STRESS!! What Stress??

The statistics of work related stress

The prevalence rate for work related stress in all industries was 1220 cases per 100,000 people employed averaged over the three year period 2011/12, 2013/14 and 2014/15 (Health & Safety Executive 2015). When we break this down into categories of occupation we found that the professional occupations category has significantly higher rates of work related stress than the rate for all occupations.

For the same three year period as mentioned above, the professional occupations category had 1930 cases per 100,000 people employed, compared with 1220 cases averaged for all occupational groups, a statistically significantly higher rate. If we break this down further it appears that health professionals, teachers and nurses have the highest rates of stress within this category with rates of 2500, 2190 and 3000 cases per 100,000 people employed over this period.

When looking at the statistics between gender, it seems that work related stress in males was 590 cases for males and 920 cases for females per 100,000 people employed, with the 34-44 and 45-54 years ranges having significantly higher rates than the average across all persons.

Causes of workplace stress

The predominant cause of work related stress from the Labour Force Survey (2009/10-2011/12) was workload. Examples of this are:

  • tight deadlines
  • too much work/pressure/responsibility
  • a lack of managerial support
  • organisational changes at work,
  • bullying
  • role uncertainty (lack of clarity about job/uncertain what meant to do.)

Stress at work icons set

Research has indicated around 12 million adults see their GP each year with mental health problems. Most of these include anxiety and depression with much of it being stress related.  Work related stress accounts for 35% of work related ill health and 43% of days lost, in 2014/15.

These figures are alarmingly high and small changes can have big effects on individuals and across companies. As coaches we work on the basis that if one is going to overcome a problem or challenge first one has to understand it. Then with that knowledge one can implement the appropriate changes to improve the situation they may find themselves in.  This is appropriate to anyone at work from whichever background or level they are at.

What is Stress?

It is important to understand Stress has different effects on different people, depending on how we react to certain situations and challenges in our every day lives. It can easily be defined as the way you feel when you are under to much pressure and are unable to cope.

It is suggested a certain amount of stress is good for us as it keeps us challenged and motivated and helps our overall performance. However, too much pressure can lead to stress.

Stress has many causes and is common at both home and at work and with the world around us becoming faster paced and more competitive the pressures of life can creep up on us when we least expect it. So, it is important we continue to ensure we get the right balance in our lives and keep things in the right perspective, and ultimately retain control.

Too much pressure or stress can result in a negative impact on our health both physically and mentally. The main symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, sweats, feeling sick, butterflies, panic attacks and an overall feeling of a loss of control.

The impact of long term stress can be even more severe affecting our ability to function normally in our everyday lives.

That’s why it’s important to recognise the signs early and immediately consult with your GP and make the appropriate and required changes in your life to regain and retain a healthy mind and physical wellbeing state.

Our conscious mind can only cope with an average of seven pieces of information at any one time. Too many things going on for too long can create overload and pressure and result in our struggle to cope. It is easy to see how we become stressed isn’t it?

The chemistry in the body changes fundamentally every time one reacts stressfully. Stress starts in the brain because of the way in which we perceive a situation as requiring our immediate attention i.e. a hostile reaction from a colleague, an exam, a financial crisis, a marriage break up, an impossible deadline and a loved ones death. Everyone’s resilience levels are different. It is down to an individual’s experiences as to how resilient there are against these stresses.

When the body prepares for “fight or flight” it is ready for a short burst of heightened activity. In today’s society, many factors can trigger this response, but few can be dealt with by a short burst of activity. Stress situations are often continuous so stress responses are semi-permanently on red alert, the physical release is unacceptable so the responses are suppressed – a situation which cannot be maintained safely for too long.  The stress build up eventually explodes internally, knocks the body systems out of balance and causes extreme physical and mental exhaustion.

Here comes the science part…

When we are stressed deep inside your brain lays the hypothalamus which triggers the pituitary gland which releases hormones to trigger the adrenal glands. These glands release an output of adrenaline and nor-adrenaline into the bloodstream. It is these stress chemicals which induce physiological changes designed to improve performance. This is the “fight or flight” effect and the following reactions are carried out:

  1. Blood supply to the brain is increased – improves judgement & decision making
  2. Heart speeds up and fuel is released into the bloodstream from glucose
  3. Fats and stored blood sugar provide extra energy
  4. Blood vessels dilate in some areas i.e. the skin to make it available for use in other areas like the muscles
  5. Air passages relax and breathing rate improves
  6. Blood pressure rises
  7. Digestion and excretion are not considered high priorities in a “dangerous situation”; adrenaline causes vascular constriction, which reduces the flow of blood to the stomach and intestine

Long term adrenal stimulation with no discharge of energy will deplete essential vitamins and minerals from the system, namely, vitamins B & C which are vital to the functioning of the immune system. If these are depleted this could cause lower resistance and susceptibility to diseases such as ME. Blood pressure can also be affected and cause a build up of fatty substances on blood vessel walls, as well as, damaging the functioning of the digestive system.

When a person faces continual or repeated stress, the response system enters the chronic phase during which resistance declines below normal and eventually that person becomes exhausted.

stressanatomy.jpg

 Ways in which to tackle stress – Five top tips

  1. Mind Workout

Commence a mind workout everyday. Daily mind exercises can help you re-balance your life and regain control of your thoughts and feelings. Quiet meditation at home using deep breathing techniques or a yoga class twice a week can help re-balance you internally. Mindfulness is also proving to be a very popular and effective tool for combating stress and is mow more prevalent within workplace settings.

