Liberty Of London

So the amazing store, Liberty of London gave me a call this week and asked me for my top 5 tips for happiness this Winter. It was of course my pleasure to share my tips and tricks to getting happy.
Wellbeing With Jacqueline Hurst | Libertylondon.com | Liberty London

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 are not good enough as we are. There are not enough magazines or newspapers showing real people, real stories and authenticity; instead we are 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 are 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 is important to remember that we are fed images all day long of what we are supposed to look like – it is 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 its 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 will 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 ones 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.

See the full article here

Get Mindful

5 Ways To Be More Mindful (Even If You Don’t Have Time)
Mindfulness is about being present.
Really being in your present moment.
Present moment awareness is key to having a healthy mind-set.
It’s easy to say we want to become more mindful and yet the question is ‘how’ do we do it?
I get asked this a lot so wanted to share some tips with you here…

  1. How do you feel?  This is the quickest way to start working out whats going on for you. Are you feeling good or are you feeling not so good?  If it’s the latter you need to think about what you are thinking about.  Get a pen, write it down and start questioning your thoughts. Get mindful about what you are thinking. People think that we don’t get a choice on our thoughts, that they simply just ‘happen’. Its not true.  It takes 2 seconds to stop, think about what thought you are having and work out if its helping or hindering you.  You are more powerful than you think.
  2. Take a deep breath.  Slowing down is super important in becoming more mindful. We cannot be mindful going at 100 mph.  Stopping is easy.  It doesn’t matter if you are standing on a busy street, rushing around a department store, in the middle of a workout or sitting at your desk.  Stop. For 10 seconds. Just stop, take a breath and get some oxygen into your lungs.  When you stop like this you are giving your brain time to remember that actually, you are more than a person who is just doing you are also, a being. Focusing on your breath is key.  There is a little gap between your in breath and out breath, sometimes just focusing on that is enough to turn everything down a little pace, making you want to go slower.
  3. Electroinc break time!  Take a break. Seriously, just like the kit kat advert. Its so important to stop the electronics for a certain amount of time during your day.  Being consistently stuck to a screen whether it be ipad, computer, laptop, applemac, iphone (the list could go on) is just not healthy for your mind. Whether its 2 mins, 5 mins, 30 mins or a whole hour, make sure you have at least some time in your day to get away from your electronics and breathe.
  4. Practice mindfulness anywhere. The beautiful thing about mindfulness is you can practice it anywhere you go. you can be standing in a shopping que, sitting on a bus or train or even in your car at the traffic lights (there willl always be someone there to remind you when your time is up – trust me). Waiting somewhere can be thought of as an ‘opportinity to practice slowing down’.  It’s a great thought to have which will lead to a great action…that being stopping and focussing on slowing down your mind.
  5. Mediation is key to mindfulness. Again, this is something you will want to practice. Don’t expect yourself to be a budda in a day. Sometimes even 5 mins is amazingly helpful for you and it is ceartianly better than nothing. Thiknk of your mind like a little puppy dog. A puppy dog you will need to take time to train. When you walk the puppy it will heal for a moment then go and find a thousand other things it thinks is more exciting, this is just like your brain. So slowly, slowly train it.  Allow it to wander, it’s a natrual part of meditaton.  Don’t judge and don’t get frustrated. Allow the process to take its time and grow. You will be amazed at how far you can come in just 5 mins a day.

Happy Friday
Jacqueline x

Winter Mood

Winter. It’s so cold outside. For me it’s means cosy nights in front of the fire and sumptuous old school cooking.
Although for many of my clients they don’t think about it like this at all.
They tell me they feel down and miserable and they think it ‘surely isn’t right’ to want to be in bed early, to not go out much and to want to eat and sleep more.
It’s important to understand that ultimately we are animals and are affected to some extent by changes in the seasons.
Long summer days can be wonderful and short dark nights in my opinion is simply the yin to the yang.
Choosing to feel miserable because it is cold and dark by mid-afternoon is a choice.
It is important to understand that how we feel is ultimately generated by how we think.  In other words it isn’t the dark nights getting you down, it is simply how you are thinking about them.
Thinking creates feelings and therefore understanding that it is our thoughts that are creating how we feel really matters when it comes to the winter months!  We have a choice as to how we feel no matter what the weather is. It can be hot and we can choose to feel good or it can be cold and we can choose to feel good.
It all comes down to the thoughts.
Thinking is something we have to start to be more mindful of. We often have so many thoughts go around in our mind and get stuck on the negative. It goes something like ‘It’s so cold outside’ to follow onto ‘why do I live in this country anyway’ and then ‘my job sucks too’! We go around and around in the negative all day long, it’s like we are asleep to what we are thinking and in turn, doing to ourselves.
As Eckhart Tolle states ‘It’s not the situation that causes us to feel bad, it’s our thoughts about it’.
So how do we make this change?
It’s not hard and it’s certainly not impossible. But what it does require, is patience and energy in helping yourself to help yourself.
First of all get mindful. Start to think about what you are thinking about.
You might be thinking ‘I know what I’m thinking’ but the truth is you may not actually be ‘aware’ of what is exactly going on in your head all day long, so my suggestion is to get a beautiful notepad and start to write it down.
Once you have your thoughts written down ask yourself if they are working for or against you.
In other words are they making you feel good or making you feel awful.
Then remind yourself you have a choice and in turn, how can you look at this differently to feel better.
Better thoughts equal better feelings.
Changing your perspective might just mean that Winter actually becomes your new best friend.
How cool is that.

