Having a counselor or life coach in your life can help you change your thinking to be more productive and positive. Counselors and Coaches hold their clients accountable for their thinking and their treatment goals.
Have you ever had an awesome idea that you wanted to get done but need help completing it? Accountability leads to success! It helps get results.
The numbers do not lie, people who have accountability in their life are a lot more likely to complete the goals they set out to accomplish. The point for today is to get help! Find a coach, counselor, mentor or friend to hold you to higher standards!
Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a common intervention that does really help people relax. This is a great, easy intervention that can be done in a chair or laying in bed. The image below shows the how-to steps. Basically, you focus your attention on one muscle group at a time by tensing/tightening the feet up for ten seconds then relaxing that same muscle group after ten seconds. Next you move to the next muscle group.
The chart above goes backwards from how most experts suggest doing this exercise. I find it is better to start with feet and then work up to the face, like the chart below shows.Another tip for this exercise is to remember to focus on breathing through-out the process. Attempt to take in deep belly breaths of oxygen. Remain as calm as possible and just relax. This exercise can put you to sleep, even after a long, stressful day at work. If you are having trouble focusing and doing this exercise alone, have someone else do it with you. Better yet, find a professionally trained counselor, social worker or life coach who can help you facilitate this intervention. This expert will help you remain calm, focus on breathing and learn to relax.
This might be a strange topic to some, or one that you have not placed a lot of time thinking about up until now. Although, one easy to learn stress management tip is to simply try better posture. With better posture you are able to use your energy and muscles more efficiently, avoid neck and back pain and improve your entire mental outlook. That is right having a better posture has been proven to improve mental health too!
It is very beneficial and therapeutic sometimes just to have someone to vent to, especially if this person is trained as a professional listener. We all have a human desire to be heard. We need to just talk to some one some times. Accountability goes even further than just listening, but also provides feedback. Having a mentor, coach, counselor or even a best friend in your life can be very useful in helping you stay on track of meeting your goals in life and having added support.
Accountability and Stress
Having a coach or counselor, in particular, is useful in helping mange stress. Coaches and counselors are trained to help people change the way they think. With a coach or a counselor in your life you can become an even more productive and positive person. These experts also have many tools and resources for stress management.
I have been reading a book by Michael Mack entitled The Pocket Guide to Burnout-Free Small Group Leadership. In this book Mack offers a lot of great insight on how to do ministry in small groups. He sympathizes for the small group lay leader who has 13-20 people in his group yet he alone is responsible for planning the group, calling and praying for his members, preparing the materials and food, hosting at his house, teaching and facilitating the group and all of the other administration tasks associated with this ministry. Not only does Michael suggest to expand the the leadership team to help delegate tasks and share responsibility for each small group, Mack goes further and suggests that each leader should really focus in on only two to four others.
Mack is not the first or only ministry leader to think of this idea. Robert Coleman in his books The Master Plan for Evangelism and The Master Plan for Discipleship, noticed that Jesus “made disciples” of only twelve disciples. Sure there were hundreds of causal followers but Jesus spent the majority of his time with twelve. Looking even deeper in the Scriptures, Coleman shows that Jesus even focused more on three in particular. Mack agrees. Imagine if in each small group of 15-20 people, there was a leader (or shepherd) for every three or four people?
Imagine sharing life with a respected elder or someone even slightly further along the journey then you…Imagine having weekly time with a few other close friends who also love Jesus. Not only would you be able to dig deeper into the Word together, get personal attention to life’s struggles and questions, intimate prayer, but also serve God together and evangelize together! That is an amazing picture of ministry and small groups!
It reminds me of my days in Campus Crusade for Christ (or Cru) at Ohio University. This ministry is built on Coleman’s ideas. There is a weekly large group meeting for worship and teaching but the majority of the ministry is in smaller group ministry teams and Bible Studies through-out campus. Even more, as a Bible Study leader and leader on some other teams, I had the opportunity to do some one-on-one training/mentoring, we called it “discipleship.” I loved it. I meet with an older student who was discipling me. Then I also meet two younger students individually and discipled them. It is interesting now to think about it, but part of what I was doing as I discipled these young men was spiritual formation life coaching, which is something I still do today. In fact, I’ve made a career out of counseling and coaching.
I was struggling with time management, stress and achieving major life goals. Alex helped me by teaching me tools and applications on how to deal with stress, now as a result I have been able to focus on priorities, what’s really important and how to deal with stress! As an extremely busy person I especially love the fact That we don’t have to talk or hang out everyday but when we do get together we can pick up right where we left off.
I am a counselor-in-training. I find myself using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in almost every session with my clients. CBT is a great theory for counseling. It has been proven to be very effective and it is straight-forward and simple enough to explain what we are doing in therapy with my clients. In fact this educational aspect is an important part of CBT. I am also a Christian interning at a private practice site with other Christians. We integrate faith in sessions if the client is comfortable and desiring to also integrate the Christian faith in their sessions. I have been studying how faith-based CBT is often more effective than just regular/secular CBT where faith is not involved. I have searched hard to find a handbook or manual of “how-to” do a faith-based CBT different from a regular or secular CBT. I have not found an actual workbook or guidebook with examples and interventions for a Christian or Bible based CBT. I have some ideas of my own and I will share those but I am very curious to know if such a resource exists. In my mind there has to be. There continues to be a steady flow of research comparing faith-based CBT with non-faith based CBT, so I imagine that the researchers put together a manual or book of interventions based on each group they were studying. While these researchers may not have been able to sale those plans and books for ethical reasons, I would think that someone else would have thought about making money by creating a “Christian Cognitive Behavioral Manual” by now. Since I am not finding this resource, I am contemplating making my own! So the point of today’s post is to help me think through what some of the keys to such a resource would be: -use of Scripture to dispute irrational thoughts – use of Scripture to replace irrational thoughts with Biblical insight -use of prayer through-out the process, in-session and out of session as homework -the advantage of positive, healthy Christian fellowship to help against depression – the insight of Scripture on topics such as stress, anxiety, depression, emotions, behaviors, and the list goes on -the advantage of having Biblical morals to stand on -the opportunity for Christian accountability between partners, friends and/or pastors
Let me know if I am on the right track and if you have some more ideas. Thanks.