  1. Diet

Try to cut out any sugary, processed or refined foods. It is these we crave and run for when we need to find comfort, however, the comfort is short lived and once your blood sugar level has risen sky-high it dips just as fast and the cravings return an hour later and the cycle begins again.

Being aware of what you eat is incredibly important in helping to overcoming stress and a diet of fish, white meat, fruit, vegetables, whole grains and pulses can give your body all the necessary nutrients required to retain balance and harmony. If possible avoid stimulants like coffee, chocolate and alcohol and also too much refined and processed foods or sugar as these can only upset the balance.

  1. Exercise

When we exercise our body releases endorphins which in turn combat stress hormones that are released into the body when we are stressed. Think of this as your endorphins putting out a fire. A fire caused on the inside by all the stress feelings and overload experienced every day.

A recommended minimum of forty minutes cardiovascular exercise everyday will keep an equilibrium even if it is just a short walk to work and back. Small changes such as walking or cycling to work. Many people use their lunch hour as a time to get some exercise and go for a stroll, apart from the fact that it breaks up the working day and gives your body a break from work. To make it more fun create a lunchtime walking group or diarise “walking meetings” instead of sitting indoors. For those of you who prefer exercising alone there are some great apps around that measure your steps and even work with your music library on your phone along with motivational prompts from the start to the finish of the jog.

  1. Sleep

Sleeping problems are common with stress. Ensure you have a consistent bedtime routine and go to bed at the same time every night. If you have worries or problems on your mind at night keep a notepad and pencil by the bed so consciously you are in control as you know you can write them down and forget about them if you need to. Avoid cat napping during the day, and try not to become too obsessed with how much sleep you have had.  If you have a bad night, draw a line under it and go to bed earlier the next night after a hot bath and relaxing your body through reading a book or listening to some calming music. It is suggested that we only really need a minimum of 4 hours sleep per night to function normally. We have convinced ourselves we need 6 or 8 hours. Take the pressure off yourself.

  1. Goal setting

Sometimes, we lose our way in this busy world and our aims and objectives become confused or unclear. By writing down your goals and actions with a timeline this will give you focus and a process to follow and implement. Ensure you keep a diary so you can monitor any symptoms of stress physically and mentally, then apply the above and make the appropriate small changes and take back control.

Building a case for wellbeing in the workplace

In order for a company to embrace wellbeing it needs to bring it into their company values. Managers need to encourage, support, sponsor and lead all wellbeing at work initiatives first in order to thread it into their companies culture.  They need to lead from the front. Managers can create the right environment for their staff by offering flexible working hours, manageable workloads, regular lunch breaks without looking upon this as a weakness.  Managers must recognise the signs and symptoms of work related stress and have a process by which to approach their staff sensitively and supportively.  Give your staff a voice and more autonomy and ensure that objectives are realistic, timely and consistent.

As a Manager, if you notice these symptoms in your staff and are not sure how to engage with them appropriately our Happiness by Design at Work programmes would work for you and your organisation.

Remember: If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

Download our brochure today 

or call the Life Practice on Tel: 01462 431112

It’s never too late to score the winning goal

IMG_2055Throughout life we experience many different situations and scenarios which create a change to be forced upon us; reaching a certain age; getting made redundant, breakdown of a relationship or suffering a bereavement

Whatever the scenario, these situations provoke different emotions and often they don’t serve us in a positive way. We start an inner dialogue with ourselves.

Our inner self talk could be a number conversations like:

  • I’m not attractive enough to date again
  • I’m too burnt out to try for a promotion
  • I’ve never been ambitious
  • I’m too old for that

The emotion attached to these scenarios maybe a sense of loss; a door closing; giving up trying, poor motivation or the end of something great.

We learn from our mistakes

But it doesn’t have to be looked upon in this way, my advice is to think of life as a set of experiences and from each experience we will learn something new. It may be good, bad or indifferent but ultimately, we will learn something new which is the key point (90% of what we learn, we learn from our mistakes).

Re-frame your thinking

By being empowered with more knowledge and wisdom when we are faced with a new experience we should re-frame our thinking in that it is only temporary, nothing ventured nothing gained, it’s not about winning or losing, it’s not permanent or forever, it is just a new path that I am following and let’s see which direction this takes us.  This way you instantly reduce the stress of the expectation of the new phase and can allow yourself to embrace the future without fear.

Every stage of life has its own rewards and success and happiness comes quite often from looking back and reflecting on what you learned and how you can take that learning into the next phase of your life and use it for your own self development.

Whatever stage of life you are experiencing, it is never too late to score the winning goal.

If you are struggling with an experience in your life and need support, we are here to help. Call the Life Practice on 01462 431112 to speak to one of our qualified therapists .

Do you have a “Me” Day

I have to admit I was feeling slightly smug leading up to the Christmas period when everyone around me seemed to be coming down with a nasty virus. However come Christmas night it finally got hold of me and I spent the next three weeks quite literally in bed with aches, pains, copious amounts of catarrah and eventually pleurisy. Not like me at all as I never get ill, in fact  I can’t remember the last time it happened. As a Nutritional Therapist my diet is clean and I do generally look after myself but I guess I had been working quite hard and had been rushing around a fair bit leading up to the Christmas crazy season and my immune system was a little under par.

During these three “ill” weeks I couldn’t work, be a Mum or anything at all useful at home or work so I gave into the fact that I had to rest and recuperate. On reflection during this time I looked back on my 2014 and decided that I had been burning the candle at both ends and working far too hard and not allowing enough “Me” time.  I spent my days looking after others in the clinic and at home but had forgotten to look after number one. So as I lay there feeling sorry for myself I started to put some changes were in place for 2015.

