Improving your health is, to a great extent, the process of improving your habits.
The Functional Medicine model of health is based on an understanding that poor health begins with poor lifestyle. And ‘lifestyle’ is really just another way of describing the habits that get you through the week.
Almost every habit you can think of is either building your health – or draining it. I’m sure that’s not news to you. But changing your habits is easier said than done. Which is why I include coaching as part of my practice.
Coaching is designed to shift behaviour patterns and change perspectives in order to move you towards your goals. It’s a way of tuning in to the small and seemingly insignificant things you are doing that are undermining your progress in life and in health.
Effective coaching always starts with an outcome in mind so that you know what you’re working towards. For most clients improved wellbeing is the ultimate goal but often we’ll identify specific areas that are causing a problem and target them along the way. Typical areas that can benefit from coaching include:
- making time to look after yourself
- finding career fulfilment
- uncovering your creativity
- giving yourself permission (to be ‘you’, to have fun, etc.)
- balancing your needs over others’
- building connections with like-minded people
- changing addictive behaviour patterns
- simple, healthy cooking ideas
- discovering your life purpose
- focussing on positive scenarios rather than negative
- wellbeing visualisation and meditation
- improving your relationships
- changing your financial fortune
- connecting with your instincts and intuition
- learning to accept yourself
- making peace with your spirituality
- building an enjoyable exercise routine
Making positive changes in any of these areas has the effect of reducing stress and dissonance, and improving your enjoyment of life which in turn raises your level of wellbeing.
If you know you need to work on a particular area then a single session can work well – otherwise I tend to recommend that clients book a series of sessions with enough time in between to reflect and make the changes we identify together.
Coaching is an interactive process. You need to come prepared to work: to stretch yourself and use your imagination and creativity to shift patterns and perspectives. My role is to steer and challenge and reflect back to you. It’s energetic stuff! There may be tears and laughter, ups and downs but at the end of the session almost everyone leaves with a big grin on their face.
Image: My photograph of tapestry by Grayson Perry