When things go wrong in a relationship or marriage, it may be difficult to pinpoint what exactly the issues are and how to resolve them. Perhaps you’re having constant arguments or are no longer communicating meaningfully? Have you stopped being physically intimate or has one of you had an affair? Should you break up??
If you’re unhappy with your partner, all may not be lost. There are many qualities that, if you can find them in your personal dealings with each other, are a good sign that your relationship can indeed recover.
1. You are sensitive to each other’s needs
If you’re not happy because she’s not happy, it means you care – that’s a good thing. If the other person didn’t matter to you or there was no emotional connection, you would have little concern for your partner’s feelings.
As long as there is still a strong connection between the two of you, it is not over and the relationship can be saved. With time and space dedicated to accommodating each other it is definitely possible to improve the quality of your marriage or relationship.
2. You have more in common than having sex
Great sex is a wonderful thing but when physical intimacy is lacking in a relationship, it is often seen as the end. Not so – as long as you have a strong emotional and intellection bond, with patience and persistence you can each relearn how to fulfil your partner’s physical needs.
Strategies to get closer might include spending more quality time together, and focusing on communicating and destressing so you feel comfortable and relaxed in each other’s company. Add more flirting and eroticism to your day and take steps to rediscover having fun together.
3. You are both willing to make changes
We all change as we go through life, and this affects our close personal relationships. Major life events such as illness or losing a loved one, moving home, a new job, to name a few, can place additional stress on a relationship.
As long as you and your partner are able to talk with love, honesty and respect about what is happening and how it is affecting one or both of you, you can heal the rift. In a good relationship, you find ways to adapt to whatever new circumstances life brings, and deal with them together.
4. You can communicate your needs to each other
Being able and willing to communicate your unhappiness to your partner, and to listen and understand their unhappiness when they open up to you, is a key requirement for improving things between you.
If you can learn how to really hear what the other person is saying, and communicate healthily, with open minds and respectful hearts, and without allowing bitterness, jealousness or other negative feelings to get in the way, you have every chance of moving forward together.
5. You feel safe with your partner
In unhealthy relationships, a partner may manipulate the other person’s weaknesses and question their self-worth in an effort to get what they want. Of course, everybody has insecurities but if your partner generally makes you feel valued and respected and isn’t using your insecurities against you, that’s a good starting point.
In a healthy relationship, you can work on healing your insecurities yourself because your partner will do all they can to avoid triggering them. If you can both embrace each other and be kind and open with each other, then your relationship has every chance of surviving and your love can be rekindled.
At KlearMinds, couples therapy and marriage counselling can help you understand why things are not working, and what you can both do to improve your relationship and rebuild a fulfilling future together. Making the decision to go to counselling is a big step. Whether you choose to attend sessions together, or even if only one of you takes part, as long as the indicators are right it is possible to make positive, lasting improvements to your relationship. Take the first step to make your life better and get in touch.
Are you contemplating a career change? Fed up with the corporate world and tempted to strike out on your own? You may be brimful with excitement at the prospect of starting your own business, but perhaps also understandably worried about the risk of failure.
This is where life coaching can be extremely useful. With the right coach by your side, you can build confidence, overcome blocks to success, achieve goals and improve your life. In fact, you will have the best possible support you need to follow your dreams and reach your new career goals.
1 – Learn to overcome your fears
To make it on your own, whether as a freelance consultant, restaurateur or yoga teacher, you need plenty of self-belief. Put another way, lack of self-confidence is bound to hold you back. A life coach can help you push past your comfort zone and challenge yourself to do things you never would have thought possible.
There are lots of personal challenges that can help you overcome your fears. Whether you complete a skydive or a firewalk, go travelling on your own or commit to public speaking, once you’ve done it there’s nothing left to be afraid of.
Crucially, when you conquer a fear in one part of your life, there’s a ripple effect that leads to a confidence boost in other parts of your life too.