I started with booking myself some pampering in the form of a Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial at the Vanity Beauty Academy in Hitchin. It sounded like something that would revive my zombie-like body and give me back my “mojo”.

Vanity Beauty Academy is housed in a beautiful listed building in Sun Street and comprises of lots of nooks and cranny type rooms where there are different treatments available from facials, tanning, body massage, eye and nail treatments to waxing and pamper parties for all ages. They set the atmosphere beautifully with classical music in the background with subtle aromas enveloping your senses.

On arrival I was met by the lovely Laura who talked through the treatment and asked me a little bit about my skincare routine and what my expectations were. She gave me a choice of an additional shoulder or scalp massage for which I chose a scalp massage as I had never experienced that before other than at the hairdressers. It was amazing!

During the treatment I was transported into a world of relaxation and sheer indulgence. I found myself drifting off into my own happy thoughts and eventually settled somewhere between nothingness and oblivion. It was exactly what I needed. My skin felt amazing, even some of my fine “laughter” lines had reduced which is worth it’s weight in gold and my confidence immediately lifted.

So I have made a pact with myself that I will allow myself one indulgence a month in order to keep stress at bay and create an air of calm within. After all it is something that I recommend to all my stressed clients that visit my clinic and I really should practice what I preach. It is little treats like these that keep us balanced and in check and ultimately make us better people to spend time with and be around. Stress is “so” last year.

For information on Vanity Beauty Academy email: enquiries@vanitybeautyacademy.com or call 01462 438883 or visit their website

Written by: Karen Shields, Nutritional Therapist at the Life Practice UK, 107 Bancroft, Hitchin, Herts SG45 1NB

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you S.A.D? Seasonal Affective Disorder

It’s that time of year again as the nights draw in and the clocks come forward an hour. We will be preparing for longer nights and shorter days. Many of us take this seasonal change in our stride but 15% of us suffer terribly with the condition otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Woman Stretching in Bed with a Man Sleeping Beside HerSAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a type of depression that affects approximately 1 in 8 people every winter between September and April, in particular during December, January and February.

It is caused by a biochemical imbalance in the hypothalamus due to the shortening of daylight hours and the lack of sunlight in winter. The hormone melatonin is produced by the pineal gland at night and it aids sleep, natural sunlight suppresses the production of melatonin and improves immune function. Therefore, during the winter months when natural sunlight is at its lowest SAD can occur.

For many people SAD is a seriously disabling illness, preventing them from functioning normally without continuous medical treatment. For others, 1 in 50, it is a mild but debilitating condition causing tiredness, lethargy, sleep and eating problems. It is commonly known as “the winter blues”.

Symptoms of SAD

Many of people are puzzled year after year when every winter they seem to feel tired, lethargic, and suffer a loss of enthusiasm or energy. A great deal of those people do not realize that they are experiencing the symptoms are SAD, instead they believe that it is the feeling of the lazy days of summer disappearing and the grey days winter are approaching.

The main recognisable symptoms of SAD are the following:

  • Sleep problems, with sometimes a desire to oversleep, or alternatively a trouble in sleeping with disturbed sleep and early morning awakening.
  • Lack of energy and a feeling of fatigue affecting normal daily functioning.
  • Weight gain and overeating. This involves a craving for carbohydrates like bread and potatoes and a craving for sweet foods and junk food.
  • Feelings of gloom or depression, guilt and a loss of self esteem or interest in normal activities.
  • A lack of interest in going out and socializing. Deliberately avoiding social contact with friends and family.
  • Feelings of anxiousness, stress and irritability. A general lack of patience.
  • Low sex drive and physical contact with their partner.
  • Extreme mood changes, with sufferers literally surfing a wave of emotional changes many times a day.

How Can We Overcome SAD Syndrome?

Firstly visit your GP. This should always be your first option as your GP will always be able to check your symptoms in order to confirm SAD and recommend all the appropriate treatments and medical options.

Light Therapy

By exposing patients to very bright light (at least ten times the intensity of ordinary domestic lighting) for up to four hours per day (average 1-2 hours) light therapy has been shown to be effective in up to 85 per cent of diagnosed cases.

Some light boxes emit higher intensity of light, up to 10,000 Lux, which can cut treatment time down to half an hour a day. Light boxes have to be bought from specialist retailers and are priced around £100

It is important to understand light is measured by what we call Lux. To get this in perspective a candle gives out 1 Lux, a household light bulb 350 Lux, and the sun in the summer gives out 100,000 Lux. Even on a winters afternoon the winter sun can give out as much as 30,000 Lux.  Have you ever wondered why you feel better when the sun shines?

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, counseling or any complementary therapy which helps the sufferer to relax, accept their illness and cope with its limitations are extremely useful.

Integrated mind therapies, inclusive of Neuro Linguistic Programming, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Hypnotherapy have also proven to be very effective.

Five further Steps to being free from S.A.D

  1. Ensure you walk for a minimum of one and a half hours outside every day. This could be to work or school or even during your lunch breaks. Even in the winter you can be exposed of up to 30,000lux. Get and stay outside as regular and often as you can
  2. Keep the wearing of sunglasses to a minimum but do not stare at the sun.
  3. Ensure you have a weekly exercise program. Ensure you include a minimum of 4 weekly cardio vascular activities.
  4. Be conscious of your diet and ensure you keep carbohydrates to a minimum, eating balanced meals every day with fruit, vegetables and grains such as brown rice. Avoid refined sugar as this can cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels which can greatly affect your mood. By eating healthily you can maintain a healthy gut, also known as the second brain, for its serotonin producing capabilites.
  5. A mixture of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D3, 5HTP and a vitamin B complex may help to create a natural serotonin boost and raise our mood naturally.  Always obtain health supplements from a registered Nutritional Therapist after a consultation. Some other medications like antidepressants can contraindicate supplements such as 5HTP and can cause more damage than good so it is important to speak to a specialist first.

