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Life Lessons

So my friends over at Wellbeing Escapes gave me a ring earlier this month to ask if I would write an article for their private online magazine, all about my own life lessons.  Wellbeing Escapes are my favourate friends. They are a group of super cool people who understand how to organise a self care holiday like no other!  They specialise in spa and wellness holidays and if you want to take a little ‘me time’ and need a little advice on where, when and how, then these are your people.
Anyway, back to the life lessons, here is my article in their magazine about the top lessons I have learnt in my life and also, don’t forget to scroll right to the end of my article for your special treat – the free online magazine from Wellness Escapes ususally reserved for their clients only but now exclusively for you below…you will love it I promise you!
My life lessons
Working as a life coach is one of the best jobs in the world, so much so that it doesn’t even feel like a job. I got into this business because of the wild and wondrous life I led which took me through situations that most have never experienced. For 10 years I saw life in many different ways, very real, very sad, exhilarating, preposterous, unbelievable and all the way back again. I feel utterly blessed to be able to have turned my life around and now help thousands of people through their own issues, from big stuff to small stuff and everything in between. I am often asked what my favourite pieces of advice have been along the journey and this is always a pleasure to talk about. The journey of course never stops and along this journey of life, there are many signs that can help us along the way. All you have to do is be open to them.
I really do believe that none of us can get through things effectively and efficiently completely on our own. We all have ‘stuff’ and we all need someone (other than our own selves) to talk to about things that we know we can be better at, free from or happier about. Sometimes we cannot solve the same problem with the same mind that created it and that is why talking about things helps.

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff .

In other words will that matter in 10 years time? This was one of my favorite pieces of advice. We can all get bogged down by the tiny things in life that we think matter dramatically when in fact, they don’t at all. We can all be accused of taking life seriously and when we do this we are looking at the minutia and making it much bigger than it needs to be. If your 4 year old didn’t pass her colouring test, I promise this won’t affect her being an interior designer if she wants to be at 25. If your husband forgot to throw the rubbish out for the 3rd time this week, I promise it’s not because he doesn’t love you. If your best friend forgot to call you back on Thursday, give yourself a break, she simply may have just forgotten because her own life is a bit hectic right now. Don’t sweat the small stuff dear reader, life is just too short.

  1. When you want to fight harder, surrender.

This piece advice came from a coach I had way back in time from NYC. She was a tough cookie and really helped me along my journey. I would call her up in tears shouting and screaming as I just couldn’t get control over (insert your thing here – food / men / family etc…). She would listen to me go into a rage and then quietly say “Jacqueline, your answer is to surrender”. It would be a moment of a long deep breath, many tears and the fight would be over and the peace could then begin. It really is a very special piece of advice to me. Being a strong man or woman, being someone who can literally do anything you set your mind to, is amazing. It means you are a fighter and you will likely get what you want. Except in some cases the fight is what makes it harder and life becomes exhausting. Sometimes the fight is what creates the issue. Sometimes the letting go, the true surrender, the ‘leaning in’ to the chaos is the only answer to your problem. Trust me on this one. It works. Let go.

  1. Slowly, slowly catchy monkey.

This was a piece of advice from my father. I am, by nature a fast paced person. Everything is pretty quick and I can get through a lot in only an hour. The thing is, a lot of the time the things we want need patience, tlc and working towards. Rome was not built in a day. The perfectionists will find this hard as they beat themselves us that they didn’t ‘get it’ immediately or they ‘should have had it by now’ but that never works. Sometimes there should be praise for slow. Slow means you are dotting your ‘I’s’ and crossing your ‘t’s”. Slow means you are connecting back to yourself, slow means that you are conscious and present and slow can be the way to catch the monkey.

  1. Out of small acorns huge oak trees grow.

A wonderful piece of advice from my grandmother who I loved with all my heart. She was the most amazing soul and always gave me nuggets of advice as a little girl that I remember today like it was yesterday. This piece of advice was brilliant when I started my business. I had it on a sticky note in my kitchen. It was such a positive, motivational reminder that even though I had just started my business, just me and my website, a little acorn, it could be possible to grow it into an oak tree. That positive thinking definitely paid off and I am sure without it I wouldn’t have believed in myself so much. Remember that to start, you have to just simply, start. You also have to believe in yourself and your vision and that out of little tiny ideas, with a dash of belief, huge massive beautiful things can grow. You’ve got this.

