Do you know this strange feeling, when you feel like something is missing in life but you cannot really grasp what it actually is? There might be dissatisfaction, frustration or just the feeling that you cannot really settle and be at ease. These coaching questions might change your life profoundly.
Several times in life we come across certain blockages. They might be results of stressful events that happened to us or they just slowly creep in and develop through unhealthy patterns – without us even noticing. A very first step to solve such a blockage is: Awareness.
There are profound questions used in life coaching that have helped many people to find their blind spots. This way they could finally initiate a promising turn and transform their lives. So to help you become better at your job, have a healthier relationship or feel more balanced and grounded, we have compiled 31 questions from life coaching.
From time to time, we just need to take a moment and check-in to see what’s happening in our lives. Coaching questions like these are absolutely worth asking ourselves. They help us to keep tuned to what we need to be the happiest version of ourselves.
Make sure you are still leading the life you actually want to.
I hope there are one or more questions that pushed the right button and will open up a new world for you just when you need it. Looking forward to hear your results or thoughts on this!
Everybody has it, this toxic habit, at least to some extent. Complaining about the weather, the traffic, blaming the economy, that stupid neighbor, the bad internet connection or just life in general – cause life stinks.
This is not how it “should” be. Have you caught yourself complaining that there shouldn’t be all those regulations, the tax system, or you know, just money in general? Rejecting reality can be exhausting, not only for you, but also for the people around you.
Toxic for the brain
A study from Standford University showed that if exposed to 30 minutes of complaining every day, neurons are damaged in parts of the brain responsible for problem solving and cognitive functioning.
If you are surrounded by people complaining a lot, it becomes more likely that you mimic their behavior. It’s best to think ahead, looking to make the best out of the given to keep full functioning instead of impairing yourself. Even if you are a passive complainer (as in passive smoker) it can be harmful for your mental health.
What is good about complaining anyways?
Research from Clemson University shows: If used effectively, complaining can lead to positive changes in your environment. However, constant criticism isn’t working as people tend to filter out critique of chronic complainers. Awareness of complaining how much, about what and to whom is essential.
As Guy Winch, Ph.D. puts in Psychology Today “Just as ineffective complaining can damage our mental health, complaining effectively and getting results can be incredibly empowering and it can affect our mood and self-esteem for the better.”
Here are some tips on how to break that hidden habit and become more positive instead:
1. Don’t try to change things you simply can‘t
We cannot change the weather, the traffic or the boss’ narcissism. There are things we simply cannot change or control. So it might be helpful to keep this in mind:
“If there is something that you can fix, then there is nothing to worry about. If there is something you can’t fix, then there is nothing to worry about.”
2. Gaze towards the sun
Sometimes we forget about the things we do have and keep complaining about the things we don’t.
In those moments of complaint, reminding yourself of those things you already have and being thankful for them can be very powerful.
Not convinced yet? Make a list of those things you are thankful for or good things that happened and you will see that there is so much more to be thankful and that time spent complaining is a waste of time.
3. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Our heaviest complaints often are targeted toward ourselves. Mistakes are there to be made. There is no need to see you as a failure. Notice what happened, learn from it and try something else the next time. Learning from mistakes means to improve yourself.
You are not falling if your are falling forward!
4. Change is the new constant, deal with it!
Life holds lots of surprises and usually it’s full of changes. So learning to adapt to change is key. Try to find other possible perspectives on how to look at the change you are facing. There has to be something positive about it.
What can you find that is good about the situation, about others and about yourself? It is very likely that we don’t see it at first, but spotting the treasure afterwards will be even more satisfying.
5. Communicating instead of judging
Complaining can be a great tool for initiating change. Complaining about that co-worker of yours who treated you in a way you didn’t like, but without telling her your issue, doesn’t help anybody.
The co-worker will keep doing it without even knowing that you are annoyed by it.
Instead: Try to put yourself in your co-worker’s shoes to understand the reason for the behavior. This way you can decide whether you want to communicate it to her in a solution-oriented and constructive way or whether it’s even up to you to change your own behavior.
6. Be aware of your words
There really are numerous triggers to start complaining, but is it really worth it? If you feel the urge to complain, take a second to pause and ask yourself these three short questions: 1. Is it kind? 2. Is it true? 3. Is it really necessary?
