Can a Life Coach Help With Depression
Rates of mental health concerns like depression and anxiety are steadily climbing. In the UK, approximately 1 in 6 adults struggled with depression in 2021. This issue correlates with other concerns, like loneliness and stress. While referrals for psychological treatment are increasing, people still require assistance to implement the strategies they learn. One of the best ways to do this is with help from a depression life coach. Let’s have a look at what a life coach can help you with, how they improve mental health, and how they target concerns like depression and anxiety specifically.
What Does a Life Coach Help With?
Before understanding whether a life coach can guide you in tackling depressive feelings, it’s worth getting an overview of what they help clients with. Life coaches are wellness professionals who help clients progress in different areas of life so they feel fulfilled.
In terms of mental health, they help you understand how the symptoms of depression come from a single source: the mind. When you struggle with a problem like depression, you may feel like you’re suffering because of what’s around you. A life coach can help you realise that you’re suffering as a result of your thinking about life as opposed to your life. With that realisation, you’ll start to improve in all areas.
Much of the process includes identifying the problem that looks like its preventing you from achieving your full potential. As you start to look inwards, see that what looks like the issue, is not the issue.
But It’s why life coaching has many types, such as:
- Career coaching to help you achieve your career goals
- Fitness and weight loss coaching, so you can lose weight
- Relationship coaching, so you can maintain happy and stable relationships
- Finance coaching to help tackle debt and money management
- Wellness coaching, so you can learn to prioritise self-care
- Mental health coaching for stress and mood management
Regardless of your struggles, a life coach can help you build a realistic strategy that addresses the problem. More importantly, they do so in a way that leverages your biggest strengths.
What Type of Person Needs a Life Coach?
You’re probably wondering if you can benefit from the services of a life coach. Speaking from experience, I’ve found that you don’t need to struggle with a major problem or life change to seek the services of a life coach.
And while it sounds quite paradoxical, I’d also say that no one needs the services of a life coach. Most people who want to hire the services of a life coach think that the answer is somewhere outside, when the potential to achieve their goals and live a better life has always been inside of them.
People often see the services of a life coach to help with the following – all of which are a result of the same misunderstanding:
- Feel unfulfilled in their relationship or career
- Feel dissatisfied with the way their life is going
- Experience a lack of creativity
- Can’t break their bad habits
- Experience high levels of stress
Although some people need assistance navigating a significant change, such as a new career, most people just want to lead more meaningful lives. Regardless of the issue, the answer lies inwards and a life coach can help you see that.
In the past few years, more and more entrepreneurs, executives, and creatives have been consulting life coaches to help them actualise their full potential.
Can Life Coaches Help with Mental Health?
In short, yes, a life coach can help with mental health problems. However, remember that this is in the context of issues that a life coach can help you with. So if you’re facing depressive thoughts and stress due to poor money management, an inability to achieve your goals, or failure to meet your fitness goals, a life coach can help.
When there’s a gap between your current situation and the person you want to be/life you want to live, anxious thoughts are more likely.
Regardless of the issue you’re facing, it will stem from a single point: the thoughts in your mind that hold you back, beliefs. Everything else is connected to this even if you cannot see it, and as your life coach, I’ll guide you on finding your true potential. Once you do see it, you’ll start to notice how things change: you’ll feel fulfilled, motivated, and happier naturally.
That being said, remember that life coaches have different qualifications from a certified mental health professional, a psychologist in most cases. As a certified therapist and life coach, I have credentials in both domains. This allows me to adopt a holistic approach that takes elements from coaching and therapy.
Can a Life Coach Help with Depression?
Clinical depression, also known as major depression, is a mood disorder. It includes symptoms like low mood, appetite changes, and decreased interest in fun activities, and it has various treatments, depending on the severity. As a life coach, my objective isn’t to make you do things that eliminate depression. In contrast, it’s to make you understand what depression is: the mind, protecting you, stopping you from achieving your full potential.
In all my years of experience as a therapist and life coach, I’ve seen that people with depression don’t suffer because of what happens in their life. In fact, they suffer because of their own thinking and feelings of separation.
Are There Strategies for Coping with Depression?