2 – Listen to an outside opinion
When you’re working on your own, under your own steam, it’s hard to bounce ideas off someone who understands. Even with a team around you, you’re stuck in your own echo chamber and all the opinions you hear are those of your staff or colleagues, or friends and family.
A good life coach provides that crucial counterpart. As an objective outsider, s/he can see things from different angles and give you more balanced feedback and advice. Not only will life coaching give you a better perspective and more clarity, you will also gain more honesty. After all, your coach has your best interest at heart, and there’s nothing to be gained from telling you only what you want to hear.
3 – Connect with someone who ‘gets’ you
In order to reap the benefits of career coaching, it is essential that you form a positive rapport with your coach. Whether you find someone who has the same industry experience as yourself, someone with the same values or outlook on life, or someone who has achieved similar goals as the ones you’re envisioning, you need to be able to connect on a meaningful level.
Provided the two of you are well aligned with your business goals and on the same wavelength, your coach will understand exactly what you are going through. What’s more, s/he can give you the best possible advice, provide helpful resources and perhaps even introduce you to industry connections that can help you on your new career path.
4 – Focus on achieving your goals
Being your own boss means no-one is looking over your shoulder. It is up to you to keep yourself on track. The freedom to make your own strategic business decisions ultimately means that the success of failure of your venture is down to you.
A life coach can help you see the wood for the trees when you can’t, and point you in the right direction when you’re going in circles. With someone to hold you accountable, your progress is monitored in a constructive, progressive way to ensure you get to reach your goals.
If the above resonates with what you are currently experiencing and you would like to explore the idea of life coaching sessions to help you create the life you really want, please get in touch. Call KlearMinds in confidence on 0333 772 0256, email us a short message or book an appointment here.
It is estimated that approximately 250,000 people across the UK suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Despite this number, not many people know how to recognise CFS and are often unaware of the symptoms, or what to do if they are suffering from it. Unfortunately, CFS often has a major impact on your well-being and day to day life, making it difficult to cope with. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and can also be unpredictable. If you would like to find out more about CFS and what to do about it, keep reading our blog for more information.
What are the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
There are many symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and they can often vary between different people. Not everyone experiences all of the same symptoms, so it can sometimes be difficult to identify. The most common symptoms that people with CFS tend to experience include tiredness, irritability, a general lack of well-being, poor concentration, sensitivity and sleep disturbances. For more information on the symptoms of the CFS, take a look at our list below:
- General feeling of discomfort
- Tiredness which is not relieved by any amount of sleep
- Sleeping problems such as insomnia or un-refreshing sleep
- Memory problems – difficulty concentrating
- Sore throat
- Enlarged lymph nodes in neck or armpits
- Unexplained muscle pain
- Severe headaches
- Stomach problems such as nausea, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after mental or physical exercise
What should I do if I am suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
If you are suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you should consider counselling. At Klearminds, we have helped many people with CFS and can help to support you with both the physical and psychological impact of CFS. If you would like to speak to one of our experienced counsellors today, you can get in touch with us by email on email@example.com or you can call us on 0333 772 0256. All information that you provide is handled completely confidentially.
We all do it. Whenever you’re out for dinner or drinks with friends, chatting away and catching up on old times, where’s your phone? That’s right – it’s either in your hand already or sitting face up on the table, waiting to spark into life when that next social media notification comes in.
While social media can be a great thing, as success stories like the ALS #IceBucketChallenge prove, it can also be problematic – especially when it comes to our mental health. We as a society are now more interconnected than ever, but we are becoming over-reliant on social media. Recent research has even found that the average Brit checks their phones an 10,000 times a year, or 28 times a day. That is an obsessive level. We are addicted and most of us don’t even know it.
It’s not just the addictive side of it we have to worry about either. Social media often gets described as a ‘showing off contest’, due to people being able to upload images that seemingly glamourise their life. When you compare your own life to other people’s filtered photos, it’s easy to start wishing your life was better, or equal to theirs, which knocks your self-esteem.