Are You Listening?

People talk a lot.
We speak to our friends our family, our colleagues and our loved ones but how many of us are really and truly listening?
You see listening isn’t so easy.
It sounds easy (yes another pun) but a lot of the time we confuse listening with ‘waiting to reply with an answer’.
And, that isn’t listening.
We often speak over people or try to get our point across whilst someone else is talking yet doing this ultimately means we believe that what we have to say, is more important than what they have to say.
Becoming a life coach changed my perception of listening.
I studied hard, took exams and practiced my coaching technique a lot.
It was all going well until one day I asked an old timer friend of mine, who had been a therapist for 40 years, if I could practice my coaching with
with him.
He kindly agreed. This man was a gentleman. An old school English gentlemen, wise, eloquent, fascinatingly intelligent, methodical and very kind.
The day came and we sat down together and off I went, launching into my practice with him.
I gave solutions, I gave answers and I gave everything I had.   I thought I was doing great!
The hour was up,  I sat there pretty smug and ready for his feedback.
He looked at me kindly.
Then he gave me the best piece of advice I had ever received which was something I will never forget.
‘Jacqueline’ he said ‘I only have one piece of advice. When your clients talk you have to SHUT THE ….. UP AND LISTEN.
It blew my mind.
Not only that this English gentleman used and expletive (!) but because I had been so focused on getting my point across, on giving an answer, of having the right reply or handing over the solution to the problem,  I hadn’t even realised I wasn’t fully listening.  
Best. Lesson. Ever.
From that day on I did exactly as he said.
When people start to talk, I start to listen.
It took time to learn how to shut up. It took time to learn to be conscious and aware of listening but I soon got the hang of it and then you know what?
It changed everything for me.
When you truly listen you really hear what people say, not what you think they say.
When you truly listen you realise that what you would have said if you hadn’t listened, would probably have made no sense at all.
When you truly listen you get the gold. You remain a step ahead.
And, best of all when you truly listen you build stronger communication channels and therefore build better relationships.
So I dare you to try it.
For like a whole day.
You’ll be amazed.

Overcome Low Self-Esteem

Do you need to overcome low self-esteem and get your confidence flowing? Here’s an interview I had with Get The Gloss with my tips and tricks to help you on your way…

This week we sat down with Jacqueline Hurst for some expert advice on how to build confidence and overcome low self-esteem

With work, family and social life seeming like a constant juggle, it’s hardly surprising that the act falls flat every once in a while. Of course, we’ve all got it in us to be funny, smart and – let’s be honest – pretty darn spectacular, but there are times when we all feel like we haven’t quite reached our full potential.

However, if you feel constantly held back by a sense of self-doubt, it could be more than just the occasional ‘off day’ we all suffer with from time to time. Preventing you from ever achieving your full potential, low self-esteem can be both a debilitating and miserable process of thought. Thankfully, for those who do suffer from self-esteem issues, there are a wealth of tips and tricks you can try to help break the cycle and build your confidence back. To find out more about low self-esteem and how to overcome it, we caught up with life coach and clinical hypnotherapist Jacqueline Hurst, to see if her expert advice can take us from self-doubt to serious starlet…

GTG: What is low self-esteem?

“The term self-esteem refers to how we view ourselves. Self-esteem is the overall opinion we have and hold about ourselves and the value we place on ourselves as people. Low self-esteem is all about how we view ourselves internally – what we believe about ourselves – and is based on negativity: for example, ‘I’m unlovable’ or ‘I’m useless’ or ‘I’m worthless’. Of course most of us have mixed opinions of ourselves, but if your overall opinion is that you are inadequate or inferior, if you feel that you have no true worth and are not entitled to the good things in life – that you are ‘undeserving’ – then this means your self-esteem is low.”