  1. You were meant to meet that person.

This last bit of advice was given to me by my spiritual teachers. All spiritual teachers believe that it was ‘meant to happen that way’ in other words nothing in life is ‘wrong’. When I heard this advice my shoulders dropped about 10ft! Seriously, if we start to believe that things are happening just as how they are meant to happen, we stop fighting reality and life becomes easier. It’s the same with meeting people. People come in and out your life, it is meant to happen that way. They are teachers as are you to them. Whoever comes in is meant to come in and they may also be meant to leave. Just go with the flow and don’t grab. Allow life to work its way out and believe in the process and how it is happening. It may not be happening the way you wanted or expected, but it is happening how it should be. Life remember, is beautiful.
Thank you for reading my tips!
Click here for the Wellbeing Escapes Magazine


How She Did It

Prior to the ‘Beauty Inside and Out’ talk on Tuesday this week, The Telegraph interviewed me on their series about women in business called ‘How She Did It’. It was an honuor to be asked to appear on this series and a big move for me going from talking all things life coach to talking all things business. If you are interested in a little bit about me, my story and how I set up my business then read on for the full interview here. Happy friday! x

How she did it: ‘I was anorexic, bulimic and had cripplingly low self-esteem. I had to transform my life’

Jacqueline Hurst, 39, is a public speaker and life coach, who works to help her clients with a wide variety of issues, specialising in emotional eating and body image. Her online school, The Life Class is a resource for people interested in becoming coaches themselves, or those who want to learn how to live more optimally.
Here, she tells us how she did it.

Tell us briefly about your business

I am a life coach and a Master Coach Trainer. I work privately, one-to-one, with clients all around the world, coaching them to help them elevate mentally and emotionally to their highest potential. I am also a hypnotherapist and help people with a wide range of issues from eating or body image issues, anxiety, confidence, phobias, insomnia, public speaking or general coaching.
I also have a school online where I run two courses – one to train people to become a certified life coach themselves and the other is a foundation course to help people who just want to feel better, do so within their own time frame.

What inspired you to start it?

My own life. I slipped into drugs and alcohol at a very young age. I was anorexic, bulimic, depressed and suffered terrible anxiety and crippling low self esteem. I simply couldn’t handle life. In my mid-twenties, I hit rock bottom and decided something had to change. No matter what it took I was going to transform my life.
I tried different forms of therapy but felt no one ‘got it’ or really understood me. So I decided to start studying and find a way to help myself.  From the day I made that change, I haven’t looked back. Over the last 15 years I’ve studied all over the world and have come across people desperate for advice and guidance – just as I had been years before. They turned to me asking for help. Having been there myself, I found it easy to appreciate the battles they were fighting.

More and more people approached me and it became evident my coaching practice had to be set up.  These days I grab life with both hands and believe strongly that anything is possible.

What were the first few steps you took?

I had an unshakable belief that this was what I was meant to do and it was going to be successful – looking back I don’t know if that was just down to naivety, novelty or both! The first month I had a website, a laptop and an office. I remember someone saying ‘but whose going to knock on your door?’ – that just fuelled my fire.

How did you raise awareness?

Networking, talking to everyone I met, I remember standing in Fitness First on Baker Street one day for eight hours handing out flyers. I got offered more dates than I did clients – but I had an unshakable work ethic, so I didn’t get frustrated and was happy to keep standing in the cold.

What has been your biggest challenge?

The stigma around mental health. I work with some top brands and very famous people – and yet a lot of the time I have to sign confidentiality agreements because they don’t want to be seen, or known, to be working on themselves or with their employees. It is also something that means, word of mouth, which is always the best way to get business, is lessened.

How do you tackle challenges?

I absolutely love challenges. I wonder if there is just something in my DNA. Life is challenging, there is no point in wishing it was something different than it is. What would be the point in that? Challenges are the biggest propeller of growth.

What helps you stay motivated through tough times?

