Co-dependence can be described as the need for a person to be a certain way in order for you to be OK. If you are more concerned with others’ needs than your own, is this selflessness or is it co-dependence? If you find yourself regularly ‘rescuing’ others, not only is this an indicator for co-dependence but it also means you are denying them the gift of growth.

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It’s fair to say that there aren’t many people who like to feel discomfort. Given the choice, we will opt for feelings of ease and comfort every time. And why not? However, never allowing yourself to feel uncomfortable can be a sign that you are becoming “comfort-zone restricted”. Comfort is the path of least resistance but it is also the path of least growth.

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It was Einstein who said that you can’t fix a problem with the same thinking that caused it. This is one of the reasons why people stay stuck. Not for the want of trying. But it can feel like a constant internal battle which drains your energy and your confidence. Not only that but it can take you in the opposite direction to where you want to be.

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One of the questions I ask my clients is how they would rate their energy. I am amazed at the number of people who aren’t happy with their levels of energy. Sometimes it is because they feel low emotionally and their energy mirrors their mood. Or they are trying to keep a lid on any negative emotions which is leaving them exhausted.

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As a coach and therapist, I am often asked for the difference, if any between the two disciplines. It can be hard to know whether you need a therapist or a coach or both. So this article will help you to understand the differences so you can make an informed choice. This isn’t an exhaustive list and there is a fair amount of cross-over. In fact, with my clients, I often blend the two.

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In the last article, I explained that feelings are your signposts to what is happening in your life. We explored the seven main negative emotions which, when ignored can cause them to become stronger, as though they are shouting to be heard. When you listen to what your feelings are telling you and respond appropriately, you are on your way to feeling a lot better about yourself, gaining perspective on a situation and having a healthier relationship with yourself and others.

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Feelings are often labelled good or bad as if they are something to be sought (ie happiness) or avoided (ie sadness). But feelings are much more than this and have an essential function in our emotional and psychological wellbeing. If your feelings could talk, what would they say? Feelings are the physical representation of emotion. They communicate your wants and needs. They tell you when you are happy and when something isn’t right.

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Do you want something in your life to be different? Perhaps to overcome a habit, increase self-esteem, improve a situation, develop a skill or manage stress more effectively? All change has 5 phases, according to the work of Prochaska and Di Clemente. It’s worth knowing these to see a) where you are and b) where you want to be. This article will help you to understand that.

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As I write this, Mental Health Awareness week is coming up. But I find the term Mental Health unhelpful and creates a stigma which belies the real-world problems which many of us face at some time or another: stress, anxiety, depression and grief. The antonym of Mental Health is Emotional Resilience.

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Another year, another set of New Years’ Resolutions! Each year most of us make resolutions which we fail to keep. Why is this? Often we have what is called “secondary gains” to a problem. This means that, even though there is a part of us that wants something, there can be another part of us that is actually benefiting from the problem in some way. Secondary gains can be unconscious – something we are not aware of – and very powerful in sabotaging our best intentions.

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