Your Happiness Factor

Your Happiness Factor:celebrating happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Feeling stressed? Relax and breathe your cares away!


We can’t avoid stress but we can learn to counteract it!

Relaxation can help to relieve the symptoms of stress. It can help you calm down and take a step back from a stressful situation. This is particularly important, if you find yourself frequently in situations that make you feel angry or frustrated.  When you feel like that you certainly don’t perform well. Nor can you respond to others in a positive way.  Using a simple relaxation technique will not remove the cause of your anxiety.  But it should help you deal with it in a more constructive way. You can act once you have released the tension in your body and cleared your thoughts.

Most relaxation techniques combine breathing more deeply with relaxing your muscles.

Don't worry if you find it difficult to relax at first. It's a skill that needs to be learned. It will come with practice. Practise for three to five minutes, two to three times a day! You can use this technique whenever you feel the need to calm down!

Relaxed breathing

Practise deep breathing at a regular time and in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Loosen or remove any tight clothes and make yourself comfortable! 

If you can, sit in a comfortable chair which supports your head or lie on the floor or bed. Place your arms on the chair arms, or flat on the floor or bed, a little bit away from the side of your body with the palms up. If you’re lying down, stretch out your legs, keeping them hip-width apart or slightly wider. If you’re sitting in a chair, don’t cross your legs.

Good relaxation usually starts with focusing on your breathing. The way to do it is to breathe in and out slowly and in a regular rhythm. This will help you to calm down.

·         Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly.
·         Fill up the whole of your lungs with air, without forcing.
·         Imagine you're filling up a bottle, so that your lungs fill from the bottom.
·         Breathe in slowly and regularly counting from one to five (don’t worry if you can’t reach five at first).
·         Then let the breath escape slowly, counting from one to five.
·         Keep doing this until you feel calm.
·         Breathe without pausing or holding your breath.

While you are doing this concentrate completely on your breathing. Let the thought of your breath fill you heart and mind completely!

You will be surprised by the power of this very simple technique. You can use it any time and in more or less any place.  Please try it and let me know what you think!

I  work with many clients to reduce their stress and become happier people at work and at home. I would be very happy to talk to you about how I can help.


Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search - you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

You've lost your job - what happens next? Starting project you!


Most of us loose confidence when we lose a job. It’s not just about losing the income but it affects your image of yourself! Many of us value ourselves based on our work. For many of us work is the place where we spend the most of our waking life. It’s often where we find our friends and make our major achievements. So when we lose a job we feel we lose part of ourselves and we grieve for it.

But you can get over it – just like any grief. You are much more than your job and your real friends and family value you for much more than your salary even when they are dependent upon it. Now is the time to go to work on anew project and that new is very special because it is you!
Here are some points for you to consider!

Understand this happened

If you have been made redundant then remember it’s not personal – you were just unlucky! Plus it makes you part of a very large and growing club. 

If you lost your job for other reasons then make sure you understand why and learn from it!  Now is the time to change something and make sure it doesn’t happen again. 

In both situations, now is about going forward, not dwelling on the past. 

Money Worries

You will feel bad about the loss of income. But there is help!  

Make it a project to find out all the sources of financial support available to you. Make it a project and take time to understand what you can get, from where.  Then get out there and get it! Talk to your bank about what has happened and get their advice.  Go to you local Citizens Advice Bureau and find out about benefits.  Use the net - here is somewhere to start

Feeling Alone

You have lost the contacts you had at work. So now us the time to work on your own support network! Get out your old address book; look up your email contacts and those on your mobile phone. Find people on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Friends Reunited etc. Pick up the contacts and find out what people are doing. It will give you company but also it might just give you a lead to the next job. Meet up – have a coffee with them if you can’t afford lunch – many people prefer that these days anyway. Tell them you are interested in new opportunities – don’t dwell on why you lost the last job – that is in the past now!

Lifestyle Changes

Living with less money may mean changes in lifestyle for all the family. Not so many meals out and subscriptions to clubs etc. Make the changes carefully, particularly if they affect your children – plan and prioritize just like you would at work. Hopefully it’s not going to be for very long. If you can’t eat out then become more creative about eating at home. Now is the time for long country walks perhaps rather than paying for theme parks. There are lots of free events around if you look for them – again use the involuntary spare time to find them.

Self Blame

We all do it but it doesn’t actually get us anywhere. Blaming ourselves doesn’t change the past and it doesn't take us one step forward. But you can change the future .Leave the past to itself – it’s only useful if you can use it to learn from. If you lost you job because you lacked a skill, then it’s worth working on gaining it. Otherwise leave it alone and make the future your project. Get up each day determined to go one step forward even if it is only working on your exercise plan.