I believe it’s the tough times that make you. So I say to myself ‘bring it on’.  I’m always aware that the words like ‘tough times’ or ‘hard days’ are all in the mind and how I think about that really matters. Is it a tough time, or just a tough deal or a tough five minutes? What am I learning? How can I grow?  All of these things give me opportunities.

What’s the best thing about running your own business?

For me it means I get to be in control of my life and I don’t have to answer to anyone about where I am and at what time.

Do you have a business philosophy?

Always say yes and figure it out afterwards.

What advice would you give budding entrepreneurs?

To believe in themselves, to have their own back and to remember the saying that ‘out of small acorns, huge oak trees grow’.

How I did it…

  • My greatest fear is… dying before doing everything I want to do.
  • I would tell my teenage self… that everything you are experiencing will make sense when you are older and will be the making of you.
  • I believe… in love.
  • The biggest lesson I’ve learned is… you get more bees with honey. Always be nice.
  • My top business tool or resource is… Google (obviously!)
  • My favourite quote… ‘Yes you can’.

See the full interview + purchase tickets to meet me at The Telegraph event here


Quiet Anxiety

With everyday stresses constantly building up, it’s no wonder we need countless affirmations in the mirror, meditation sessions and reality checks to build our confidence. It’s a difficult thing to stop negative thoughts from entering your mind, but it sure can and must be done. Creating a healthy thought process, patterns and habits for yourself are key in keeping morale and self esteem high. It’s time to quit feeling so scared and worries and finally take back control of your mind. Those worries that plague you from something that has happened years ago? A past work deadline you can’t change?  Here’s how to accept and move forward from your fear and set mindful examples so you don’t waste any more of your true self and energy on anxious feelings with 7 ways to overcome fear, worry and anxiety in your mind:
1. Retreat and retract
Sometimes we can become obsessed with a thought that creates fear, worry and anxiety. It can take up so much mental space, drain your energy and ultimately take you out of your present moment, stopping you from enjoying… anything. Since this is usually just mind-made thoughts creating negativity, it’s really important to retreat and retract. In other words, take a moment to chill! Overcome bad thoughts by taking yourself out of the office and going for a short walk, or grabbing a coffee and simply sitting outside. Taking a moment to stop, breathe and calm yourself down by reminding yourself that it’s your choice to feel a certain way, can be a huge gift. It plainly makes you realise that being worried, anxious or scared is not the best choice and won’t do you any favours during the rest of the day.
2. Check your thoughts
Fear is a feeling created simply and solely from your thoughts. Thoughts pop into our minds all the time and it’s good to be reminded that actually, we have a lot more control over them than we realise. The only reason you’re feeling this way is because you’re thinking in a ‘catastrophic’ way, in other words, negatively! Slow down your thought process and work out what thoughts are serving you right now and what thoughts are not.
In other words if you’re thinking, ‘I can’t do my job I’m just too scared to do it’, it will create a lot of negative feelings deep down. Instead start to question that thought – ask yourself, ‘Is this thought serving me well or making me feel bad?’. ‘Is this thought going to get me to the outcome I want?’. Start questioning the hell out of it and start thinking about your situation in a more positive way, for example, ‘Of course I can do this work, the people who have employed me have done so because they believe in me and I got this job because I’m capable of doing this!’
3. Your thoughts are not facts
We tend to believe that what we think is always a fact. The truth is when we believe that every thought we have is true, we open ourselves up to a whole world of pain and stress. If a thought comes into your mind on the lines of, ‘You’re not good enough’, and you believe it, it can trigger a ton of other negative thoughts and feelings within you.
Don’t let your mind be unmanaged. We have to learn to become mindful and recognise that our thoughts are not facts. This way, we find a lot more peace. Allow thoughts to float in and out of your mind without judgement because remember, they are just thoughts.
4. Fear is a feeling. You’re in control!
Anxiety, fear and even low confidence are simply feelings created by a negative thought process. Ultimately we get to choose how we feel. Choosing fear is not ideal on any day so it’s time to start deciding how you do want to feel and then work your mind around how you’re going to get there. Self-inflicted feelings can’t hurt you unless you sit in the negative all day without wanting to change. Choose a different feeling to focus on like calm or serenity, and then get your head right. Think of the questions you really want to be asking yourself.
5. Have a chat with yourself
If you’re lacking in confidence, a great exercise to try is to write down your negative thoughts or worries in a notepad. Then imagine your best friend telling you that this is how she feels. How would you answer them back? What would you say to them from the point of view of being a caring, rational and loving friend?
What if, for example, you’re worried about a date and you think, ‘I’m freaking out about going out on this date later. What if it’s just awful?’. You could respond to your own thought with, ‘It’s only dinner! They could be a really interesting person and it might be a really nice night whether there’s romance or not. They’re probably even more scared!’. Stop negative thoughts by following through on your thoughts – it makes them less scary.
6. It’s only a feeling creating adrenaline
Many feelings we choose also result in physical symptoms. When we choose fear, we’re creating uncomfortable physical symptoms like feeling jittery, having sweaty palms etc. We literally create our own adrenaline.
Your mind is powerful so don’t let it set off a roller coaster in your own body! Your body thinks it needs to fight, flight or freeze so it starts to produce a physical reaction. Although adrenaline feels scary, it can’t really hurt you. So next time you experience those weird symptoms of anxiety, remember, you can overcome fear – it’s just adrenaline and you calm it down by calming down your mind.
7. Talk to someone
Fear and low confidence can feel very isolating when you believe you’re alone in what you’re going through, or that you’re the only one in the world that feels like this. The truth is that these feelings are common. The great thing is that you don’t have to live with these feelings and they’re something that you can change.
It’s really important to open up to friends and loved ones about your thoughts on self confidence and feelings of anxiety, as talking about things can help you to feel better right away and get you seeing things with a clearer and more realistic, truthful perspective. Remember this: fear is totally your choice – so choose a different thought and get a different feeling. Work on it and see how this changes for you. It’s guaranteed to work.
See my full article on Good Zing here


