How coaching can support your mental health

Sometimes my coaching clients say to me, what are you going to do for me, Hayley? And my response to that question is always the same. Actually I’m not gonna do anything for you, because you are going to do it for yourself. My role as a coach is to challenge your thinking, offer a fresh perspective, and help you to look forward instead of back. So what I will do is show you ways you can approach things differently. But any choices you make are up to you – you’re the one taking action. You get to choose which of those suggestions you apply to your lifestyle.

It’s your choices that make positive changes.

One of my clients came to me feeling angry and frustrated with her life. Feeling low, she identified with a feeling of unease but was unsure about what needed to change, and what lied ahead of her. After some coaching sessions, those negative feelings have been quietened, the power has been taken out of them. With a new mindset, she now makes better choices and her life is changing for the better. It’s her actions that have made the difference. She’s chosen to do that a lot, not me.

That realisation can be hard to understand. If you are experiencing feelings of stress, anxiety or depression, low mood or feeling emotionally overloaded, it may be difficult to see where you have choices. You may feel weak, burdened, confused, numb and beyond help. I get that, completely – that’s exactly how I felt when I had depression. I tried various routes to try to get out of the way I was feeling, some more successful than others. It took time, trial and error, and a lot of strength. I may not have been feeling very strong at the moment. But let’s not overlook the strength it needs to fight against these negative feelings and thoughts, many of which you are doing daily. One thing I want you to remember – you may have these diagnoses, but you are not ‘it’. It’s a temporary condition, and not a label that defines you. These diagnoses refer to you as you are feeling now – not in the future.

Can you beat depression?

I would say, yes. It won’t happen overnight, just as your condition didn’t happen overnight either. But now my mental health is good, so I did find a way – many ways – that worked for me. I’m now more aware of patterns in my life, onces which I can fall into or ones I can choose to continue. I choose to invest in habits which support my wellbeing. Personally, I have a few different ways that I can choose from; some help me to feel better when I am in a low mood, and some help me maintain a positive, healthy outlook. You will be the same – the choice always lies with you. You can win your battle with the right help and support.

I have clients that have made choices that I have offered, and they too have improved the way they feel. After lots of learning, research, sharing knowledge and simply trying different things out for myself, I have suggestions that my clients can try too. The transformation starts there – new ways, new habits, new patterns of living. My clients learn healthier ways to release tension, pent up emotions and integrate self care into their lives. They have new habits that support their wellbeing, so the pull back down into depression isn’t as strong.

How does Coaching support mental health?

Coaching is more widely known in the context of sport, helping athletes to train better, work harder, feel motivated and achieve better results. Actually, coaching can help more than just athletes – its theory can be applied to any challenge, any goal or situation. When it comes to mental and emotional health, and wellbeing, I use my coaching skills to encourage a different mindset. Focusing on self development, my sessions challenge perceptions, increase self awareness, boost your confidence and self esteem. As a result, you feel more empowered to set goals, and confidently take actions that lead to that finish line – and beyond.

The skills learned help throughout life, whatever challenges you face. Coaching can, and does help many people feel more confident, raise their self esteem, boost their motivation and feel more assured about their direction in life. Let’s chat – I’d love to know more about your starting point. You know my story of beating poor mental health, let’s write yours.