Tony is a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation. He is a trainer with Erickson Coaching International teaching classes weekly, online, around the US and Canada, as well as internationally. He regularly teaches Erickson's The Art and Science of Coaching, an ICF Accredited Coach Training Program, NLP Practitioner Courses, and Sales Training. He runs a highly successful international one on one Coaching practice out of his hometown, Seattle.
How Being a Coach Can Make You Healthy & Happy
There are many benefits to being a professional coach, from the financial aspect to the personal satisfaction of seeing others reach their full potential. It is exciting to complete the extensive life and business coach training required for such an influential profession, plus the continual drive to learn more everyday keeps a coach motivated. After all, it is easier to help others become successful when you are applying the principles of success to your own life. Even though you don't have to be an expert in every client's field, it can only increase your positive influence when you are able to model personal success in your own profession.
Coaches Focus on the Positive
One benefit of being a successful coach is that it can actually enhance your healthiness and happiness. This truth can be illustrated by moving from the negative to the positive. Have you ever wondered how people who work every day with clients that are depressed, distressed, or in mourning don't get depressed themselves? The fact of the matter is that they do sometimes get influenced by the situation and mindset of those with which they constantly deal.
A traditional counselor has conversations about anxiety, fear, depression, and all the things that are wrong in a person's life every single day. Even though these people are trained professionals, who are supposed to be able to separate themselves from the problems of their clients, there is a residual negative impact that seems unavoidable. A coach, on the other hand, can experience positive influence from his work. Because a coach is having daily conversations with people about hope, confidence, reaching future goals, and so on, he is very likely to have a much more positive outlook himself. This clearly leads to benefits in the areas of both physical and mental health. This concept seems logical, but there is much more to it than you might realize at first.
The Science of Happiness
The study of the human brain has rendered some amazing facts that make sense of this sort of phenomenon. The neurons in the brain make synaptic connections based on the stimuli you encounter. A neural network forms which fires certain neurons in specific circumstances. The emotional component of the brain gives meaning to every sensation, memory, hope, and fear, and enables you to interpret the world. The electrical/chemical firings of these neurons gives you a sense of reality based on your present experiences, memories of the past, and anticipations of what you expect to happen in the future.
In the front of the brain exists areas of motor command neurons, which have been known for decades, but there have been more recent discoveries about this part of the brain. About 20 percent of these neurons are now understood to be mirror neurons. Studies have shown that the same neurons fire when we watch someone move their hand as when we move our own hand. This accounts for the human ability to empathize with another person's experience. It is why you cringe when you see someone get hurt, or imitate their facial expressions while they tell you a story. In other words, your brain has the tendency to try on the emotional state of another person so that you can understand them properly.
It stands to reason that this can lead to depression in those who are constantly empathizing with the negative emotions of depressed clients. It also accounts for the positive influence experienced by those who are interacting with the emotions of clients who are focusing on the good things about life. Being a coach can have a very positive impact on your personal life. It is a profession that actually leads to an enhanced emotional condition, which aids in the reduction of stress, which produces benefits in your physical health.
Have any other coaches out there noticed an improvement in your overall health and happiness since you started coaching? I'd love to hear your experiences!