February Blues

So my friends at Sweaty Betty asked me if I would share my top ten tips to beat the February blues. It is a cold long month so I wanted to share this with you today in case you feel you need a little spirit lift! I hope you like it!

10 tips to beat the February Blues

January may be over (did anyone really go dry?), but February is here and with it comes the cold. Valentine’s Day or not, we feel this month needs a bit of brightness, so alongside our new collection of bright palm prints we’ve teamed up with life coach Jacqueline Hurst for her top tips on fighting the February blues, unless it’s wearing them of course.
1. Stop trying to be perfect, it makes us feel inferior and desperate to change; no one is perfect and mistakes are normal. As soon as you let go of this mentality, life will become much simpler.
2. Grab a friend. It’s no longer January, so veganuary and a detox is no longer an excuse to hibernate. Beat any grey weather blues by meeting up with a friend, this doesn’t have to include wine – you can workout together, go for coffee or even a walk. Schedule in time with your good friends, these are the people who are guaranteed to make you feel automatically better.
3. Breathe easy. Banish any blues as it’s time to focus on breathing correctly. Transformational Breath is an active exercise that uses the breath to release tension within the body. Unlike other techniques, Transformational Breath demands no pause between inhale and exhale. And, on an emotional level, the emphasis is on outpouring rather than control.
4. Have your own back. Other people will judge you but who cares? Take a deep breath, accept they have an opinion on what you are doing, and then consider whether it’s worth taking into account.
5. Try something new. New year’s resolutions didn’t pan out in January? Why not start in February. Instead of something diet and exercise based, I recommend learning a new skill. Always wanted to cook? garden? read that novel? Now’s the time to try it, the sense of achievement is sure to brighten up any February blues.
6. Love is in the air. Valentine’s Daydoesn’t have to mean cards, presents and the latest Fifty Shades movie. Why not show some self love – run a bath, light some candles and read a good book, you’ll thank yourself later.
7. A month of acceptance. Why not throw aside any annoyances this month and accept that we can’t change other people. Acceptance is the answer, no matter how much we wish someone would act differently.
8. Be mindful. It’s been the buzzword in the wellness industry for a while now and I can not recommend meditation enough for conquering any grey days. Try the app Headspace for a starter, or I love Will Williams (he even offers free taster sessions all around London). Plus, 20 minutes of vedic meditation is equal to about 3 hours sleep, meaning you’ll feel refreshed and relaxed.
9. Work it out. One way to guarantee endorphin’s is to you guessed it, exercise. Your sofa and bed may look appealing when it’s cold, but lay out your kit the night before and make that morning class or run. You are guaranteed to feel better when you’ve moved, even if it’s just for 30 minutes.
10. Don’t think the worst. The worst that could possibly happen might not be that bad, look at bad opportunities and negative days as a chance to learn. If we’re willing to consider this possibility, we may find opportunity in that “horrible” thing.
Jacqueline Hurst is a master life coach and clinical hypnotherapist. She has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network, The Sunday Times, Harpers Baazar and The Daily Telegraph. Jacqueline is also the founder of the Life Class, an online personal course for self development.   See the full article on Sweaty Betty’s blog here