Sometimes we simply need a listening ear. We want someone to be there to know our pain or frustrations. The tricky one here is to be able to talk about it.
3 steps to see things clearly
These three steps can be helpful to see things clearly:
Make a list: Writing can be a powerful alternative to speaking it out loud. It can help you see your complaints and you might want to rethink them and let them go.
Schedule: This may sound a little awkward, but sometimes it can be helpful to ‘schedule’ a complaining date. You give yourself 10 minutes time to get rid of all your complaints and tell them to somebody. This will ensure to not lose yourself in your deepening spiral of complaints. With the previous two steps you have basically filtered those to the most urgent and important complaints.
Action: Now, find out about the complaints you can actually do something about and find a solution-oriented way to communicate it to the right person.
The detox challenge!
I’m up for it! My own 7-day detox program, completely complaint-free. I don’t know about you, but I am complaining way too much. There are certain things that are how they are. So from today on, there will be no more complaints.
Find a friend or challenge partner to keep you accountable for or even better, take on the challenge together. Make sure, you agree on a signal (not as a punishment, just as a signal) you’ll send each other in case a complain slips out – and for sure, this will happen. This might be giving each other a friendly wink (this is what we are going to do), a decent hug or a high five for celebrating that you have made it for a whole hour this time.
Warning: side effects of not complaining are feeling lighter, happier and even more awesome!
Do you have habits that you wish you didn’t have? Maybe you want to train yourself to lose those habits and create better ones. Perhaps you want to exercise more, stop smoking, go to bed earlier or even call your mom more often.
For some of us, we might feel like we live on auto-pilot and we just keep going without consciously directing our time towards things that will help us feel good long-term.
Probably you can relate with this situation:
You’re on your bike or in the car and you’re taking the route to your house that you always take. Suddenly you wake up and realize that half an hour has passed! You can’t remember anything you’ve heard, felt or seen.
The habit of cycling or driving on that route is so engrained in your psyche that it is not consciouslyregistered anymore. The same happens to many other habits we have. Imagine how this translates to bad habits such as binge-eating, smoking, anger issues and drinking alcohol excessively.
When you have certain bad habits for a long time it will be harder to loosen the automatic behavior because your brain’s hardwiring will be protesting more to stay the way it is. Similar to addiction, our body is ‘addicted’ to certain behaviors and will show signs of ‘withdrawal’ when the urge for the deeply-hardwired habit is not met.
The wonderful thing is that you can consciously build new connections in your brain’s neurochemistry by focusing your attention on the new habit and by embracing the feelings of discomfort caused by change. You can train your brain to make a habit of desired behavior.
You’ll have less time to engage with old habits, the more time you spent building your new habits!
So how long does it take to build a new habit? Researchers at the University College of London estimated that it takes on average66 days to perform an action ‘without thinking’ e.g. the practice becomes an automatic response triggered by a contextual situation or object.
What if there was a way of holding yourself accountable to keep new habits such as through being reminded regularly, joining a group of people engaging with the same new habit, seeing your progress and setting rewards for yourself?
There is! Have a look at these 6 free apps that can help you keep good habits:
This easy to use app gives you the opportunity to choose to be cheered on by a community of members with the same habit goals. You can also choose to hire a coach that will help you through the app. Your progress can be showed in either calender, table or pie-chart format. It can be opened in your browser too.
This app lets you visually see the progress of your habits the most accurately of this list. There is also a desktop version. If you like to monitor closely how your habits are doing, this will be a powerful tool.
Way of life app does a great job in visually showing streaks of habits. There is also the opportunity to skip days. It gives you a good overview of how the week or month is going and what the trend is. It is a very straight forward app, this makes it efficient quickly.
This app gives you a wonderful choice of color and you can easily see how your week and month is progressing. You can also choose not to do a certain habit certain days a week and you can pause habits.
This appealing app focuses on balancing your habits better. You can choose how often you want to do a certain habit per day, week or month. The app has an approachable user-interface which makes for easy habit tracking.
Enjoy building on your good habits and let us know what your favorite is in the comments below or on the facebook/twitter post!