When people experience depressive thoughts, it can lead to a string of unhealthy coping methods. Based on my first-hand experience, this can include excessive sleeping, alcohol abuse, and binging on unhealthy food. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand that the key to addressing symptoms doesn’t lie in specific behaviours. Contrary to popular belief, your life coach won’t make you develop habits to supposedly alleviate your symptoms.
As your life coach, I’ll be helping you to uncover the necessary motivation to do what’s best for you. Remember that you have the potential and wisdom to make the right decisions for yourself. All you need is a little guidance on listening to yourself to harness that innate ability that is within.
Build a Routine
When low mood strikes, people may lose the energy to do things, which causes them to fall behind on several tasks. As these tasks pile up, they may overwhelm you and start a vicious cycle of sleeping late and not getting things done. With a life coach, you’ll build the motivation needed to start with a few basics, like, sleeping on time, and taking a shower in the morning. Over time, you’ll feel that your symptoms have become more manageable. One study also shows that having a daily routine can do wonders for your mental health, like stable sleeping patterns and better coping skills when faced with stressful situations.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
Depression comes with painful and intense emotions, so when you’re feeling hopeless or angry, you may no longer function properly. It may feel like there’s a grey cloud over your head and that it’ll never leave. When you feel so miserable, you’re less likely to want to spend time with other people. They may isolate themselves by saying that they’ll get around to speaking with friends ‘later.’
Similarly, you may need time to process complex emotions, feel highly sensitive to everything around you, or think that you don’t deserve support. In this situation, guidance from a life coach can give you insights into your mind. With a better understanding of your thoughts, you’ll experience newly found motivation that pushes you toward social interaction.
Balance Exercise and Nutrition
Life coaches can emphasise on incorporating exercise and nutritionally balanced meals into your routine, but not as a way to fix yourself. While exercise can have a beneficial effect on your mood, I can’t make you do it when you lack the motivation. As a life coach, I’ll guide you on finding the motivation to feel like you want to work out.
Studies show that physical activity can release endorphins and other neurotransmitters that restore the brain’s chemical balance. The same applies to nutrition. When you eat processed carbohydrates and sugar, you’re more likely to experience a ‘crash,’ which exacerbates low mood. A deeper understanding of how your mind works will encourage you to have balanced meals that provide essential vitamins and minerals can help manage symptoms.
Can a Life Coach Help with Stress?
Stress is a part of everyday life, and in some situations, it can even be productive. However, when your body is constantly pumping out cortisol, and you’re always in a state of overwhelm, you need help managing it. You may deal with stress due to a multitude of reasons, such as not being able to manage your time at work. In issues like these, a life coach can certainly help manage stress. Here’s how they do it:
How a Life Coach Helps You Tackle Stress
When you consult a life coach, one of the first things they do is help you realise that the source of the problem isn’t the outside world, but rather the mind. After realising this, you’ll start reflecting on your habits and get clarity on what you must change organically. Gradually, you’ll build insights you may not have previously considered.
These insights are crucial to develop coping mechanisms when faced with stressful situations. For instance, you may reduce stress by learning to say ‘no’ and setting healthy boundaries with your partner if your mind is clear, instead of taking resentment.
Of course, it’s not always possible to reduce stress by simply changing your behaviours. In these situations, your insights will lead to emotional resilience, so you react more calmly.
How Do I Permanently Deal with Anxiety?
Anxiety can manifest in the form of sweating, loss of appetite, and an inability to relax. It’s a feeling of worry and unease about the outcomes of an event. Stressful situations like an exam, upcoming performance evaluation, or an interview are common triggers for anxiety.
Although there are many ways to manage your anxious feelings, a long-term approach to tackling these thoughts involves looking inward and understanding your mind-body connection. It means knowing that anxiety is the body’s physiological response to stress. Once you understand this, you’ll become more aware of the things that lead to stress and manage your feelings toward them.
Can Life Coaches Help with Anxiety?
Yes, a life coach can definitely help with your anxiety. As a therapist and life coach, my approach involves helping you become more self-aware. Besides being a physiological manifestation of stress in the body, anxiety also acts as a protection mechanism. Knowing these links between stressors and your body’s response will allow you to realise that the issue comes from mind rather than the outside world.
What Does an Anxiety Coach Do?