To summarise, get outside in the sunshine as much as possible as it will drive your endorphin production (the bodies natural opiates) which in turn combats adrenaline and reduces mood related problems. You will get your light relief and mood relief twice from two different external factors.

Visit the Life Practice Nutrition website for further details about our Registered Nutritional Therapist and services offered.

Visit the Life Practice main website for information on our Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, NLP and Life Coaching services

How Social is your Business?

communicationHow Social is your Business?

It is difficult to ignore the term “Social Media” now as it has grown substantially in recent years and with most individuals possessing a Facebook account for entertainment and keeping in touch with friends and family it has equally become a very useful marketing tool for businesses.

Facts & Figures

Did you know that:

25% of online consumer time is spent on Social Media sites

Facebook is the most used Social Media site with the average user age 18-25 years and with 22% of users aged 26-34 years.

Twitter is second largest social media site with 500 million users worldwide, tweeting170 million tweets a day. 30% of twitter users are 26-34 years with 25% aged 35-44 years

So, what is so special about Social Media? It has created opportunities for practitioners to reach out to potential clients in a more direct marketing route, create new professional networks and build relationships with existing clients (should they wish to be public).

Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin are the more popular choice, however, there are numerous other social media networks and blogging sites such as WordPress, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+.

In my opinion. all CAM practitioners should take advantage of the different types of Social Media marketing opportunities because first and foremost they are FREE.  Secondly, they can increase your brand awareness by directly reaching your target market and demographic. It is also a great way to increase traffic to your website and finally it gives a practitioner the chance to educate their audience (for those willing to listen) which may result in them using your services.

Everyone has their preferred type of Social Media platform, however, it is sensible to use several in connection with each other to produce a more powerful message. For example, if you can produce an educational video on an aspect of your work with You Tube, you can then tweet a link to the video on Twitter or post to Facebook. Your followers will then be able to “comment”, “like” or “re-tweet” to all of their followers which starts the viral nature that we so often see in the news with quirky stories or ultra-talented 6 year olds!

So the question is how does one get started? Well, firstly you need to decide what your goals are for using Social Media. Perhaps your targets are to increase your follower numbers, gain referrals through social media, direct more traffic through to your website, keep track of latest research and industry leaders in your field and what is being said.

Twitter allows you to post short updates or “tweets” of up to 140 characters and follow the updates of anyone that interests you.

You can target your tweets direct to your chosen market, for example. schools, gyms, corporate markets in your particular area of the country. This puts the word out about what you are doing in your practice which may lead to a build up a following in a certain territory/area.

You need to ensure that every tweet re-enforces your goal but you don’t want to look desperate so make sure you offer a variety of interesting facts, figures, pictures, links, videos, etc.

If you watch what other people in your industry “tweet” (the ones with lots of followers) try to model their technique as it takes some practice to fit all your information about your services into only 140 characters.

There are many tools within Twitter that can be used to target your audience

Hashtags ####

Putting a hashtag # before a word helps you to create a particular subject, news story, research or event that interests an audience. For example, during the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. The topic #openingceremony was used. By posting a tweet with #openingceremony in it, your tweet would be seen under that topic group. If it was relevant to your business, the topic and interesting, other Tweeters would look at your profile and see who you are and perhaps they may even click on the link to your website, thus driving more traffic to your website.

Be careful though, as you do not want to annoy other tweeters with a blatant marketing post that has nothing to do with the topic. Equally, you need to gauge carefully how witty and entertaining you are as this can affect your business image.

Increase your followers

This can be done in a couple of ways but personally I think it is more about quality of followers rather than quantity.

You need to think about your area and search for people using the “Discover” tab. Type #Brighton to find tweets on the topic of Brighton. They will usually be other businesses in that area. If you want to gain referrals from a gym in Brighton, look out for a gym under #Brighton tweets by reading their profile.  You can also go one further and see who follows the gym in Brighton as it may be some of their members in which case you can follow them too.

Who to follow or follow-back

Keep an eye on who follows you back. My rule of thumb is that if you follow someone and they do not follow you back then a week later you can unfollow them. Try and follow ten new people a week in order to keep on top of it.

If you want quantity then follow as many people as you like but make sure they are relevant to your target market. Some will follow back but not all.  You can tell the avid tweeters by the number of tweets they have in their tweet trail.

Ideally what you are aiming for is a solid base of followers who are interested in what you have to say and want to share it with their followers.

Don’t spam

Twitter is about relationship building and building some rapport with likeminded parties. If you have never interacted with them before it is best not to ask for re-tweets or referrals. Try to build up some dialogue with individuals first.

Beware of Direct Messages Hackers      

Direct messages or DM’s are a great way to personalise a message solely to a particular follower. Only they can see it. However, anyone sending a message to you suggesting that someone is saying something bad about you and inviting you to click on a link is more than likely to be an attempt to hack into your account.

If the message looks a little odd, do not click the link.

Most importantly – Think before you post

Think before you post and ask yourself these questions.

  • Does it re-enforce my business goals?
  • Is it interesting or relevant?
  • Am I violating client confidentiality?