How can something that seems to be a punishment be beneficial? Cold showers are not immediately associated with good events. Some of you might have been surprised by the sudden shock of cold water because your house mate or family member just washed their hands while you were in the middle of your shower ritual.
Or you might have come across the Guinness book world record holder Wim Hof aka the Ice Man and look at mastering the cold as something only for daring individuals. No, it’s not! Shower with cold water can be amazingly beneficial for everyone!
Have a look at these 6 benefits that we highlighted for you!
1. Learning to live with discomfort
Changing nice warm water to a chilling cold temperature does initially not feel comfortable for our bodies. Learning to accept the discomfort that is felt when the water is cold, is not just good for that moment. It helps you to live with uncomfortable situations and moments during the rest of the day and week, because you know that you can endure them and this makes you stronger for it.
If you handle 5 minutes of discomfort in the shower voluntarily, you will more easily be able to do something that is difficult or uncomfortable in real life.
Cold immersions or showers help to improve the recovery rate after a work-out. The cold water on the body constricts blood vessels and brings pain relief locally – like an icepack on a bruise. With the improved circulation more oxygen, white blood cells and helpful substances can reach tissues that need healing more easily.
Cryotherapy (i.e. cold therapy) is well-known in the professional sports world and as a medical therapy since the seventeenth century. An ice bath or jumping in a winter lake are to the extreme spectrum of cold therapy and can be potentially harmful with the risk of getting hypothermia, frostbite or cold shock response. There is not enough research yet to prove the benefits of cold water immersion, but there is some evidence that showed delay in the start of muscle soreness.
3. Improved blood circulation
During a cold shower your body is forced to adapt to the new temperature. Vasoconstriction is the process of the constriction/tightening of the arteries and veins. This changes the way blood flows since it will go where it is easier to go. As a result most of the blood flow is directed to your torso and your organs. After a session of cold water the blood flow is redirected back to the limbs. These changes in your cardiovascular system are great for your blood circulation.
Adaptation is a healthy process and the better your body is trained to adapt to new situations, the more resilient it becomes.
4. Improves the body’s ability to handle stress and disease
A good cold shower or a swim in a cold lake or pool can reduce your level of stress in your body. In a study performed on ten healthy persons that swam in ice-cold water, the participants were measured to have an improved adaptation to oxidative stress in the body.
Cold water exposure improves the ability of the body to handle physical stress and can consequently better ward of disease. Hydrotherapy with repetitive short-term cold water showers is therefore used in physical medicine.
5. Good for skin and hair
Hot water dries out skin and can strip it from its natural protecting oils. In contrast, cold water helps to close pores and hair cuticles, and helps the skin to retain its natural oils. Closed pores will not easily get clogged, this can aid in preventing acne. The hair cuticles are also closed which makes it harder for dirt to attach to your hair strands. Great for making your hair shiner too!
6. Makes you alert
A shot of energy in the morning usually comes in the form of coffee, but what about getting the boost in your morning shower? The sudden change in temperature will make your breathing deeper and the improved blood flow will invigorate your whole body. Ready to start the day energized!
Only hitting your legs with cold water can be a good beginning to get used to the sensation of cold water.
Then you can start out ending the shower with a cold session or doing intervals of hot and cold periods of a few minutes each.
You can then move up to 5 minutes or completely showering cold.
Enjoy the cold embrace during your next shower and feel the benefits instantly!
Don’t feel like having a full body cold shower? Try this to start off instead:
You could simply put your face under streaming cold water or put it in a bucket of cold water. You will experience a reflex that is triggered when cold water contacts your face called the Mammalian Diving Reflex!
Then you can notice these changes happen in our body in the following 3 stages:
Heart rate slows down, this lessens the transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream to the limbs and more oxygen is used for the organs.
Capillary (i.e. smallest blood vessels) blood supply is stopped, leaving less blood circulation to the fingers, toes and then the limbs.
Your blood starts shifting to your brain, heart and lungs.
Share your experiences with us below in the comments or below the facebook/twitter post!
“What do I really need to be happy and how much?” Yes, I was seriously asking myself this happiness question today and of course, I was hoping for the answer: Tons of chocolate.