Valentine's Day…

Ah, romance. Just what everyone needs…right?
The Valentine’s Day marketing machine is in full swing and if you are single, by choice or by circumstance then this is a blog post for you.
It’s hard to see the ‘right’ perspective when you’re bombarded with romantic adverts on TV, flower shops heaving with roses or heart shaped everything at the checkout of your local grocery store.
But fear not. You can be happy being single on Valentine’s day. Seriously. You can. Here’s my tips:-

  • Love your singleness. Think about all the fabulous benefits of being single, from having the whole bed to yourself, not fighting over what to watch on TV, to being able to keep the kitchen as clean or as messy as you’d like.  The “couples” messaging is strong, even more so for Valentine’s Day but please do not forget that this isn’t a reflection of the full reality of how people live their lives; don’t fall for the hype or the media’s made up dream that everyone is paired off, totally in love and always happy.
  • Get some Perspective. You will not be the only single person on the planet on Valentine’s Day.  I promise you. While some single people might be feeling miserable, some of them will actually be choosing to have a great day, laughing, going out and having fun. It’s your choice.
  • Be Grateful. There will be some people in couples, where one of them will not want to celebrate and the other will. That person will no doubt be under pressure to conform. They will have to buy a gift and celebrate the occasion even though they really find the whole thing stupid.  But they have to do it, because their partner wants them to…Poor buggers.
  • Spread Love. To Yourself.  Remind yourself that Valentine’s Day which is about ‘love’ can also be about you choosing to love you. You can shower all the love you have, towards yourself. That means you can have a full on day of radical self-care with love for yourself being at the top of the agenda.  Be selfish!
  • Be happy within yourself regardless of your relationship status.  I tell this to my single clients a lot. So many people think that it takes another person to complete them. As if they will only be happy when they have a spouse. The thing is, if you are living your life in ‘lack’ your energy is wah-wah and the opposite sex, they feel it and run a mile! Desperation doesn’t smell good.  The art here is to learning how to love your life, single.  Seriously, this is actually the key to then finding the right relationships.  Because loving your life, single means you become willing to live in the moment and you choose to be happy.  Only then can you create honest, connected, whole relationships with others. You gotta love you first.
  • Things are not always what they seem from the outside. Just because people are married or in relationships it doesn’t mean that they are living a happy ever after.  You may well see lots of couples on Valentine’s Day looking loved up and happy but you really never know what goes on behind closed doors. That couple could actually be on the verge of breaking up or she could be having an affair with his best mate!  Seriously though, you just never know.

Hopefully these tips will help you to keep the perspective right and remember that you just never know what can happen next. So choose to be happy and choose to enjoy your day no matter what you do.
Sent with ‘love’
Jacqueline
xx


The Wellness Report

Many of you will know Matches Fashion is one of my very favourite shops and it was an honour once again to be interviewed by my good friend Eve Kalinik for their Wellness Report. The interview is about being healthy in your body through a healthy mind.  If February means you are already loosing your will then have a read of this article to help you get your mojo back.

The new year brings with it the eager promise of self-improvement. Do resolutions such as going to the gym, quitting sugar, cutting down on alcohol or taking more time out sound familiar? While all of these can bring positive changes, many of us have forgotten about good intentions within a matter of months, or even weeks. Fast-paced lifestyles mean we often expect a quick fix or a magic pill. But what if the secret to ‘new year, new you’ was a simple resolution: ‘know yourself’? I caught up with Jacqueline Hurst, a life coach and hypnotherapist, to discuss how to make positive life changes. Plus, discover three key lessons in creating change that lasts.