Remember: anything that you post remains on the Internet forever and can be easily shared with others.

I hope this brief explanation of using Twitter as a marketing tool for your business is useful and for those of you who would like to see an example of how it is done. Go to www.twitter.com/LifePracticeUK

Client Coaching – Making the Difference

The CAM Coach Mark Shields examines the skills that we all need to get the best results for our clients. This month’s blog we look more in depth at the proven Life Practice coaching model CASPA

business coaching

Developing Practitioner Coaching Skills

At the moment through their own admittance many CAM practitioners readily admit they deal with a set of problems presented by their client by fact finding the client problems and making a set of recommendations to deal with the symptoms. By applying a set of simple coaching principles CAM Practitioners can not only deal with the output of the clients problems ( the symptoms ) but can also apply a simple coaching model called CASPA (not the white ghost) to highlight and manage the cause that puts us in a much stronger position to help our client and eliminate their problems forever. So what is CASPA?

What is CASPA ?

CASPA is a client needs driven coaching model very similar in principle to the Human Givens coaching model which you may already be aware of. The human givens model focuses entirely on the presumption as human beings we all have a series of needs that need to be met. When these needs aren’t being met certain contradictory and conflicting behaviours can emerge, to compensate for this lack of personal fulfilment. These behaviours often result in many of the symptoms we find in our clients. Weight Gain, Stress, Adrenal Fatigue and so on.

Dealing with Cause and Affect

By applying CASPA to the main areas of our client’s lifestyle we can find the route cause of the client’s problem driving the behaviour we are treating. That puts us in a very strong position as coaches as we can treat the symptoms but most importantly coach the cause of the problem as well. This is known to coaches as cause and effect. When working with a needs driven coaching model such as CASPA it is common practice to segment our client’s lives into four main areas.
These are
1. Health
2. Relationships
3. Career
4. Finance

CASPA represents the following needs that in theory we all need to be met as human beings to remain happy and fulfilled.

  • Control
  • Approval
  • Security
  • Purpose
  • Achievement

By applying CASPA to the four main areas of lifestyle you would complete a SOD (scale of discomfort) score 1-10 (1 meaning feeling fine and  10 feeling terrible). With a max score of 200 obviously the higher the score in a particular area highlights areas of cause to pinpoint

So let’s look at this in Principle

Case Study Example

Gemma gets in touch with you her as nutritional therapist as she has problems with gaining weight and is very tired especially first thing in the morning and struggles to get out of bed in the morning. She has put on a stone in the last three months and feels highly anxious during certain periods and comfort eats to combat her feelings of anxiety. She has recently experienced her first panic attack

Currently some nutritional therapists would complete a fact find (Client Questionnaire + data interpretation of symptoms), food diary and possibly some laboratory testing.

You would interpret the information you had received and make appropriate dietary recommendations and supplements, if necessary. A follow up appointment would be booked six weeks later depending on their case. At this meeting you would review their food diary and any change in symptoms and make adjustments to the recommendations as appropriate. Some of you may see the client two or three more times.

Applying CASPA

By applying CASPA we would establish Gemma was in stage 1 of stress (fear and panic) and her stress / adrenal fatigue was caused by work related stress at work when in the presence of her boss. We would then agree a set of focused goals to formulate a strategy to combat the problem caused at work. When coaching in this way client buy in, trust and focus is paramount so it wouldn’t be unusual to see your client weekly for the first month to ensure progress and develop momentum. In addition to her diet and eating habits we would examine how she handled the stress mentally and would with her to develop a strategy to combat the stress looking at all aspects of her lifestyle.

GROW Model

The GROW model is a review process you would use weekly to begin with to review your clients goals, motivate and inspire your client and ensure momentum is maintained.
G goals
R reality
O options
W way forward

Summary

CASPA is a basic coaching model allowing you to quickly identify the route cause of your client’s symptoms. CASPA is very useful when the client is unaware of the reason they are behaving in the way they are. CASPA enables you to formulate actions and goals at the beginning of your clients first session, get straight to the point and structure a plan and strategy immediately putting the client back in control from the moment you meet them.

Today’s Practitioner Habits Forge Tomorrows Practitioner Behaviour

Today more and more CAM practitioners are learning new skills and increasing their value to their clients and their ability to increase their income. In fact my opening line at the recent CAM Conference was if you remember “become your clients coach”.

Our new Life Practice Academy offer online business courses which give therapist’s the business skills and knowledge to improve success in their clinics.Sign up for free today at the Life Practice Academy

CASPA Model Copyright Life Practice

 

Are you ready to Change your career?

ARE YOU READY TO CHANGE YOUR CAREER?

ARE YOU READY TO TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT?

ARE YOU PREPARED TO VENTURE OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE?

Steve Nugent is an entrepreneur and currently owns three companies. that was until his life changed for the worse and he had draw on all his resources to find his way through a challenging time. Did NLP, famous for situations just like this manage to help him? Mark has been able to use such techniques and coaching skills to help me at a difficult time in my life. I find myself at a thought provoking cross roads where I am looking to identify the next steps of my own journey, which has led me, to date, on some lofty highs and lows where, at times, there was little light. Currently I am at the very beginning of the next Chapter, which brings great joy in levels of excitement, anticipation and freedom of choice, along with an equal measure of fear, of stepping again into the unknown, the fear of making the wrong choices with unidentifiable consequences which only such freedoms of choice provides…… Scary Huh!

So Why NLP? What Do I Expect?