We all want it, right? We all want to be happy and to get to know the secret keys to non-stop happiness. In Francois Lelord’s ‘Hector and the search for happiness‘ the travelling psychiatrist discovers happiness keys. Receiving money or the consumption of loads of candies are not among those keys. Actually, British researchers revealed that 2000 bars of chocolate (!) are necessary to generate the same brain stimulation as just seeing somebody smile. Even more: Smiling is also just as stimulating as getting 16,000 pounds in cash.
With the science of positive psychology, mainstream psychology has changed direction. After many years of fixing and classifying complaints, in positive psychology we are building on our strengths and investigating what makes life flourishing and fulfilling.
Positive psychologists meta-analyzed 200 studies with 275,000 people worldwide and found that being happy leads to more success in almost every life domain, including work performance and relationships, health and creativity as well as longevity.
There are more than enough reasons to get happier. But how do you become a happier person? With mobile applications such as Happify and Happier which translate innovations from science into games and challenges a lot of people became happier. A whole movement has started with the great initiative ‘Action for Happiness’ supporting people with practical actions to build a happier and more caring society.
Top 5 Happiness Boosters
Let’s see what we can learn from research to create more happy moments in our daily routines. These are our Top 5 happiness boosters to put on top of your to-do list if you want to experience happiness right now.
1. Being in the here and now
We spend nearly 50 percent of our waking hours thinking about something other than what we are actually doing. Mind-wandering makes us unhappy. According to research from Harvard University we are least happy when we rest, work and use a home computer. However, we are happiest when we exercise, make love and are engaged in a conversation. As a matter of fact, it’s more about how much we are present rather then what we are doing. In other words, our first key to creating happy moments is mindfulness. Let’s bring our full attention to this precious moment!
2. Acts of Kindness
Spreading kindness is more than just a good thing to do towards others. Research confirms that there is a ‘positive feedback loop’ between kindness and happiness. Doing a kind act for somebody such as helping out a friend makes you happier. At the same time, the happier you feel, the more likely you are to do something kind.
Be thankful for what you have. Telling a person who inspires us or who is simply there for us that we are thankful for this is a real happiness enhancer. Plus, somebody else is getting happier too. Have a look at how Soulpancake made these people happy by simply telling them to express gratitude.
4. Smile First
Smile and laugh out loud! How many times have you actually smiled today? Most of us go through the day (aka sit in front of a computer) with wrinkled eye brows and grumpy faces without even noticing. The so-called ‘facial feedback’ makes sure that our facial expression tells our brain how we feel. In other words, the more we laugh, the happier we are.
Get yourself a serious hysterical laughter and treat yourself to some stomach-muscle-ache giggles. Watch that movie which makes you cry out of laughter or call that crazy funny friend of yours. Whatever makes you laugh, do it!
In case you found your eyebrows wrinkled and don’t have a spontaneous idea to change that:
Do you have difficulties meeting appointments? Or stress about deadlines or just can’t get it done? Do you feel you could do better if you just could get back in control? Would you like to stand above things and still enjoy (student) life? Then this article is for you.
Beat Procrastination: ‘Prevent Stress and Save Energy!’
Research studies found that students report to smoke more, consume more coffee and junk while skipping sports and cleaning sessions in examination period. It’s not surprising that stress is our biggest enemy when it comes to improving self-control, in particular procrastination. According to the Resource Model of Self-control, managing stress requires lots of energy and depletes our limited regulatory resources. Therefore, it is essential to prevent stress escalation. We collected some science-proved, useful tips that will empower you to improve self-control and be at your best.
Let’s get organized: ditch procrastination and save some energy for the good stuff!
1. Scheduled and Prioritized To-Do-List
Make use of a to-do-list which includes every single detail you have to do. It will work out much better if you include a study schedule here as well. That is, make sure you also plan in what you have to learn and not just that you have to learn. You will want to prioritize what’s urgent and what’s important on it. Then write everything down in your agenda and schedule exactly when you plan to do what. This way you won’t have to make any decisions during the day on what best to do when. This will save you lots of energy that you will need for the studying itself and procrastination will be past.
2. Earlier Deadlines
We all know the moment when you tell yourself that if you would have just one more day it would be all perfect. Simply put deadlines earlier for yourself, write them in your agenda and take them seriously even if it seems silly to you. It will give you that extra time. Plus: You will feel ridiculously heroic when celebrating your paper while everyone else is still stressed out.
