Mind Matters

Five Steps to Happiness

Jacqueline Hurst, clinical hypnotherapist and master life coach, offers five pointers to help you manage mind and stress levels, boost self-confidence and achieve balance

Shop Jacqueline's edit


Ultimately, the most common problems people come to see me for are self-esteem issues. They range from emotional eating/body image issues to confidence and anxiety issues. In today's society, we are constantly fed information telling us we’re not good enough as we are. There aren’t enough magazines or newspapers showing real people, real stories and authenticity; instead we’re fed photoshopped fairy tales. If we could, as a society, become more real, this would help many people. The more we remove the stigma of talking about what is going on in our minds, the happier we will become. Want to make a change? Here are five ways...

1. Learn to switch off: It's important to switch off because you are giving your mind a break, and all minds need a break! To learn how to do this takes practice. For some it's about writing things down, for others it's about creating a space and a time in your day or night to simply stop. My top tip is to schedule time in your diary to switch off - literally call it switch-off time. Take a hot bath, read a lovely book, bake some nourishing food, turn off the iPhone/iPad and TV and go back to basics.

2. Beat workplace woes: Stress is a feeling generated by a thought, so I recommend people start to look at their own thoughts rather than blaming anyone else at work. Ultimately no one can make you feel anything; you create your feelings from your thoughts, and choosing thoughts that create stress is painful for you and you only. Start to think about what you are thinking or write thoughts down. Are the thoughts you’re creating helpful or hurtful? If the latter, start to find a new perspective - choosing better-feeling thoughts is always the answer.

3. Overcome emotional eating: There are many ways to overcome emotional eating and body image issues. The most important thing to know is that they absolutely can be overcome. Ultimately the thing is this: if your weight was not an issue as such, you would not have a problem with food. Also, it’s important to remember that we are fed images all day long of what we are ‘supposed’ to look like - it’s our culture and our society. You can, of course, always step away from that and put your foot down. Choose to say to society “actually I am beautiful just as I am, thanks.”

4. Find a work-life balance: Where are you happy? If the answer is working 24/7 then fine, go ahead. But if you are happy only working 9-5, then it’s important to balance out the times when you are not working. Balance comes in the form of joy - anything you find joyful could be part of your 'balance.’ Another tip is to learn how to say 'no' effortlessly. Once you get on the no-train, you’ll realise how much more time you have. It’s important to remember that life is short, life is there to be lived, experienced and enjoyed - it is not a trudge, it is a blessing.

5. Prioritise mind management: It’s of utmost importance to learn how to manage one’s mind. In my personal coaching sessions with clients and in school with students, I teach people how to focus and manage their minds because once they understand this aspect, their lives change. It’s amazing to see people become happier and start living authentically, all thanks to a focused and managed mind. Simply put, minds that are managed get better results, guaranteed.

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