Well on the surface I can give multiple reasons as to why I want to look at this area of study. But, what is slightly strange is that where the last chapter of my life came to an end I was left in a room with someone who is an expert in NLP. I have found that the word ‘expert’ gets banded about in the business world with the same frivolous abundance of many other business clichés and acronyms that we are subjected to….. It’s tiring at times ‘playing the game’ of identifying a genuine expert, this isn’t the case of finding just competence, that is easy, so I set about my normal routine of research and trial and error, fully prepared to pucker up and ‘kiss many frogs’ as I have been prepared to do many times in my life. But, to my great relief, after many exhausting, emotional and powerful sessions I found myself sitting in a room with one. How lucky is that? I could claim that it was down to my research but, as I have recently been discovering and embracing into my conscious that it was the law of attraction at work! Or, at the very least, the testament of how NLP has shaken off some of its mystery and now recognised in areas of counselling and coaching. I’ve digressed, back to the why and what do I expect? The why is also because I have always had a curiosity in areas of Psychology and the study of the mind, I see NLP as a practical extension of this specialist area of study. I am not an overly religious person and my upbringing hasn’t exactly been a smooth ride but, who’s has? I have an unconventional family (like many out there) who I love and love me unconditionally but, do take the warts and all approach. I have a wonderful partner who I have shared up’s and down’s with over the last 8 years and we have not only remained close but, our love grows stronger. The reason I mention my family is because this is where my early interest in Psychology was created, my desire to try and understand them and others and how it could make sense and my partner has been very supportive and understanding at very difficult times. But, why else NLP and what do I expect? Well on the face of things I could be considered relatively ‘successful’, I have owned my own businesses. I am competitive in nature and have always looked to push myself in all pursuits – however, I have never been totally happy with the results or fulfilled at my ‘achievements’! I feel I have come up short to where I wanted, I have never quite got the results I wanted, and I have been relentless bordering on obsessive with achievement. Others have basked in the sunshine of the success, whilst I have always settled for the shadow – it’s not that I don’t like the limelight, it’s just not what drives me. So what do I expect? Well as Einstein said when asked for his definition of insanity ‘Doing the same activity repeatedly but, expecting a different result’. So I suppose I expect to find different results, different goals and to be able to use the techniques and learning to fully execute along my new journey! Hey what’s the worst that can happen?

History and Overview of NLP

Starting with the history and from the research I have conducted I have found the following; Initial work was conducted in the 60’s/70’s at the University of California by Richard Bandler and John Grinder working alongside a team of anthropologists, social scientists and Linguists. The initial goal was to research methods of excellent psycho therapists and how they manage to achieve results, through this research a methodology emerged of its own. This was identifying others successful approach to a problem and modelling the behaviours and ways of thinking, then adapting these behaviours into a way that it can be modelled to achieve specific results. This was based around studying those highly considered leaders in their fields and identifying the approach, patterns and methods they were using to achieve results/solving problems. Such as the utilisation of speech patterns, tone, selection of words, body language – gestures, postures, eye movement and building a methodology of this model. Through the 60’s/70’s NLP started to find it’s foundations as a ‘new’ approach in neuroscience and became more established in the field of therapy and counselling. This was then adopted and adapted to other disciplines in business, sales, artists and sport.

Possible Applications of NLP?

So, what other applications and models can be extracted that could benefit utilising NLP techniques? Starting with an area that I have some experience, I can see lots of benefits that it can bring to Sales, Sales Leadership and Management, Human Resources and namely the identification of talent in the recruitment process and the ongoing personalised PDP (Personal Development Plan) for each employee. This would create great benefit for both employer and employee and will add a level of belonging, loyalty and repayment of the investment by the employee. Although, this has to be regularly updated and followed through by the employer so as not to be seen as superficial by the employee. It could also have some benefit and merit in the highly sales and bonus driven culture found in the Financial Services Industry. Where and individuals benefit is often found to be in direct conflict with the institution or on an even greater scale. Perhaps a way of modelling the moral and ethical behaviours as a approach to win back the confidence of the tax payer In conclusion, do I expect NLP to, on its own, deliver results of above my expectations? Well at this point it is difficult to answer in isolation as I have not yet set a defined goal for an expectation to be met. That said, I have never been one to settle for second best in terms of a result or in life. So a base level expectation of NLP will be for me to learn new skills and techniques that I can utilise in all areas of my life to provide better results. After all, what would the point be in taking these first steps of a new journey? Written by Steven Nugent Note from Mark: Steven is currently attending our Integrated NLP, Hypnotherapy & Coaching Training Diploma as I write and I am hoping to have him write his thoughts in my next blog once he has completed this course. To see further information on this course please visit http://www.lifepractice.co.uk/nlp-hypnotherapy-training Here is our video to give you a taster.

Consistently Sustaining A Profitable Practice

It is important to understand that when it comes to business planning we look at the Short Medium and Long term plan of any Business. This often goes overlooked and business owners focus on just one plan if any at all.

Ensure your business plan caters for the short, medium, and long term future of your business typically 1, 3 and 5 years. You will need to be flexible and able to adapt as the business world and market changes as we progress into the millennium years.

Short Term Plan =       6 – 12 Months

Medium Term Plan =   12 – 36 Months

Long Term Plan =        36 – 60 Months

You should commit to forecasting your business results in line with your short medium and long term plan. You should include anticipated appointment levels, income levels, activity, your different income streams and costs.