Therefore, while social media can be a great tool, its overuse can have some harmful consequences. Here are four more ways in which using social media could be negatively affecting your mental health:
1 – Productivity
Let’s face it, social media is a massive distraction. Even while I’m writing this blog, I’m looking at my phone every now and then, so it’s affecting my productivity. It’ll affect your efficiency too, taking your attention away from the task at hand. This will not only affect the quality and accuracy of your work, but it will also waste time that could have been used to complete other tasks more quickly.
2 – Inadequacy
Having untapped access to social media means that you are always plugged into and looking at what everyone else is doing. Whether it be friends, family or celebrities, you are constantly comparing yourself to others all of the time, measuring your own life against a glamourised version of theirs. It’s not really a fair comparison, so don’t get yourself down if you feel like someone else’s life appears better than yours on social media.
3 – Inactivity
If you spend all of your free time glued to social media, flicking through feeds and replying to friends, when will you find the time to go outside and do something more active?
Being outdoors and getting some fresh air is vital to both your mental and physical health. The relentlessness of social media makes it difficult to break away from social networks, creating enough time to exercise. However, doing this is imperative, as exercise increases endorphin and blood flow to the brain, which keeps you healthy.
4 – Isolation
Talking to your friends through social media is not the same as meeting them in person. While life may get in the way, making it not possible to see friends face-to-face all the time, social media shouldn’t be a replacement for a true friendship.
Thanks to social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, interacting with others has become effortless – you can now even wave to your friends on messenger instead of saying hello. As a result of this though, we are now spending less and less time actually with other people, meaning we miss out on face-to-face communication and physical connection. This, in turn, makes us feel isolated – our only way of communicating coming through our phones.
Here at KlearMinds, we understand more than most about the power social media can have on mental health. If you suffer from feelings of inadequacy, isolation or unhappiness, get in touch with us today and we’ll be able to help you through it.
According to the Mental Health Foundation a UK-wide stress survey found that 74 per cent of UK citizens have felt stressed, overwhelmed or unable to cope at some point in the past year.
Stress is significant factor in anxiety and depression and other mental health problems. Stress is also linked to physical health conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, insomnia, diabetes, obesity and other digestive problems.
While a certain amount of stress in everyday life is normal, frequently feeling extremely stressed can lead to serious physical and mental health problems.
As well as everyday stresses, such as work, finances and relationships, there are many unexpected things that can contribute to how we cope in every day life. The death of a loved one, divorce or separation and even positive life events like moving home or starting a new job can be a source of stress.
What is stress?
Stress is a normal response to external pressure, such as a life event or a dangerous situation. Your body’s response to external stress results in the production of certain hormones in the body that activates our immune system and releases adrenaline to help us respond quickly. This state is commonly referred to as the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response.
Excessive and persistent stress can cause the body to feel like it is permanently in a state of ‘fight, flight or freeze’. This pressure and resulting elevated stress hormones result in wear and tear on the body and contribute to a feeling of being unable to cope. High levels of stress hormones can also make you feel physically unwell.
What are the effects of chronic stress?
When the body is in an almost constant state of alertness, it can have severe physical and psychological effects. Signs and symptoms of chronic stress can be emotional, physical and behavioural and can include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Disorganised thoughts
- Excessive worry
- Heart burn
- Muscle tension
- Frequent acute illnesses
- A change in appetite
- Digestive problems
- Low libido
- Feeling out of control
- Feeling helpless
- Feeling unsociable and withdrawn
- Lack of confidence
15 steps to a life with less stress
Chronic stress can seem overwhelming. But, even in the most difficult of circumstances, there are things you can do to help reduce stress levels and improve well-being. Here are our 15 steps to a life with less stress.
