy reading!


1 – The Book of Joy by The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu

When two of the most joyful people on the planet and self acclaimed ‘spiritual brothers’ get together to reflect on their own experiences of life and discuss the central question of how to achieve lasting happiness in a changing world, you’d be silly not to want to sit up and take notice. It’s an utterly joyful book about joy, peace and courage that we can all learn from.

 


2 – Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

What would happen if you said ‘yes’ to everything? Shonda Rhimes tried it for a whole year, accepting every opportunity that came her way, with revelationary and often humorous results. Read about her 12 months of learning to embrace, empower and love herself that has lessons for us all.

 


3 – Color Me Happy by Lacy Mucklow

Did you know that the simple, meditative act of ‘colouring in’ can reduce stress and help regain your focus? Art therapy and adult colouring books have soared in popularity over recent years. Color Me Happy along with its sister publications Color Me Stress Free, Color Me Calm and Color Me Fearless, will bring you back to the here and now in a heartbeat, channelling your problems into joyful creative accomplishments. Don’t forget to bring the crayons!

 


4 – The Alchemist by Paul Coelho

If you’ve never come across this enchanting novel and one of the best selling books of all time by acclaimed Brazilian author Paul Coelho, now is the time to pick it up and read it. The powerful story of Santiago, a shepherd boy, will inspire you to pursue your dreams and find the path of happiness that you were always meant to be on.

 

 


5 – The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

This is a genius approach about decluttering your home and your life. Kondo will challenge you to reassess every item that you own with the question: does it bring you joy? Yes – keep it, no – get rid. It’s ruthless but you’ll soon find that space clearing will lead to a decluttered mind and the opportunity for joy.

 

 


6 – The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

One of the best books on happiness, a subject that has received huge attention recently, Rubin starts with the realisation that ‘the days are long but the years are short’. She gives herself 12 months to improve her life, focusing on what makes her happy and the things that really matter. It’s an eye opener.

 

 


7 – The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway’s classic fable about an old man, a young boy and a giant fish is one of the giants of modern literature. The novella gives a unique vision of the beauty and grief of man’s challenge against the elements, and of not giving up. It’s compelling reading, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Filled Under: Happiness

4 reasons why you should take a summer holiday

Posted August 8th, 2017

 

Why you should take a summer holiday

Holiday season is here and we really hope that you’re in the middle of packing your suitcase ready to take a well earned break. But perhaps you’re not going away this summer? Too busy at work? Worried about what you’ll miss while you’re gone? Don’t really see the need for a break?

If you’re not booked to go on holiday, here’s some really good advice. Just go! We’ve got 5 important reasons why you should take that break.

1 – Destress and unwind

If you live a busy and stressful life, it’s essential to schedule in some time to rebalance your life. Stress has a habit of creeping up on you and you may not even realise how it’s affecting your mental health.

Stop thinking about work for a week and just relax. Whether this means sun, sea and sand, mountain walking or dancing the night away, it’s important to leave your worries at home and do something you totally different.

Relaxing on a beach

2 – Spend quality time with your loved ones

Holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with your partner, kids or friends. If possible, leave the laptop and smartphone at home (or go somewhere without WiFi or mobile signal!) and have fun together the old fashioned way.

Away from busy daily lives, you’ll be free of distractions. It’s an opportunity to talk to each other, to share experiences together and make memories. In years to come, you’ll be reminiscing over the adventure you had, with holiday pictures to remind you of some good times.

Family in the pool

3 – Good for the body

Research has shown that people are more physically active on holiday than they are during a normal working week. From long promenade walks to daily swimming, practising watersports or just exploring the local area, plus the abundance of vitamin D obtained from the holiday sun – it’s a healthier lifestyle than back home.

On your return, you’ll feel physically refreshed, with a few good nights’ sleep under your belt and healthy tan to show off, ready to take on the world.

Couple racing on bikes

4 – Good for the mind

Travelling broadens the mind. Seeing new places, doing new things, experiencing different cultures or sampling exotic cuisines are learning experiences that shape who you are.

What’s more, you will feel inspired by your holiday experiences, Having had the time and head space to think about how and where your life is going, you’ll come back mentally clearer and ready for the challenges ahead. It’s amazing what some fresh air, laughter and relaxation can do for your wellbeing.

Enjoying the countryside

Filled Under: Happiness

Wheel of Life – a tool to assess your personal happiness

Posted July 20th, 2017

The Wheel of Life, aka the Wellness Wheel, is a great exercise that can be used to help create more balance and success in all aspects of your life. It’s a tool routinely used by counsellors and life coaches, gently encouraging you to take a close look at each key area of happiness:

Health

Take an honest look at your physical health and ask yourself how fit and healthy you really feel. What about your energy levels, stress levels, sleep patterns? Are you physically active and do you eat healthily? Are there any medical issues that need addressing? Feeling good physically is a key indicator of your overall happiness.

Career

While we can’t all be brain surgeons or rocket scientists, we can all aim to be fulfilled in our chosen career paths. Are you good at what you do and do you feel a sense of job satisfaction? Do you feel valued by your employer for the contribution that you make in the workplace?