Short Term Plan =     6 – 12 Months

This plan would include the following

  • Start up Actions
  • Renting of Room
  • Ordering of Stationary
  • Creating first Website
  • First attempt at Advertising and Marketing

Medium Term Plan = 12 – 36 Months

This plan would include the following

  • Ongoing review of Action Plan
  • More Advanced Marketing Campaigns
  • Joint Ventures
  • Adding new Income Streams
  • Media Marketing
  • Personal Development
  • Adding new Therapeutic Disciplines
  • Formulation and Addition to ProductRange
  • Review / Change of Premises
  • Effective Change Management Program
  • Ongoing CPD
  • Data Marketing
  • Business Development

Long Term Plan =      36 – 60 Months

This plan would include the following

  • Effective Change Management Program
  • A review of Short and Medium term Business Plan
  • A more Strategic view of your overall Business Proposition
  • Merging or acquiring new businesses
  • Product Development
  • Keeping up with Economic and Legislative change
  • Attainment of further qualifications
  • Ongoing CPD
  • Strategic Business Development

And the list is endless and can go on and on.

Modeling Tip

Achieving success is one thing consistently sustaining a successful practice is something entirely different.

If we look at the success ratios of any practice over 30% fail in the first twelve months and only 8% remain profitable five years on.

This is why its imperative you ensure you have a five year business plan, split into the three segments of short, medium and long term.

Although it may appear that the three categories above are divided into three action plans, they are not.

They are 1 plan and 1 plan only

A good Practitioner should have 1 Business plan including short, medium and long term actions. This is how you keep up and manage change and stay ahead of the competition.

You simply include short medium and long term actions in the same plan and review the plan every month.

The key is to apportion your time in a sensible way as often short term action seem more pressing than an action you have five years to complete

The key is to dedicate your time to your business plan using the following time weightings

  • Short Term Plan         70%
  • Medium Term Plan    20%
  • Long Term Plan          10%

Think of these as three juggling balls you have to keep in the air all three all the time.

Conclusion

Writing a Business Plan is important, writing a meaningful Business Plan that captures the short medium and long term future of your business is paramount to the long term sustainable future of your practice

20121209-101707.jpgFurther details on how to set up and enjoy a successful Complementary & Alternative Clinic or Practice “The CAM Coach” book is now available to buy from http://www.thecamcoach.com

About The Author

Mark Shields, Life Coach, Author, Media expert and Motivational Speaker, is Managing Director of Life

Practice UK, specialists in Personal And Business Coaching. Contact: Tel: 01462 431112  info@lifepractice.co.uk

http://www.lifepractice.co.uk

Be Social and Healthy during the Festive Season

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Can you be Social & Healthy at Christmas?

At this time of the year it seems an uphill battle to a healthy diet when there is so much temptation around. Christmas is a time of pure self-indulgence and most of us justify our actions by celebrating it to the max. After all Christmas comes but once a year, however, healthy eating shouldn’t, it should be a lifestyle change with occasional treats along the way when a special occasion arises.

Many women around the UK put in an extra effort to watch what they eat leading up to Christmas to get into that little black party dress so it seems a great shame to let it all go after the event just because you feel guilty about the binge eating and drinking over the festive season. After all, what are new year’s resolutions for anyway?

Accept that you may slide a little over Christmas and New Year but come 1st January you have the chance to get back on track and start a fresh for the New Year ahead. Don’t beat yourself up about the past and draw a line under it and move on.

During the festive season there will be many occasions from family gatherings to office parties which will divert your attention from “being good” to enjoying yourself. Eating out usually means that we have little control over how the food is prepared or how large the portion is. Also, foods eaten out tend to be higher in fat and research has shown that those who eat out regularly generally have higher intakes of fat, salt and calories.

Unfortunately, eating with friends can tempt us to overeat and drink. Meals with multiple courses eaten over longer periods and with alcohol are all associated with overindulgence. Endless canapé trays at the office party are also laden with foods containing high saturated fat.

As you have no point of nutritional reference with foods bought from cafes and restaurants there is no way of knowing exactly what is contained in that food and  opting for the healthiest option might not always be obvious, or easy. However, with some knowledge and thought, eating out can be enjoyable and healthy!

The Eight Steps to eating out healthily

  1. If you are going out to a drinks or cocktail party, eat something substantial and healthy before you go, this will reduce the chance of gorging on canapés or finger food at the party.
  2. Always ask the waitress if you do not know what is in the food being served. If they don’t know the chef certainly will.
  3. Don’t be polite when it comes to pudding. Opt for a hot mint tea to be sociable but not calorific. Or if on the menu a small fruit sorbet or fruit dish. Avoid dairy based desserts that contain fat.
  4. Think about sharing a course with a companion if the portions look large.
  5. Don’t be afraid to be high maintenance. Losing weight is high maintenance and by asking your waitress to hold the mayonnaise or put the dressing on the side is perfectly acceptable and an easy way to remove these fat laden additions from your healthy salad.
  6. Opt for dishes which are grilled, baked, steamed, poached or cooked in own juice rather than fried.
  7. Order sides of vegetables or green salad to fill up on rather than chips.
  8. If you are drinking alcohol, try opting for spritzers instead or alternating between sparkling water and wine. It will reduce your calorie intake, as let’s face it alcohol is “liquid sugar”. It will also reduce the effects of the hangover the next morning.

So there you have it, a quick eight step guide to surviving a healthy social season. In the meantime, have a wonderful festive season from all of us at the Life Practice and Life Practice Nutrition

If you think you would benefit from a Life Coaching or Nutritional Medicine consultation contact us on 01462 431112 for your free 20 minute consultation.

Tired all the time? Perhaps you are suffering from Adrenal Fatigue

Are you tired and struggle to get out of bed in the morning even after a good nights sleep?
If you are, you may be suffering from a condition known as Adrenal Fatigue.