- Look out for the signs and symptoms of stress (awareness of when you feel stressed is important)
- Look after your health and review your lifestyle
- Cut down on alcohol and smoking (they contribute to anxiety and depression, making stress harder to deal with)
- Get a good night’s rest
- Practice mindfulness of breathing
- Speak to friends and family about how you are feeling
- Identify stress triggers
- Stay hydrated
- Eat a balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Think positively
- Get smart with your time management
- Take breaks from tech
- Take time out to relax
- Say no
If you are struggling with stress in your life, are experiencing anxiety, depression or feeling unable to cope, some counselling may help.
At KlearMinds we have helped many people to understand how stress affects them, shown them how to implement coping strategies and develop emotional resilience to make lasting changes for the better. If you want to take steps to reduce the stress in your life and learn how to cope, call 0333 772 0256 or email us here.
Have you ever experienced rejection? Whether it’s in love, with friends or at work, it sure feels bad. Didn’t get that promotion you thought was as good as in the bag? Had the ‘it’s just not working’ conversation with your other half? Not getting what you want can leave you feeling hurt and hollowed out and wondering if there’s something wrong with you.
But isn’t rejection part of normal life? Everyone gets turned down at some point for something or other. While you may feel disheartened at the time, it’s how you deal with the situation that can help you bounce back sooner rather than later. In fact, how you handle rejections may well be the key to ultimately achieving the goal you are after.
We’ve put together 5 top tips to help you cope with rejection.
1. Don’t take it personally
While it may feel like a personal blow at the time, it’s important not to let the rejection penetrate your inner defences. Say you didn’t get the job or the girlfriend – it was your request that was denied, that’s all. Try not to personalise it and seek fault within yourself – you’re not responsible for the choices others made. Whatever they decided is no judgement on you as a person or any indication of your self-worth. Respect the fact that they rejected something that wasn’t working for them, and move on.
2. Get a new perspective
Every time you experience a rejection in your personal or professional life, try to reframe it as something that focuses attention on the situation or the issue in question, rather than something that attacks you as a person. Instead of feeling that “they rejected me”, why not simply think of it as something “they said no” to or even that “it just wasn’t meant to be”. That way, there’s no blame to be attached and the rejection isn’t framed as something negative about yourself.
3. Practise some self-care
If you’re in the doldrums because you just got fired, dumped or turned down, it’s important not to be too hard on yourself. Make an extra effort to think positive thoughts, give yourself a pep talk and tell your inner critic to be quiet. Better still, back up your kind thoughts with kind actions. Why not take your mind off the rejection and do something you love? Go for a cycle ride or join a gym, treat yourself to a new hairstyle or redecorate the bedroom, meet up with friends or go on holiday – whatever makes you happy!
4. Use the opportunity to improve
Sometimes, a rejection can be just the wake-up call you need to make positive changes in your life. Rather than focusing on your sorrow or misery, why not use the ‘negative feedback’ as an opportunity to reassess your current situation and find ways improve? Whether you decide to go back to work after a failed marriage, or enrol in professional development courses up after redundancy, try to view your rejection in a constructive way as an instrument for learning and personal growth.
5. Accept it for what it is
Finally, once you understand the rejection you received for what it is, there’s no point dwelling on it. Stuff happens, things don’t always work out the way you think they should, and that’s OK. Don’t let the ‘thing’ control your life for any longer than necessary – it’s time to break free, let it go and get on with your life, not stay tethered to the past.
If you’ve experienced a rejection and are finding it hard to move beyond the hurt, counselling may help. At KlearMinds, our expert counsellors have helped many people overcome a range of concerns over the years. Take the first steps to lasting change and call 0333 772 0256 or email us here.
You’ve no doubt heard the term ‘Life Coaching’ being bandied about, but do you really understand what it is, and how it can help you? Let’s take a closer look at Life Coaching and the 4 key questions you should be asking.
1 – What is a Life Coach?