Start as you mean to go on

Eve Kalinik: ‘Yes, it is about tuning into yourself. We tend to be in this “add on” culture, searching for the next new super food, supplement or diet, when really it is about stripping it back. If you just bring it back to basics and start eating foods in their most natural state without labels, boxes or bags then you won’t go far wrong. I dissuade clients from diets and haphazard elimination of food groups, as these rarely work and can leave you nutritionally depleted.’

Jacqueline Hurst: ‘Unless you get your mind right, the outcome won’t be what you want it to be. Change your mindset – if you come from a place of love you will get a lot more done rather than aggressively cutting things out. If you put restrictions on people they will automatically want to rebel, so it is important to pull it back and think about where you are coming from – health and self-love over restriction and pressure.’

Cut out the noise

JH: ‘These messages will only pull on your insecurities if you let them. If you are in the right kind of headspace, you can see those images and think positively about them rather than beating yourself up. You have a choice to look at social media or magazine images and compare yourself. Or you can look at it and think, “Wow, she looks great and obviously worked hard for that.” It doesn’t have to affect you, if you change your outlook.’

EK: ‘As women, we have a lot of pressure to keep it all together. But this is where we tend to overcomplicate things, particularly when it comes to food. And it is not about being 100% perfect all the time. If you make positive informed decisions about what you are eating, how you are exercising or the way you perceive situations most of the time, then that’s a good thing. Be mindful and realistic in the way you approach this, then you won’t beat yourself up so much or revert to old habits.’

Take a holistic approach

EK: ‘We have to think of ourselves as a whole entity rather than compartmentalising. The whole body influences the whole body. Around 90% of our serotonin (happy hormone) production is in the gut, so mental clarity, focus and ultimately happiness comes not just from the mind but the gut as well. Health and wellbeing is always multi-layered, but once you tap into what makes you tick you can see things change quickly.’

JH: ‘It is also about giving your body a break when it needs it and having that true connection of mind and body. Knowing yourself can help you get the life you really want.’

Read the full article here


Speak the Truth

When we speak our truth we become free.
When we truly become real and honest with ourselves and others around us, it feels amazing.
I’m not saying it’s easy and it is definitely something you have to learn.
It mostly involves learning how to let go of what other people think about you.
It involves learning how to let go of other people’s views and opinions and learning that your opinion is also just as important.
It involves some work to look inside yourself and understand what’s holding you back.
And when you do that work, your world changes.
Speaking the truth has major attributes.  
It means you say what you mean, mean what you say and nothing can get lost in translation.
Straight speaking has always been my friend.
I had to learn the hard way that beating around the bush or dancing around other people’s ego’s only ever left me in pain.
And life is meant to be joyful.
So I urge you to let go. To be real. To speak your truth.
It’s a good reminder to know that it is only those who are dysfunctional that won’t like you speaking your truth because ultimately, it makes them aware of their own shortcomings and that is hard for them to handle.
Speaking your truth to someone dysfunctional means you are shining a light into their dark places as dysfunction relies on people not confronting their reality.
So, you see, it’s not about you anyway.
Rise up.
Be bigger.
Expand yourself.
Be brave, speak up and I promise you once you try it, you will never look back.
Keep it real.
You’ve got this.
x
 


Positive Thinking

Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.
It has certainly helped all my clients and students turn their own life around.
I know this because I have seen it with my own eyes.
The one basic necessity for anything you want, anything you desire, anything at all, is simply positive thinking.
It sounds simple and yet I know in reality it takes a little patience and practice.
But nothing ever came easy and it is the effort and the work it takes to get there, that makes this journey so unique.
When clients and students come to me with a problem, I truly believe I have their solution.
As long as they are willing to open their mind.
It can get heated.
You see, the mind must believe it can do something before it is capable of actually doing it.
So the very first thing I do, is train people to be aware of their mental self-talk.
You see we all talk silently to ourselves in our heads, but we aren’t always conscious of what we’re saying or how it’s affecting us.
My top tip this week for positive thinking is to start listening to your thoughts. 
If you hear negative thoughts, stop for a second and replace them with positive thoughts.
It really is that simple you just have to find your awareness around it first.
As the Dalai Lama once said, “The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive thoughts and emotions that are stronger and more powerful.”
Embracing problems as a natural part of growing helps.
Part of living and growing up is experiencing unexpected troubles in life.
But understanding you have the power to choose how you want to think and feel is the most awesome gift you’ve been given.
Think right and the rest follows.
It’s in your hands x