Friends and Family

Take a look at your family relationships and wider social network. Do you spend quality time with your loved ones? Do you feel accepted just as you are as part of the wider family or are there any issues? Are you close to those around you and feel connected to your community? We all need positive friendships and a sense of belonging.

Home Environment

Take a look at your immediate surroundings – is there clutter at home, mess on your desk or chaos in your car? It may be a reflection of what goes on inside of you. Make sure there is space in your life for new thoughts and things that serve you and get rid of old (mental and actual) junk.

Finances

We don’t all have the resources of the young Duke of Westminster’s £9.5 billion fortune, but we can all ensure that we live within our means. Are you in control of your finances, including making provisions for the future and for those closest to you?

Fun & Recreation

Joy and happiness go together like strawberries and cream, but as we grow older and life takes over, it’s easy to forget how to have fun. How often do you connect with your inner child? Do you laugh and play, dream and dare just because it makes you feel alive?

Personal Growth

Life is more than a series of chores, so think about the activities that feed your soul. Whether you love creative pursuits such as singing or painting, you like the intellectual stimulation of learning a new language or playing chess, or you take an active interest in current affairs, it’s important to be true to yourself. Do you feel connected to a higher power or an inner optimism to keep you grounded? Your mental wellbeing will increase if you can stay curious and engaged with the world around you.

Significant Other

How happy are you with your current relationship status? Are you quite happy being single, looking for your soulmate or feeling secure as part of a loving and supportive couple with shared values?

Mark each of the 8 segment of your overall happiness ‘pie’ on a scale of 1 to 10 to create an individual map that is a visual representation of your current state of personal contentment. Now take a long look at the shape of the results.

Are you happy with the overall amount of happiness in your life? Which segments are strongest and do you appreciate what you’ve got in these areas? What about areas for improvement? Armed with a clear picture, you’re now in a really good place to devise a positive plan of action.

Filled Under: Happiness

Procrastination and 7 top tips to get over it

Posted July 7th, 2017

‘Tomorrow is a mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored’, it says on the internet. Put another way, if your mother ever told you to never put off until tomorrow what you can do today, she was right.

Many of us suffer from procrastination – a myriad of avoidance techniques we have mastered to not do what we know in our hearts of hearts should be done. If you’re feeling frustrated with yourself about the lack of progress that comes from dithering over a work assignment to forever postponing DIY jobs at home, or you’re stressing about continually dodging the bigger decisions that you know full well need to be taken – you might need help.

We’ve come up with 7 life coaching tips to help you get over your procrastination habit, take charge of the tasks in hand and get on with your life. Not only will you find yourself becoming more productive, you will love the new found focus and energy that propels you towards your goals.

1 – Overthinking creates problems that were never there.

There is a fine line between good planning and overthinking every aspect. Planning is a necessity, of course, but you can never plan for every eventuality or avoid every mistake. Spending too long on creating the perfect plan is counterproductive. It’s time to stop thinking and start doing.

2 – Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.

The longer you dwell on a particular thing, the bigger it becomes in your head. If the issue in question is a difficult one, the problem will grow and grow until it becomes a monster so large you’re even more afraid to tackle it. No matter how you feel, tell your negative inner voices to be quiet and force yourself to just make a start.

3 – You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

The distance between where you are now and where you want to be (the top of the stairs!) may look overwhelming – but only if that’s where you look. Rather than focusing on the end result, break it down into smaller chunks and take it one day at a time. Taking the first step will make you feel good and lead to you wanting to take the next step and the one after that. Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time.

4 – Swallow the frog first.

The ‘frog’ is your biggest and most important task of the day, the one that you want to put off the most. It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your day. Whether you’re dreading making an important phone call or doing your tax return, do this first. You will feel a great sense of relief once you’ve accomplished the task, and the rest of your to-do list will seem a doddle in comparison.

5 – Nothing happens until you decide.

Procrastination is the feeling of wanting to do something but not taking the action that aligns with that thought, which leads to inner conflict. Don’t get lost in limbo land. Instead, boost your confidence and self esteem by taking action – any action – and teach yourself that you can be a decisive person. By repeating this pattern time and again, your prophesy will be self-fulfilling.

6 – Face your fears and do it anyway.

Of course, it’s always hard to make mistakes, to get hurt, to take responsibility for your actions and to risk looking like a fool. But if that is what’s stopping you from putting yourself out there you’ll never know whether you could have succeeded. In order to live fully and without regret, you may need to push yourself outside your comfort zone and just go for it. Failure is the mother of success, according to an old Chinese proverb.

7 – Finish what you started.

Taking the first step of a task may be difficult but getting to the end of the task may also be a problem. If the energy has gone and you never finish what you started, you can experience feelings of self-doubt, fatigue and stress. Review the job in hand and decide whether it really needs finishing – there’s no law that says everything must be completed. If it doesn’t require finishing, then terminate the project. If, however, it does need finishing, give yourself one last push and feel a whole lot better having achieved your goal.

Filled Under: Anxiety

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