In a nutshell, a Life Coach is someone who can help you build confidence, overcome blocks to success and help you achieve your personal and/or professional goals and improve the quality of your life. This can include being more successful at work, becoming happier and more fulfilled at home, exploring your ‘self’ and achieving ambitions.
Just as a sports coach can help an athlete to develop into the strongest, fastest or most tactical competitor in his chosen field, a Life Coach can do the same for people from all walks of life to help them be the best they can be.
The Life Coach will do this with the help of specialist techniques that are based on psychological principles and personal intuition, giving you the tools to face tricky situations, overcome emotional barriers and see the world with new eyes.
Rather than simply giving advice, a Life Coach will adhere to the fundamental principles of life coaching:
- Subjectivity – No one’s view is right or wrong, but some perspectives can restrict the person to be who they want to be.
- Empowerment – With the help of Life Coaching, the individual can learn to open his mind and adjust his own perspective.
- Guidance – Rather than giving instruction, a Life Coach provides the tools and support for personal development.
2 – What is the difference between Life Coaching and Counselling?
Essentially, counselling therapies involve some form of investigation into the roots and causes of potential or actual mental issues or health problems, in order to define a way forward.
Life Coaching, on the other hand, tends to look forward, not back. Its approach chiefly focuses on the future to encourage personal improvement and development.
Life Coaches are not usually qualified to diagnose, advise or deal with any health related problems. If a health issues arises, you may be asked to see your GP.
3 – What issues can Life Coaching help with?
A Life Coach can use effective techniques to help you in all aspects of life, including your performance, your business life or personal life. Whatever you may be struggling with, working with a Life Coach can help you get there. Issues include
4 – What happens during a Life Coaching session?
Life Coaching sessions are typically for a set duration, usually 45-60 minutes, and may be given face to face, over the phone, email or via Skype. During the session, you will be working with the Life Coach to talk about the areas in your life that you are unhappy with or that you would like to change.
Life Coaching should be a partnership between you and your coach. It is up to him/her to gently encourage you to explore and challenge your previously held perceptions, so that you can move forward with your life.
While a Life Coach should offer support and feedback to help you stay focused on your goals and move forward towards positive changes in your life, you will never be forced to make any decisions that you don’t feel happy with.
It should go without saying that all sessions, and the relationship between you and your Life Coach, is based on confidentiality, so that you have a safe space within which to explore your new direction.
At KlearMinds, we take an integrated approach towards Life Coaching in order to help you achieve positive changes that can be sustained for life. By combining Life Coaching with additional therapies, we can offer you the best possible guidance towards a happier you.
Did you know that being friendly can make a profound difference to the well-being of others and ourselves? One of the most fundamental human needs is connection. Being friendly supports this and more, making people feel appreciated and respected. Acts of kindness actually have a positive physiological effect on the body.
As the late poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, once said, “People forget what you said and what you did. But they never forget how you made them feel.”
What is Be friendly in February?
Be friendly in February is a calendar of suggestions set out by Action for Happiness (see more about this organisation below). The February calendar offers a suggestion for each day of the month to encourage us to take action and be friendlier to others in our everyday lives.
So, what is the point exactly? Let’s take a look at what Action for Happiness represents.
What is Action for Happiness?
Action for Happiness are a movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society. They believe there is a need to prioritise the things that cause happiness, including building positive relationships and looking after our mental health (both important contributors to happiness).
Every month Action for Happiness publish an action calendar based on a theme to encourage people to make a greater contribution to bringing about better, more caring communities. This month’s calendar is a humble reminder that it doesn’t take much to be friendlier towards family, friends, colleagues and even strangers.
Why be friendly?
There are so many benefits to being friendly, and such kindness doesn’t have to be limited to the people we know. Treating everyone you meet in the same way as you would like to be treated will add meaning and significance to your life.
