The key to happiness in your career

WhaBusinesspeople Running Towards Finish Linet is your current job role doing to you as a person, to your mind, character and relationships? Are you someone who always finds other people’s careers interesting compared to yours?  Have you assessed how you are doing lately? If not, why not?  Our career aspirations can change throughout life depending on experiences from our past, maturity into adulthood, and requirements to survive our chosen lifestyle.

Recently my 14 year old daughter has had to think about her career and future and to choose her GCSE options. Who actually knew what they wanted to do at that age?  It seems more of a minefield than it was when I was younger, particularly as the current government seems to keep changing the goal posts and schools seem also to be left in the dark, however, that’s a topic for another time.

Parenthood brings many challenges at different stages of a child growing up and as a parent I have always been conscious to keep happiness at the forefront of their minds and an “anything is possible” attitude to life.  In helping my daughter make her choices I have tried as much as possible to give her enough information so that she ultimately makes the decisions for herself. Her dream (at the moment) is to perform in the West End Musical theatre in London and perhaps eventually go to Broadway.  Whilst, many parents flippantly would say, “oh no, that could never happen for you”. I say “why not? Someone has to, why not you?” Sure, you will come across rejection, disappointment and failure along the way but by learning from these pitfalls and making the necessary tweaks this can enable you to adjust the path and change direction as you go.  After all, the yellow brick road was not straight and Dorothy learnt many lessons along her journey whilst experiencing the twists and turns of the land of Oz.

We have looked into course brochures and her school offered the children a career workshop that has educated them about what lifestyle they wish to have and how much money they would need in order to live it. All of these resources are important in making such decisions but deep down my feeling is as long as you follow what makes you happy everything will fall into place and if it doesn’t, I hear you ask, then you need to keep checking back by asking yourself some unearthing questions about your career.

So if any of you who are reading this are wishing they had had some insight into their future career before they got there and feel it is too late to change direction. Think again.

There are five dimensions of meaning to one’s career.

  1. Earning money
  2. Achieving status
  3. Making a difference
  4. Following your passions (interests)
  5. Using your talents (skills)

These five dimensions can be prioritised in various order depending on your own experiences, influencing factors (family) and perception of the world.

Earning money

Look at this in a broader perspective rather than going for a career that pays the best. How much income do you want/need? Are you setting your own monetary goals or complying with someone else’s? What is a comfortable living, and what careers might fulfill that? What career fields might suit you in other ways from which you could also earn a reasonable (from your perspective) salary?

Achieving status

As with the perception of money, your definition of status may be different to the next person’s. Take some time to determine your proudest moments at work and in life. That may give you some perspective of what constitutes “status” to you. Does your current position provide you with the sense of pride and status you desire? What in your current job do you take pride in?

Making a difference

Now without thinking I’ve gone all tree hugger on you, making a difference isn’t always about saving the whales or other voluntary projects; you can also make a difference at work. Think about a teacher who makes a difference every day to a pupil but the results aren’t always seen immediately. What about helping someone learn to cope with their debilitating anxiety or fear of public speaking? What does “making a difference” mean to you?  Are you perhaps underplaying the difference you make in your current job or would a different job provide more fulfillment for you in this area? Is making a difference important to you or do other factors trump this desire? Only you can decide.

Following your passions and interests

This is the area in which I have focused on with my daughter and her subject choices. What subjects do you love to learn about as these tend to be the subjects you do well in.  There is no doubt, if you love the job you are in you will love getting up in the morning and springing onto that commuter train and whistling as you go, however, it is not quite as simple as that to achieve this, there are compromises and creative solutions along the path to doing what we love.

Take a few minutes and ask yourself if you have found your right livelihood.  Are you pursuing what you love or have you found the love in what you do?  Because it might be that doing a less-than-ideal job that puts food on your family’s table and offers you the chance to travel on holidays to sunnier climates is one aspect of the love you can find in it.

Understanding talents, skills & passion

You need to have the right mix of talent and skill. You don’t actually need passion but if you want to get into what you love to do, it helps. Skill is something that you can learn. Talent is something that you naturally have. List down in three columns: all of your skills, talents and passion. When you are at your all-time best, what are you doing? And how can you find a job that lets you do more of that?

I have always been fascinated with the mind and how people behave.  Armed with my interpersonal skills and my talents of leading, motivating and inspiring people I have managed to re-carve a new career in the world of Behavioural Change.  Sure, I needed to do some extra training and education to get me here but the underlying skills, talent and passion have always been there. I just simply got the qualification to fill in the gaps. The skills and experience from my last career have all been transferable in one respect or another.

That’s the key to successful career transitioning: you take a job, figure out what you like best, and then look for a job that lets you do more of that.   Or you take a look at your skills, talents and passions and see what positions could work in line with those.

