Have you ever talked with a client and realized they’re pulling you down into their drama? You can feel your energy drain like air leaving a tire, and your coaching session feels flat. As their negative energy moves in, you find no shield or barrier and you absorb their energy.
Luckily, that doesn’t have to happen. You can create a shield to protect your positive energy, which allows you to become the dream coach you know you are.
While it’s not possible to be vibrating high energy all the time, the things we do definitely impact our daily energy levels. To be a significant life coach, your energy level should be a top priority. Establishing a diligent practice of self-care is the best way to feel better.
We often have several reactions when we’re told to take care of ourselves. It’s usually 1) I don’t have time, 2) I don’t know where to start, 3) My family needs me or 4) What’s self-care? All of those answers should raise a red flag.
What I’ve discovered is a regular practice of happiness keeps me feeling better, allows me to be more focused and I’m more effective at what I do. One of the easiest (and funnest) ways to establish a happiness practice is to find a way to laugh out loud every single day.
From the time we’re just weeks old, until we’re pushing 100 years old (and beyond), laughter is our instinctual language. People laugh. Animals laugh. We laugh at each other. We even laugh for no reason. We laugh when we’re overjoyed. We laugh when we’re happy. And, like anything else, the more you laugh, the better you get at laughing.
People don’t often think of laughing as a learned skill–but think about people around you who never laugh. Could be your grumpy father or the doom-and-gloom neighbor down the street. You’ll notice the people who don’t laugh (drumroll, please) aren’t happy. #NotACoincidence
So what does a happiness practice look like? I’m glad you asked.
In his book, “Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul,” Stuart M. Brown Jr. writes, “Play is the stick that stirs the drink. It is the basis of all art, games, books, sports, movies, fashion, fun, and wonder—in short, the basis of what we think of as civilization. Play is the vital essence of life. It is what makes life lively.”
So, how do you play? How often do you play? You could play sports, like tennis, golf, basketball or beach volleyball. Maybe play is gardening or writing poetry or composing music. There are no wrong answers. As long as the activity feels good and makes you smile, you are playing. Do something playful every day. (Extra points if you play with children. Their energy is high and contagious.)
2. Appreciate (Practice Gratitude)
This is something you can do while you’re lying in bed (I LOVE lazy practices). First thing in the morning, or right before you fall asleep, make a list of things you appreciate. It might be your soft pillows, your warm blankets, your comfy bed – and that’s all good. Then it could expand out to the favorite place in your home or your favorite foods, favorite people and favorite activities.
Once you start, it’s super easy to get going. You can be specific or general, just do it.
3. Laugh Out Loud
Can’s say this enough. Maybe not when you’re in line at the grocery store. That’s when you get the weird looks. But find something every day that makes you laugh. Scroll through stand-up comedians on YouTube, read a Dave Barry column, have a family joke night, research Dorothy Parker quotes, find a hilarious podcast – whatever it takes to make you laugh.
Laughter is a natural stress reliever. It soothes tension and might even reduce pain and strengthen your immune system.
Think about a time you felt absolute bliss. Maybe you were on vacation, maybe you won the Nobel Peace Prize or maybe you were just sitting on your back porch watching your cat and dog romp around.
Close your eyes and step back into those emotions. Take some deep breaths. Smile. Stay as long as you’d like.
5. Avoid Negative Situations
You don’t need to bury your head in the sand, although this year it might be a good option. But you know who pushes your negative buttons. Is it your friend who loves to talk smack on everyone? Is it your mom who calls to complain? You don’t have to write these people out of your life, but maybe set some boundaries with them, or keep the conversations short. Avoiding social media for a while can do wonders for your happiness level. Social media is good for heart-warming stories, but it’s also a cauldron of negativity. Be careful.
As you create a consistent happiness practice, you’ll find your energy rising, and it doesn’t take much effort. Just consistent effort. As a result, you might feel happier for a longer period. Little things won’t bother you so much. You’ll find yourself smiling for no reason, other than it feels good. Your coaching sessions will feel invigorated because you’re keeping yourself out of the muck and on that good-feeling playing field of happiness.