The use of positive psychology in coaching is deeply beneficial.
“Focus on the positive. The negative will show itself out the door.”
Chances are, you have already heard this statement (or variations of it) many times before. You have heard it from your friends. You have heard it from your parents. Your partner has tried to support you this way. You may have even used it on yourself to overcome a specific challenge.
And truth be told, it’s not for nothing!
Striving to be in a positive state, is hugely beneficial. It keeps us calm and focused. It soothes us down. And it prepares us for what’s ahead.
Psychologists have found, repeatedly too, that a positive mindset equals happiness… and even better health.
That’s why it’s important to bring the power of positivity to your coaching practice. First, to bring more positive thoughts and beliefs into your life as a coach. And then, pass on these positive influences to your coaching clients.
What Is Positive Psychology?
Put simply, positive psychology is a form of psychology that emphasizes the power of positive influences in a person’s life.
It is when you truly believe that if you focus on the positives, you will create better results in your life.
Positive psychology at its core is based on a belief that happiness comes from both emotional and mental factors. This is why it becomes necessary to focus on these factors first while dealing with any situation whatsoever.
As the common saying goes, mindset is everything!
Positive Psychology in Coaching
The art of coaching leverages the tender yet strong skills of empathy, understanding, and intuition. So much of what you do as a coach, lies in how you help your client navigate the negativity in their lives… that feeling of being “stuck” and not able to make progress.
This is where the use of positive psychology comes into play.
As a coach, there are several tools you can use to help your clients experience a breakthrough in their thought process, and step into a world of possibility, instead of one of the limitations and negative self-talk.
Here are 5 specific positive psychology coaching techniques you can use in your coaching practice that are based on positive psychology and will help your clients adopt a more holistic and positive approach to living.
Coaching Technique #1: Reflect On Your Ideal Self
Ask your clients to imagine their highest, most ideal selves. What do they see themselves becoming? What do they see themselves achieving? What do their daily lives look like?
Imagine this ideal self, and then try to feel the kind of emotions that this ideal self feels on a daily basis.
Write it down, and practice this exercise every day.
This is an exercise that’s designed to help your clients see the universe of possibility… of what they can be. This exercise allows them to look past the window of challenges in their current lives, and peek into the wonderful things that lie ahead.
It automatically puts them in a feel-good state!
Coaching Technique #2: Gratitude Journaling
You see, our brains are so often focused on the negative. We are quick to notice the negative instances in our lives. And more than that, we are ready to brood over them.
How often do you really appreciate yourself for the awesome things you do? Or look around you and realize that you are, in fact, in the best place you have been in, yet?
Gratitude journaling is a great exercise to put anybody into a state of appreciation, openness, and embrace.
Studies have actually shown that journaling, that is, actually writing down your feelings of gratitude, makes your transition into a positive state faster. This is because journaling engages both your mental as well as your physical faculties.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Next time you’re on a coaching session, recommend gratitude journaling as a daily practice for your client!
Coaching Technique #3: Positive-To-Negative Ratio Exercise
If done with the right intent, this exercise will be one of the most powerful positive psychology exercises you might ever come across.
The exercise prompts you to notice and reflect on 3 positive things in any 1 negative situation you find yourself in.
Psychologists have found that the 3:1 positive to negative ratio is an ideal balance for anyone to adopt a more positive outlook towards life. The idea of this exercise is to make positive the default state for yourself and your clients.
Go ahead, try it out today.
Coaching Technique #4: Appreciate Positive News
How much time do we spend ruminating on and appreciating positive news in our life?
We always spend a lot of time overthinking about the negative things that happen, but when something positive happens, we quickly forget it.
The idea of this exercise is to slow down, and intentionally appreciate the positive news in your life.
One can start by acknowledging their own success, professionally, or with a personal milestone. You can create an affirmative statement for yourself, and your clients… so that whenever there is negativity looming large, you can focus your energy and channel it through the affirmations.
This exercise requires focus and deep practice.
Coaching Technique #5: Forgiveness
Last but not the least, is practicing Forgiveness.
It is crazy how much anger and frustration befalls us when we hold onto unnecessary and bitter things in life. Like a past grudge, or a misunderstanding that has left a friendship broke.
Practicing forgiveness, intentionally, takes away all that stress in our body, and fills us up with positive energy.
The best way to do this is to take a piece of paper, and repeatedly write down the name of the person you wish to forgive until you have let go of the incident.
So, those were the five coaching techniques you can practice with your clients today, to adopt a more positive outlook on life. We all know that a positive person creates and achieves more. It’s time that we practice positive psychology, consciously.