GTG: What can contribute to low self-esteem?

“Low self-esteem can be due to the beliefs you have about yourself which you think are fact, but in reality are only really thoughts. These beliefs and thoughts are based on the experiences you’ve had in life, and the messages that these experiences have given you about the person that you are.
“Crucial experiences that form our beliefs about ourselves often, but not always, occur from very early in life, usually formed from the ages of 0 to 6 years old. What you saw, heard, picked up on and experienced in childhood – in your family, in your community, society and at school – will have influenced the way you see yourself. If your experiences have been negative, your beliefs about yourself are likely to be negative too. In other words, if you are brought up with parents who you thought never had time for you, or if you thought you couldn’t meet certain standards or were on the receiving end of another person’s negative belief system, then you too will most likely suffer from low self-esteem.”
GTG: How can low self-esteem be overcome?
“As low self-esteem is based on thought process rather than fact, it is really important to gather all the thoughts you hold about yourself that are negative and then start to look for evidence to prove that the opposite is true. For example, if you believe that you are not ‘lovable’, instead of finding evidence to prove this thought true, you need to start looking for evidence to prove this is not true. You could ask yourself instead ‘Who does love me?’ – you will be able to say ‘my mum, my dad, my friends, my family, my boyfriend’ etc. It becomes hard to believe a thought when you have evidence to prove the opposite is actually true!”
GTG: What are your top tips to overcome low self-esteem?
1. Question your thoughts. A lot!
2. Thoughts create feelings, so starting to think carefully about your thoughts is key.
3. Be kind to yourself. Tell yourself kind, loving statements that you would say to someone you love.
4. Remember, comparison is the thief of joy – you are unique and perfect just as you are!
5. Imagine your best friend next to you talking about you as a person – they would say lovely things like ‘She’s funny, kind, thoughtful’ etc. When you start looking at yourself from a friend’s point of view you will be amazed at how good you really are.
6. When you feel down, think about all the wonderful things in your life and the things you have achieved – you’ll soon realise you are pretty special!
7. If you are still suffering from low self-esteem, then talk to somebody – a friend or expert – who might be able to help.
Read the full article here

Reserve Judgement

Sometimes we just feel off.
We don’t feel like we are measuring up to our own expectations. You know, the unrealistic ones.
We aren’t being kind enough. Smart enough. Efficient enough. Clever enough.  We should ‘know better’. We should have ‘got this by now’.
We tell ourselves how rubbish we are, that we have ‘failed’ at being a wife, mother, boyfriend, father, daughter, normal eater, creative thinker or whatever.  And we hang out with our negativity, sit in a private self-pity party and believe we are totally justified in doing so.
But, it’s not much fun.
You see whilst we are busy making judgements on ourselves we are missing the most important lessons.
Whilst we are busy telling ourselves how bad/stupid/wrong/ridiculous we are, what we are actually doing is wasting our own time.
Seriously.  Think about that. You. Wasting. Your. Own. Time.  Like huh?
You see the Universe has an amazing way of working, sending us the same lesson over and over again until we DEAL WITH OUR STUFF.
So although we may think that turning to self-judgement is the key to change, the reality is actually the opposite.
What we have to change is the  internal record.
Messing up doesn’t mean something’s wrong with us.
And actually, it’s all going down as it should.
So beating up on yourself and being unkind to yourself is not just mean, it’s pointless.
It’s so much nicer just to notice.  To be curious, be fascinated and remain consciously aware.
And of course, be patient with yourself.
And then get back to working on what matters to you most.
Just keep moving forward, with kindness.

Do You Seek Approval?

The need for approval kills happiness.
Basing your happiness on someone else’s approval can be disastrous.
Basing your worth on someone else’s approval is even worse. In fact, its damn right painful.
The only remedy for seeking approval is to seek self-validation.
Because it is where the validation comes from that makes a dramatic difference.
Self-validation is a practice, a process and a work-in-progress.
Self-validation is when you decide to validate you.
Sounds too simple right?
Well not really, because all you have to do is simply make a choice.
To have your own back and to tread your own path.
To believe in yourself and what you put out into the world.
To fully understand your strength and your power.
Believing and understanding that you do not need to look to anyone else to determine your worth is liberating.
Knowing that you do not need anyone else’s approval but your own is freedom.
So put your blinkers on, get on with that thing you love, believe in yourself
And then go out into the world caring about the only one person’s opinion that really matters…
Strengthen your foundation. Have your own back.
And rock on.