Last but not least

Don’t be hard on your self. You are one amongst thousands. You may not have a job but my word do you have a project and that is you. 

In terms of regaining you overall confidence - here is a website that can help; Recover Your BalanceAnn Lewis's website supports you to recover emotionally so that loss of confidence is less likely to hamper your ability to find a new job.  You will also find her book very valuable  'Recover Your Balance: How To Bounce Back From Bad Times at Work'  

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Congratulations, you have been invited for an interview – now what?

Being in a job you don’t like is a major cause of unhappiness.  Having no job at all can cause a huge amount of misery.  So when you do get the opportunity to go for an interview, you want to do your best.  Don’t lose out because you did not do your home work!  Here are some tips from the Business Balls Website to help you on the way! 


1.        Research as much as you can about the company – products, services, markets, competitors, trends, current activities, priorities.


2.       Prepare your answers for the type of questions you’ll be asked, especially, be able to say why you want the job, what your strengths are, how you’d do the job, what your best achievements are.
3.       Prepare good questions to ask at the interview ask about the job priorities and scope, the organisation and think of ways to make a difference or an improvement
4.       Related to the above, request a copy of the company’s employment terms and conditions or employee handbook before the interview, in order to save time covering routine matters during the interview.
5.        Assemble hard evidence (make sure it’s clear and concise) of how what you’ve achieved in the past – proof will put you ahead of those who merely talk about it.
6.       If possible. have at least one other interview lined up, or have a recent job offer, or the possibility of receiving one from a recent job interview, and make sure you mention it to the interviewer.
7.        Make sure your resume/cv is up to date, looking very good and even if already supplied to the interviewer take three with you (one for the interviewer, one for you and a spare in case the interviewer brings a colleague in to the meeting).
8.       Get hold of the following material and read it, and remember the relevant issues, and ask questions about the areas that relate to the organisation and the role. Obtain and research: the company’s sales brochures and literature, a trade magazine covering the company’s market sector, and a serious newspaper for the few days before the interview so you’re informed about world and national news. Also worth getting hold of: company ‘in-house’ magazines or newsletters, competitor leaflets, local or national newspaper articles featuring the company.
9.       Review your personal goals and be able to speak openly and honestly about them and how you plan to achieve them.
10.     Ensure you have two or three really good reputable and relevant references, and check they’d each be happy to be contacted.
11.      Adopt an enthusiastic, alert, positive mind-set. 
12.     Particularly think about how to deal positively with any negative aspects – especially from the perspective of telling the truth, instead of evading or distorting facts, which rarely succeeds.
13.     Try to get some experience of personality tests. Discover your personality strengths and weaknesses that would be indicated by a test, and be able to answer questions positively about the results. (Do not be intimidated by personality testing – expose yourself to it and learn about yourself)   
14.     Think about what to wear.  Do you know the company dress code? When in doubt wear a smart business suit!
15.     Some jobs invite or offer opportunity to re-define or develop the role itself. It might be a existing role or a new position. If so prepare for this. Most jobs in fact offer this potential, but sometimes it is a stated requirement.




236419442_80_808Wendy Mason is a Career Coach and Life Coach helping you to solve difficult problems at work
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com 
http://wisewolfcoaching.com

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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Feeling Stressed at Work - Four Steps to Better Work Boundaries





Setting boundaries at work can help to prevent you feeling stressed and exhausted.  It allows you to do better work instead of spreading yourself too thin.  Heather's article below advises you on how to go about saying no to the extra pressure!



Four Steps to Better Work Boundaries

by Heather Boerner, for Yahoo! HotJobs
Want to advance your career? Saying “no” may be the key.
“It’s wonderful to be the go-to person to a point — until you find you’re totally overwhelmed, exhausted, resentful and in a time crunch,” said Susan Newman, author of “The Book of No: 250 Ways to Say It — And Mean It and Stop People-Pleasing Forever.” “Setting workplace boundaries means you will be doing better work and not spreading yourself all over the lot.”
Here’s how to get there:
1. Track your yeses.
You can’t set a boundary you don’t know you have, so watch yourself for a week, Newman said. Where do you say “yes”?
  • Do you agree to lunch with that coworker on the day of a major presentation?
  • Do you accept another project on top of the eight you already have?
  • Do you volunteer to change the printer’s ink cartridge for a harried coworker?
  • Do you work on the Saturday of your daughter’s recital?
2. Figure out your priorities.
“Every time you say yes, you’re giving up something,” said Newman. So get your priorities straight:
More at