There are many people experiencing relationship problems, feeling despair, and some who are lonely and/or suffering from anxiety or depression. Being friendly to someone, whether you are aware of any problems or not, can make such a difference to their day. A small act of kindness could do much more than you think.
Being friendly makes you feel good and boosts your own happiness, as well as others. Generosity is hard-wired to the reward mechanism in our brain. Being kind to others is actually good for our own well-being. Altruistic behaviour releases endorphins (chemicals in the body that heal wounds, calm you down and make you feel good).
One study by the Greater Good Science Center, UC Berkeley, found half of participants felt stronger and more energetic after helping others, and many felt calmer and less depressed.
A report by Random Acts of Kindness states that perpetually kind people have 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone) and age slower than the average population! Being friendly isn’t just good for those on the receiving end, it’s good for the instigator too.
Action for Happiness believe that helping others is the route to stronger communities and a happier society. Friendliness and kindness can have a domino effect. Why not take up the challenge and see what benefits being friendly in February can bring to you and those around you? It costs nothing, it could bring you the happiness you are searching for and it will have a positive impact on your physical and mental well-being.
Talking to someone when you feel overwhelmed can be really helpful. If you’d like to speak to one of our experienced counsellors about any problems you are experiencing, get in touch today.
The New Year has begun! Whether you’ve planned your resolutions for 2019, or don’t have anything in mind, the start of the year is a great time to start thinking about the year ahead. Finding something new to try in the New Year can not only help you relax, but can also help to improve your mental health. Learn a new skill, or find a new way to relax – focusing on something new can help make positive changes that can help make 2019 a happy New Year. Take a look at these five tips below:
1 – Write down all the positive things that happen
Making a note of the good things that happen to you each day can help to create a positive mindset, which will also benefit your overall mental wellbeing. Start a gratitude diary, or keep a note of positive things that have happened so you can look back on them. Try and write a few things each day. These don’t have to be huge, life changing events, they can just be simple things that happened in your day. Maybe you had a nice time with friends or family, got some good feedback at work, or went for a nice walk. Writing these moments down will not only help you to remember them, but can reinforce a positive mental attitude.
2 – Try something new
The New Year is a perfect chance to try out something new and exciting. Maybe there’s something fun that you’ve always wanted to try, or even an old hobby that you’ve been meaning to revisit. You could try and learn a new skill, or maybe you’ve been wanting to learn a new language. No matter what you decide, learning something new can be a great way to build confidence, boost your mood and maybe meet new people. Remember to have fun and enjoy the experience of learning. If you find that you’re not enjoying it anymore or feeling stressed, its fine to take a break and come back to it another time, or maybe try something else that interests you more.
3 – Try out mindfulness and meditation
Practicing mindfulness and trying out meditation can help you relax and give your mind some much needed downtime, as well as helping you in your day to day life. It is easy to learn, and there are many simple guides online to help you practise. A lot of the apps and guides available online also offer short sessions, so it doesn’t have to take up much of your time. Find a guide that works for you, then try and fit in a couple of meditation sessions each day.
Not sure where to start? Fortunately, there are some great mindfulness and meditation tools available for free. Here are just some of the apps that you could try:
4 – Take some time for yourself
Looking after yourself is important, and taking some “Me time” to relax and enjoy some time alone can help reduce stress and improve your mental wellbeing. It can also help you recharge and to prepare for the next day, helping you perform to your best ability. Remember that “Me time” doesn’t have to be something big, even taking a little time for yourself can help. Do something that you enjoy, or maybe take some time to try out some meditation. The important thing is that you get some time to relax.
5 – Get professional support if needed
If it seems like everything is getting on top of you and you’re struggling to cope, you may benefit from professional support. Our friendly and professional team at KlearMinds is made up of experienced counsellors trained to offer a range of therapies including counselling, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and life coaching and can provide advice on a range of issues. If you would like to get in touch with us, you can do so by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call us on 0333 772 0256. All information you provide is handled confidentially.
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