Control Your Tech

As many of you are aware matchesfashion.com is one of my favourate shops in the world! Their shops are amazing and their online Wellness Report is one of my go-to’s for all the latest on fashion, wellness, travel and so much more.  I always love working with them and this week they gave me a call to ask if I would write an article for them about technology and how we can use it to balance our mind.  This was a great article to write and I hope you like it…

As a life coach, I spend a lot of my time talking about switching off, unplugging and generally taking a break from technology. One of my favourite sayings is: ‘Anything will work again once it’s been unplugged for a little while, including you.’ We live in a 24/7 world where we are constantly connected, and yet if we do not learn how to be in charge of our tech, it can take total charge of us. Many of us are unable to switch off and we blame technology for our anxiety to ‘keep up’, although it isn’t the technology that is to blame. We just haven’t mastered it. I like to think of technology like a puppy that you have to train to work with you, not against you. In other words, you set the rules and the boundaries, not the other way around. It is always up to us to choose how ‘connected’ we want to be with a little conscious thinking. This year, resolve to take control of your tech and be calmer in the process.

Meditate

Why not start with an app that makes you re-connect, instead of disconnect? A great place to start for calm and clarity is Headspace (headspace.com). It’s a meditation app you simply download and listen to for 10 minutes every day. The benefits of meditation reportedly include higher energy, more focus and greater productivity, leading to a calmer state of mind. Production of the stress hormone cortisol is decreased, meaning the body is able to deal with stress better when it does occur. Seventy-five per cent of insomniacs who started a daily meditation programme were able to fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed, while 60% of anxiety-prone people showed marked improvements in anxiety levels after six to nine months. In short, it brings a little peace in a busy world.

COMMUNICATE

Relying on convenient voiceless communication, such as messaging apps, can mean that subtle nuances get lost and relationships can become more detached over time. Messages can be misconstrued and ‘read receipts’ can lead to feelings of rejection if they are not responded to with expedience. Our wellbeing is based on human connection and face-to-face interaction, so even if physical contact is not possible, video-calling apps such as FaceTime or Skype will help nurture that human connection, and thus counter feelings of loneliness or isolation.

REST

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day boosts the body’s circadian rhythm and promotes good-quality sleep. It’s like brain training for the conscious and the subconscious. The bedroom is one place where switching off your tech is always a good idea – blue light, from mobile phones and other devices, boosts attention, which is counter-productive at night time and can lead to anxiety, insomnia and poor-quality sleep. But you can use your tech to your advantage – which is where the iPhone comes in. Apple’s new ‘bedtime’ function will help you keep your daily routine on track. You simply answer a few simple questions to set up a recurring wake-up alarm and a reminder when it’s bedtime.

REBALANCE

Place a firm focus on your mental health for 2017, no matter how busy you feel. If you are struggling with relationships or want to learn how to live a happier, more conscious life, you can make time in even the tightest of schedules with an online course, such as The Life Class (thelifeclass.com). Even five minutes’ training on your journey to work each day will make a real difference over time. It is about arming your mind with the tools and techniques to rid yourself of perceived barriers and start living a happy, fulfilled life.