Woman Stretching in Bed with a Man Sleeping Beside Her

Many people every day say that they are stressed. It is a loose emotional term used to describe their current busy-ness of life. However, to some people, stress is a real and very problematic condition that can affect your relationships at work and home and your general well-being and functionality.
Although, a little stress in life is needed to function, a relentless non-stop amount can accumulate within the body to stimulate the organs, known as the adrenal glands, to pump out hormones on a constant basis. Should this constant output continue over a long period of time this can create a condition known as Adrenal Fatigue.
If you think back to when the caveman lived he woke up every day with the job of survival. He hunted for wild boar, which in itself was a life threatening event and therefore did not happen on a regular basis. When faced with this stressful situation his adrenals would excrete adrenaline and nor adrenaline and enter into the “Fight or flight” response. His heart rate would increase, pupils dilate, his blood would be transported away from the digestive system (taking his
mind off hunger) and into the muscles in the arms and legs to help him run faster. He would become alert and his blood pressure would rise. At this point the caveman would either “fight” the wild boar or run for the hills “flight”. After this experience he would either return to his cave with a successful meal or empty handed, either way he would have a restful period whereby to regain equilibrium.

Going forward to today’s modern world with its consistency of accountability, increased output, greed and constant communication and our stress episodes are lining up one after the other. There does not seem to be enough restful opportunities between each episode either which is when the problems start.

The three stages of stress:

  1. Alarm Reaction: This is when the adrenal glands are healthy and you can function normally whenever the need arises.
  2. Resistance Stage: Stress continues and the adrenal glands enlarge but you can still respond normally and handle situations.
  3. Exhaustion Stage: The adrenal glands fail to meet the demands required of them. You could become fatigued, dizzy and faint. You would have trouble getting out of bed. Anxiety can set in.

Over stimulation of the adrenals can cause a decrease in immune function as stressful episodes use up very quickly the nutrients in our bodies, therefore, stressed people tend to catch colds more regularly. As blood clotting is increased when the body is stressed, prolonged stress can cause a build-up of plaque in the arteries and lead to heart disease. During stress the blood is shunted from the digestive organs to the muscles which can lead to indigestion and irritable bowel disease.

There are different forms of stress:

  • Emotional stress which is the most well-known form usually associated with separation, divorce, death of a loved one, job loss, financial worries, exam nerves etc.
  • Thermal stress which comes from being exposed to extreme temperatures.
  • Physical stress from obesity, excess physical work, sleeplessness, skeletal and muscular pain.
  • Chemical stress from consuming sugar, alcohol, food additives, exposure to pollutants.

All of these different types of stress affect the body in the same way; the adrenals do not distinguish between them.
Obviously, it is impossible to control all stressful situations but it is possible to control some of them and you can certainly do this in a few ways as mentioned below:

Diet

This is one area that you can control by eating frequent meals utilising protein and complex carbohydrates together. For example tuna (protein) and whole-wheat pasta (carbohydrate). By using complex carbohydrates i.e. foods made using the whole grain rather than processing, bleaching and adding to it, the carbohydrate offers the energy that you need to function and the protein allows it to burn slowly so that you maintain a steady blood sugar level.
By avoiding sugar this reduces the sharp peaks in blood sugar which give you a burst of energy but are always followed with a low trough leaving you exhausted and craving for the sugar again. Avoiding stimulants like tea, coffee, smoking, and alcohol as these all affect your sleep patterns and blood sugar levels.  Lack of sleep can further stress your body so using alternatives to caffeine can help immensely.
Many people suffering with stress complain that they do not have time to eat or prepare food and so skip meals. This has a dramatic effectof dropping your blood sugar level which can result in exhaustion and fatigue. By looking at planning meals that take minutes or organising your meals by batch cooking so that all they need is to be heated up can save time. Food that does not require cooking such as, salads and crudités, fruit and nuts are great ideas for lunches on the run. By
taking control of your diet you can start to regain momentum to return to your normal functionality.

Controlling your Emotions

Try not to focus on relationship problems that cannot be solved. For instance, if you find your boss is unappreciative of your work and never seems to recognise your efforts, focus instead on the fact you have a job. Many people do even have that these days.
Emotional health can be controlled to a certain extent mentally by accepting that a certain situation is happening but that you are unable to change it therefore worrying about it only causes you further upset. Take control by accepting the situation for what it is and move on to more positive things that can be changed or enjoyed.

Physical Activity

Obviously, there are some situations that really do test people, for instance caring for an elderly or sick family member can cause an immense amount of stress and emotional guilt. By looking into support for yourself and time away from these situations can be immensely beneficial to your wellbeing. By having the time to go for a gentle walk or swim, or just meeting a trusted friend to talk to this can be a great stress reliever.
Meditation, yoga and pilates are also great stress relievers as they offer gentle physical activity, rather than vigorous exercise which can cause further stress on the body. Obviously, doing the gentler types of exercise is not going to change your situation but it can change the way your internal body perceives the stressful event and change its
response to it.
Whatever stress you have in your life, you can put in place a programme to cope with it. Life is not always going to be easy and there will certainly be times where you find more on your plate than you would like but there are strategies to help you cope. By addressing the above areas in your life now and taking control of them you will at least be in a position to face whatever life throws at you in the future.

Finally, click on our video to learn about a technique that can be used immediately to help release stress.

To find out more about this article or adrenal fatigue you are welcome contact our Nutritional Therapist Karen Shields at The Life Practice Nutrition clinic . Tel: 01462 431112