In my career path, my strength was Sales. I have always been told that I have good inter personal skills and these skills helped me to build rapport with my customers who I sold to and eventually through the years I was promoted up the ranks into a Senior role managing teams within the Financial Industry, earning a shed load of money.  However, the dis-loyal, cut-throat nature of the Corporate world did not sit well with me and I found it soul destroying, extremely stressful and at times unethical. One day the money was just not the priority and my happiness and health took precedence. I still had my good interpersonal skills and had picked up many other skills along the way in the Business world from training, coaching, mentoring and leadership so I re-trained and stepped into a new industry that I remain in today.  Ironically, coaching business men like my “old-self” who have been sucked in by the Corporate life, bigged up, and spat out the other side feeling hit by a train with the look of shock as to what to do next.

A poignant example that springs to mind where I have made a difference in someone’s life which touched me emotionally was when I coached a West end actor to overcome his performance nerves prior to starring in his first West End show. My client had achieved his “status” by being chosen by Andrew Lloyd Webber, whom he held in the highest regard in the Musical Theatre World but unfortunately, his nerves did not care about this, his body was struggling to calm down in such a highly charged situation. After teaching him some techniques and exercises along with visualisation he managed to overcome his fear and the show was a West End hit.  My moment of “making a difference” became apparent when I went with my family to watch him. I was so proud of his achievement that it brought tears to my eyes. How many people can say that about their job?

Now you have examined these dimensions. Which is most important? Which is least? How much of each is “enough” in your work? So going back to the original question, “What is your current job role doing to you as a person, to your mind, character and relationships?” Would making changes in these five dimensions change your life for the better? Is one area neglected at the expense of another? How can you fix that?  By doing this career MOT every so often it helps you keep on the right track and is the key to happiness in your career.

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

Is your boss bad for your health?

Mark Shields Takes a Closer Look

As we progress on through the worse economic crisis since the 1930s many relationships are suffering under the stress and pressure of it all. One of the most important relationships affecting many of us is the relationship we have with our boss.

This relationship can always be a difficult one, however tighter budgets, higher demands, increasing attrition rates and with the competition for jobs increasing, the boss / subordinate relationship is under as much pressure as it’s ever been.

A recent study looking into the impact of a manager’s behaviour on his direct reports initiated the following

Study Results

Source = Swedish psychologist, Anna Nyberg, Karolinska Institute in Stockholm 2008, reported that

  1. Workers saddled for four years with managers who were inconsiderate and uncommunicative, were about 60 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack or other life-threatening cardiac condition.
  2. Bad Bosses have a greater negative effect than if the employee smoked, didn’t get enough exercise or was overweight, or had high cholesterol. .
  3. There is an “undisputed” relationship between a manager’s leadership style and workers’ productivity and mental health.

Obviously all bosses are different and some are very competent however the results below suggest, often it’s the things we would naturally assume bosses would do and know that cause relationship problems with their member of staff.

 Survey Results Top 3 General

 Moving the Goal Posts          52%

Impossible deadlines            17%

Unachievable targets           31%

Survey Results Top 3 Behaviour

 No Staff Development          40%

Lack of support                   30%

Poor Communication            30%

How much Stress can be caused by the Boss?

 75% of bosses misunderstand their employees on some level and cause some form of stress

50% have staff with long term stress issues or long term sick

15% of staff are forced to change their job due to stress at work.

Most staff working within a tense relationship with their boss feel constantly de-motivated, uninspired, and constantly stressed.

Why do Bosses behave in this Way?

 Inexperience leads them to Micro Manage as they can’t delegate.

Lack of Proper training and ongoing development

Understand the principle not the practical

No personal motivation

More all round pressure being put on Bosses. The Everest effect. Pass it on down the line to the employees.

 The Key Big 5 Solutions to Help.

 1       Update your CV

 Make sure this is really good if an opportunity reveals itself to you. By engaging in this task, it will confirm to you of your skills and successes and certainly remind you how good you really are. Great for a major confidence boost.

2       Self evaluation

Have a good look at your own behavior.

The first solution is an honest analysis of your actions and behavior. How have you been handling yourself in your job?

3       Try Talking to your boss.

Compile a list of bad boss behaviors Make a list of all the things that your boss does that drive you nuts. Next, rank the list from most annoying to least annoying.

Once you feel comfortable that your suggestions are positive and helpful, consider scheduling a meeting with your boss to discuss. Perhaps suggest meeting outside the office for breakfast or lunch.

Leave your emotions at the door, but be prepared for your boss to have an emotional reaction. It’s possible that your boss is unaware of his/her actions, and this meeting could be very positive for all involved

4      Find a mentor with the company

If you love the company but hate the boss, another solution is to develop a mentoring relationship with a boss/supervisor in another part of the company. Mentoring is a fantastic strategy that you should consider even if you have a good boss because a mentor is someone who can help you in many ways, from offering advice to suggesting you for a promotion.

5       Embark on Stress Management Program.

Regular exercise and a healthy diet help combat stress. Exercise produces the body’s natural opiates endorphins which directly combat stress hormones

Mark Shields

Managing Director Life Practice Group

Coach, Author, National Media Coach

Tel: 01462 451473

info@lifepractice.co.uk

http://www.lifepractice.co.uk