Jacqueline Hurst is a life coach and founder of The Life Class, and is based in London (jacquelinehurst.com)

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Resolutions

So my gorgeous friend, the wonderful Madeline Shaw asked me if I would write a piece for her blog on how to set new years resolutions for a happy and healthy 2017. It was of course my pleasure. Take a read of the article here and don’t foget to check out her amazing website full of yummy recipes…

Setting New Year’s Resolutions for a Happy and Healthy 2017

Deciding what goals to set can be a little tricky so Jacquline Hurst, a Life Coach, public speaker, therapist, and founder of The Life Class has kindly written some ideas for setting new year’s resolutions for a happy and healthy 2017!
New Year’s Resolutions are always a great way to start the year on the right foot. The one imperative to remember about making resolutions is to make them fun and realistic and not heavy and stressful!
Making resolutions doesn’t have to be about drastic changes and major life overhauls, it can be just one change that is small and simple.  When you set your resolutions it is good to remember that any journey begins with a single step so even a baby step, is a step.  It is also good to remember that no skilled sailor became skilled overnight and that working towards a goal can take time so please be kind and patient with yourself as you work through what it is you want to change.
Setting new year’s resolutions also does not have to be focussed only on the outside. It could be that you want to change something from the inside and gain a happier state of mind. Being a life coach I believe that a happy mind = a happy life so here are my top 7 ideas for some new year’s resolutions this 2017!

1. Love and accept yourself – fully

I truly believe if we learn to accept the good and bad parts of ourselves life becomes much more enjoyable.  I always tell my clients that “acceptance is always the answer to the problem”!  Once you find out who you really are inside, you can begin to accept and love yourself fully.  Once you truly love yourself from the inside what other people think becomes less of an issue.  A great new years resolution would be to learn to love yourself and accept yourself this year. It is the best work you can do for yourself and is the key to the door of a happy life.

2. Live for you

A huge part of many of my client’s lives are taken up by taking care of everyone else leaving them no time for themselves. It is no wonder they are exhausted and stressed out. In my opinion when it gets like this, it is important to check your motives and reasons for doing things for example, are you saying yes to people because you are worried that they might not like you if you say no?  A good resolution this year would be to remember that you cannot make everyone in your life happy and to try to begin to make the best decision for yourself (first) instead of others, you will see how life gets easier (and a lot less stressful!).

3. Quit Comparing

We live in a society where all we really get to see are people’s highlight reels and not necessarily the truth.  Social media is full of six packs, idyllic beach scenes, yachts, perfect pets and immaculate fashion styling.  The thing is, it’s very likely that this isn’t real every day life for the person you are looking at.  It is so important to remember that we all have ups, downs and struggles in life just like everyone else and yet no one is posting about that stuff! A good resolution this year would be to remind yourself that comparing your life to others is a total waste of your own time, you will find that you will choose to stop, effortlessly.

4. Don’t compromise too much

Compromise is required in pretty much all relationships because we are all different and have different wants, needs and desires. Compromise is a good thing most of the time if the compromising is equal on both sides. The problem occurs if you give up your wants and needs the majority of the time in any one relationship, whether it be with a friend, lover, family member etc.,. A good resolution here would be to evaluate all any relationships that feel tough and decide if it is really healthy for you to be a part of it or, what you might need to do differently to recalibrate the compromising.

5.  Soul food

I really do believe that we are all born with something that we are amazing at. Whatever your passion, or whatever you enjoy in life, make a resolution to feed your soul with what inspires you. Inspire means in-spirit and you will know when you are doing something you feel inspired by because your spirit lifts. If you are not sure what your passion is then start to try new things and find different activities until you find a few that give you that feeling of real happiness inside. As Dr Wayne Dyer once said ‘don’t die with your music still inside you’.  Make a resolution to start to feed your soul.

6. Travel!

Traveling creates a sense of freedom and opens your eyes to how big the world really is.  Whenever I sit on a plane and look down and see the tiny houses it is always a reminder of vast and great the universe is. It helps to remind me of the ‘big picture’.  Travelling also helps to open your mind to different cultures, ways of life, landscapes, animals – we can learn so much just by changing location!  Make a resolution to travel more, to open up your world and see more of this wonderful planet.

7. Worry less

I teach my clients that worry is a feeling, created by a thought.  Once we realise that worrying will not change our outcome, we can begin to accept whatever is going to happen.  No amount of worry is going to help you, it can only ever hold you back. Worrying doesn’t make you better.  Make a resolution to consciously start thinking about what you are thinking about to change the negative thoughts that are creating the worry into happier thoughts that start to create the calm.
These are such great ideas from Jacqueline, thank you so much for writing your tips on setting New Year’s resolutions for a happy and healthy 2017! You can find out more information about Jacqueline on her website The Life Class.
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