Mental health coaching

Mental health coaching is a niche of the coaching market that is becoming more popular because of the times we find ourselves in.

Mental health coaching is a niche of the coaching market that is becoming more popular because of the times we find ourselves in.

Any person who has a mental health problem must see their GP, counsellor and whatever other services are available in the first instance.

Though a mental health coach is not a therapist and does not treat mental disorders, good coaches can help their clients see the world in a new way and turn pessimism into optimism. It is an extra resource in the challenge that is managing our own mental health. Though people with mental disorders or conditions need a trained therapist, there are many people who merely need to alter the course of their thinking. With Christmas just around the corner, some people will need to draw on all of their resources to manouevre their way through and come out the other side.

Steps to a better attitude

- Gratitude works - living in a state of gratitude instead of feeling as if the world owes you something is a much better road to success and happiness. Be grateful for your family, your friends, your health – your life. Life is a gift – treat it as such.

- Keeping a notebook by your bed and write in it daily about the things you are grateful for will help start the shift of your thinking to the positive. Over Christmas it can be very easy to get lost in all of the fuss that comes with the season and be a bit overwhelmed. A good way to relax ourselves is to make a list of what we are grateful for in the moment. The smallest of things can give us such pleasure.

- Start your day with a positive thought. Kiss your spouse, hug your kids, play with your dog, or just think about something positive first thing in the morning. You control your thoughts and are in control of whether or not you choose to pay attention to the positive or negative ones. I know which ones I choose.

- Make positive plans for the day. Think of something you will accomplish during the day. Or, think of some goal you will reach or perhaps begin something that will produce positive results in the future. It can be so hard to even get out of bed when you’re not feeling well so taking very small steps and praising yourself when you make a small step is vital. There are plenty of opportunities again over Christmas to go for walks, days out or just to visit a friend or neighbour. Take advantage of it.

- Seek out the positive. The news can be very pessimistic – war, recession, violence – but there are always positive stories to be found. Find these positive stories and make sure to read or watch these to create a balance with all the negative. Have fun and watch some comedies on the tv or your favourite boxset.

- Seek out positive people. There is no doubt that there are times it feels good to sit around and grumble about the world and life in general with other people. However, many people do this on a regular basis and it often leads to depression and apathy. Remember the saying ‘misery loves company’. Seek out positive individuals who look for success and happiness. Limit your time around people who are always complaining.

- Act happy. That’s right – don’t be afraid to show others that you are happy. Smile, say hello to strangers, ask a co-worker how their day is going. Happiness is contagious.

Be aware of the positive. Learning to look for the positive in the negative can make your view of the world completely different. Max Planck said: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

- Help others. Enjoying a life that is filled with giving not only benefits the one who receives, it is emotionally beneficial to the giver. There will be plenty of opportunities over Christmas to help others whether its with a physical gift or the gift of your time which is hugely important. It will take the focus off of yourself and we all know that we feel better when we help others.

- Life is a journey. Mental health coaching is all about the journey. No one wants to get to the end of the journey as a grumpy old man, or woman. Be positive, try and live for today as its all we are guaranteed, and then after that enjoy the ride and be happy over Christmas and into the new year when there will be lots more to come.

I would like to wish everyone who reads this column a very happy Christmas with an even better new year, and thanks for reading throughout this year.

Contact Glen on 083 1470147