Love Your Life

I often get asked how my day looks by journalists and this week Woman’s Fitness Magazine gave me a call to ask me if I would like to feature in their ‘Day In The Life Of..’  Here’s the page – I hope you like it…

Also, I just wanted to say that if you are not living your life how you want to, come to chat to me. Sometimes we believe so little in ourselves that we think we could never do/be/have the things we really want to do/be/have. I am here to tell you this is not true.
If I look back at my life 14 years ago and compare it to today, I am blown away. I got here by facing my fear and doing it anyway, choosing courage over fear, doing a lot of hard work, having total belief in myself and a steely will even when people kept saying ‘no’ to me.  I don’t believe in ‘failure’ I believe in ‘growth’ and I have a strong belief that we all have something we are ‘meant’ to do, something we love doing.  If you know you have that something and are not doing it I urge you to think again. Come talk to me 1:1 or of course, take a course (!) at www.thelifeclass.com and learn how to live the best life ever, learn how to feel good, learn how to manage your mind and ultimately help your own growth and self development, all in your own time, in your own way.
I promise you that if I can do it, you can too…
Happy Friday

Fact v Truth

When my clients and students start working with me the first thing I teach is to become conscious of our thinking.
A lot of the time we think something in our mind, make it mean something it doesn’t mean and then we create a whole story around it.
It’s fascinating.
And often painful.
Mainly because those thoughts we are thinking, at the very outset, are not even true.
In other words, what we make a fact in our mind is not in fact, a fact.
We have thought’s like:
‘I think he is wrong for her’
‘I think I am not clever enough’
‘I hate how I can’t speak up’
‘I should be smaller/bigger/prettier/thinner/’
All. Fiction. Not. True.
It is so important to be careful of what thoughts you choose to make fact.
They will be the one’s that hurt.
So here is how to change this in one word (repeated three times for effect)…
Question, question, question.
Pen and paper are your friend.
Start thinking about what you are thinking about.
Start noticing what you notice.
And work out if what you are thinking is in fact, a fact.
If it hurts, it can’t be. And it’s then your job to start working out how to think about it differently.
Then it won’t hurt.
This is one of the kindest things you could do for yourself.
Here’s to the truth.
Happy Friday

Back To Work

Heading back to work after the summer holidays? Here are some tips and tricks I wrote for PR Week this week  to help you leap back in and start ‘getting things done’.
Ever wondered how some people at work return from their holidays and start moving so quickly, getting things done as if they had never taken a break? Let’s call them the ‘optimist’.
Everything looks easy for them; we envy them and believe they must have something we don’t. The reality is that there are a few tips that they may be following, which I want to share with you, so you can get things done as easily and effortlessly and (don’t tell them) possibly even better.

Manage your mind

The optimist doesn’t have time for negativity. They choose always to look for the neutral or the positive. They know they are in control of their life by being in control of their mind. They also know that sometimes life gets tough, but the tough doesn’t have to break them and, in fact, can make them. Being an optimist means everything is possible. Having the right mindset is the key to the right outcomes.

Steal the trick

Think about some of the thoughts you had today that didn’t make you feel good. Write them down. Take a look at one of them and see whether you can find any evidence to prove that thought is incorrect. For example, your thought might be: “I can’t believe my boss still hasn’t signed off on that project. Maybe he/she thinks it’s awful.” Change this to something more positive, such as: “My boss is busy, and maybe this is actually not about me.”

The optimist doesn’t hide behind procrastination

They go out into the world doing the best they can with what they have, knowing it is better to give, than to hold back and wait until something is perfect for fear of failing; the odd failure is essential to success. They don’t take it personally, but learn from their mistakes and move on.

Steal the trick

Focusing on getting things perfect is a sure-fire way to hit procrastination. Taking action is preferable to doing nothing. It feels better, too, so tell yourself that whatever the task is you want to achieve does not have to be ‘perfect’, it just has to get ‘done’. Taking the pressure off yourself will help.

The optimist takes action

They know Rome wasn’t built in a day, but rather little by little. They take small steps each day to move toward their goals.

Steal the trick

Every day, make sure you do one thing, whether small or big, in pursuit of your goal. If it’s writing a proposal or prepping for a project, even one phone call or website amendment is development. One thing every day is something every day.

The optimist knows how to say “no”

The optimist knows how to say “no” and let go of what others think of them. They understand they cannot please all the people all the time; saying no gives them back their time. The optimist does not falter at this and knows no justification needs to be given after the word is said. They don’t feel bad about it; no is a form of self-care.

Steal the trick

Try saying “no” to one person each day. You will be amazed at how good it feels.
Read the full article here