In the simplest of terms, they guide you on how to understand your own mind. As a certified life coach and therapist, I help you look inwards so you can learn how your mind interprets the outside world and develops anxiety as a result.
By doing that, you understand that it’s not the outside that’s a problem, but your mind that perceives it as such. As a result, you’ll be able to:
- Understand what’s affecting your performance and overcome obstacles
- Seize new opportunities
- Build smaller goals that set you up for success
- Make sure you stay accountable towards those goals
- Budget your finances (since money is a major factor contributing to anxiety)
- Build a routine, so you manage your time efficiently
Awareness of the mind will address limiting beliefs and fears of failure, both contributing to anxiety. You can start off with smaller goals first. Channelling your focus on one small, objective goal at a time instead of an arbitrary outcome is a great technique to build your confidence and help you move forward.
Billing Services to Health Insurance Providers
Unlike therapy, coaching doesn’t count as a healthcare service. Therefore, health insurance providers don’t usually cover the cost of a life coach’s services. Any payment or fee-related agreement is between the client and their coach, who usually charge an hourly rate.
Diagnosing Mental Health Disorders
Insurance plans don’t cover a life coach’s services because they’re not healthcare professionals. Moreover, it’s also why they can’t diagnose or treat mental health disorders.
Even if your coach has psychology-related qualifications, you can only receive a diagnosis from a psychiatrist. Keep in mind that your life coach won’t ‘treat’ your depression or anxiety but rather help with managing it.
Advertising Their Services Using Terms Reserved for Licensed Professionals
Legally, life coaches can’t advertise their services using terms that imply ‘treatment’ or ‘diagnoses’ of mental health conditions. Rather, they can claim to improve discipline, time management, and goal setting. These can also change depending on the specific coaching services they offer, such as fitness or relationship coaching.
Give Unsolicited Advice
Besides legal boundaries, there are ethics surrounding life coaching as well. One of these ethical guidelines is to not give unsolicited advice or attempt to fix the client’s problem by themselves. Instead, they should practice active listening and build a rapport that’s conducive to insight-building and coming up with solutions.
Act as a Guru
A common misconception is that you can approach a life coach with your problems, and they’ll provide you with an instant solution. Remember that life coaches aren’t know-alls who have all the answers you’re looking for. Instead, they’ll help you find a solution along the way while ensuring that you achieve personal and career growth.
Mentor the Client
Life coaches can use several methodologies to help their clients set goals and achieve them. While these approaches may be based on their personal experience, remember that your life coach isn’t your mentor. That would be someone who advises clients to take a specific action based on their experience. In contrast, a life coach encourages you to build your own perspective to lead a fulfilled life.
While some of these are legal requirements, others are ethical guidelines that help define a productive coach-client relationship. It’s important that you understand them before seeking a life coach’s services to help with your depression or anxiety.
The Outcomes of Consulting a Life Coach
A little guidance from a life coach can lead to positive outcomes. Here’s how building a deeper understanding of yourself if beneficial.
It Makes You Self-Aware
A major aspect of coaching is that it harnesses your strengths to overcome weaknesses. Based on my experience, many people who consult a life coach have yet to look inward and learn about themselves. As you navigate the real world and accomplish structured goals with guidance from a professional, you learn more about your strengths and what makes you happy.
It Makes You Accountable for Reaching Goals
From getting a certification course to losing 10 kilograms by the end of the year, we all have goals we want to achieve. However, a majority of these go unfulfilled due to a lack of discipline or poor time management. When you consult a life coach, they help you build the motivation to track your progress. This applies whether you’re trying to quit a smoking habit or stick to a healthy meal plan.
It Helps You Feel Fulfilled
A lack of fulfilment in one’s life often comes from regretting past decisions. Working with a life coach will give you insights into your own potential and as a result, you’ll reach for opportunities and try your best. They’ll also guide you on how to stop dwelling on the past and live in the present.
When you’re struggling with depressive feelings, a life coach can help you find the motivation to build a steady routine and manage symptoms. And if you deal with anxious thoughts, a life coach can guide you on understanding that the problem lies in the mind rather than outside. If you want to be aware of your own potential, you’ll find that coaching is effective for keeping you on track towards your goals.