3. Create an If-Then Mantra!
Research found that as an effective strategy using so-called implementation intentions is very helpful. Here are examples of how to formulate good ones: ‘If I have finished my dinner, I will do 30 minutes of research.’ or ‘Every time before I go to sleep I have a look at my schedule for the next days. ‘
When making up your own If-Then mantra make sure you cover the when/where and how in order to make your mantra work. After a while you will automatically do it without requiring any energy to remember it and get more efficient.
Bye, bye procrastination!
With these three simple tips you will be on top of things, won’t miss any meeting or deadline again and will have a much more enjoyable, stress-free study or work time.
Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2004). Fostering healthy self-regulation from within and without: A self-determination theory perspective. In A. P. Linley & S. Joseph (Eds.), Positive psychology in practice (pp. 105-124). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Gollwitzer, P.M. (1999). Implementation intentions. Strong effects of simple plans. American Psychologist, 54, 493–503.
Inzlicht, M., & Schmeichel, B. J. (2012). What is ego depletion? Toward a mechanistic revision of the resource model of self-control. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 450-463.
Muraven, M., & Baumeister, R.F. (2000). Self-regulation and depletion of limited resources: Does self-control resemble a muscle? Psychological Bulletin, 126(2), 247-259.
Oaten, M., & Cheng, K. (2006). Improved self-control: The benefits of a regular program of academic study. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 28, 1-16.
Webb, T. L., & Sheeran, P. (2003). Can implementation intentions help to overcome egodepletion? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 279-286.
Have you found your dream job? If not, you are among the majority of all working people. Twice as many people worldwide report an overall negative experience at work. According to the polling organization Gallup which is measuring job satisfaction over the years, only 13% of all workers are happy with their jobs. This made us wonder: How do you find the perfect job for you?
How to find the perfect job
Here are six things we find important and which might help you to find a fulfilling workplace:
1. Take your happiness seriously
Live the life you have in mind otherwise it will be somebody else’s happiness. Stay listening to your own voice even if people around you are noisy. Be truly honest with yourself and be brave to follow your path. Keep in mind that nobody else knows you better than you do. Only this way you can find the perfect job for you.
2. Find your addiction
What is your personal addiction? What you are passionate about? What is it that makes you tick? Find out what really drives you, which activities energize you and what you are good at. This way you can create lots of flow moments in your daily work and ultimately create mastery. If you have figured this out so far you are already pretty close and ready to find the perfect job for you.
3. Find meaning in your addiction
Once you know what you want to do, find meaning in it. In other words, think about questions like: How can others benefit from it? How can you use your addiction to serve society? Be clear about your values as these will give you a clear direction to where you want to be heading.
4. Take the first step every day
Once you know how you want to be engaged in your passion, you already know what you are looking for. Now, dare to take the first step. Start searching for where you can find what you are looking for. Whether it is working for a company or being self-employed. Dive in the great ocean of adventures and keep doing first little steps every day. Even if it is difficult, do it anyways because every single step of this journey actually IS your journey, the good steps and the bad steps. For the bad ones you want to see every obstacle as a challenge, as a new possibility to learn.
5. Take time for yourself
Take the time for personal development, be continuously engaged in self-reflection and work towards a better version of yourself. Stay learning and trying new things and also take the time to enjoy nourishing food. Besides, it is incredibly important to take time to find ‘your move’, the kind of physical activity that you like in order to be able to enjoy doing sports and not forcing yourself to run on that treadmill. In short, take good care of your body because it is the only place you have to live in.
6. Love who you work with
The environment we work in is affecting us tremendously. Try to connect with people who nourish you and who inspire you. This way you can feel free to be honest and truly express your ideas and needs. You will be able to be authentic and not wearing a mask, pretending to be a smarter or whatever person but to simply live your authentic self. Dare to be vulnerable because only this can create real connectedness.
All these things we discovered are really important to us and can create a whole new level of living. This is all no new stuff; you have heard it all but the hard thing here is to keep reminding yourself.
We think that everybody deserves to find what makes him or her feel well, to find meaning in your work and to live the happiest and healthiest life possible for you. This is actually how the idea of Wellconnected developed and how we decided that we want to begin this journey.