Lunch and Learn

Turning Your Therapy Side Hustle into a Full-Time Profession A Realistic Guide

Ah, the tantalising dream of turning a passion project into a full-fledged career. As the mental health sector burgeons, the prospect of transitioning your therapy side gig to a profession feels enticing. But let’s be clear: it’s not merely about having the expertise or the good heart. To truly thrive, you need business acumen. Here’s my two-penneth on how to make this ambition a reality.

The Power of Mentorship

I vividly recall the early days of my venture, when a leading PR maven in Sheffield, having listened to my vision, charmingly dismissed it as a ‘lifestyle business’—but that moment of redirection led me to invaluable resources. That’s the magic of having a mentor or business coach. These experienced guides don’t just offer advice; they’re the lighthouses on your entrepreneurial voyage, illuminating pitfalls and opportunities alike.

Network Like Your Career Depends On It (Because It Does!)

You might think networking is the domain of suited-up corporate folks. Wrong! Therapists like you and me need a network – not just for referrals but also for collaborative growth. Sites like Eventbrite are teeming with local business networking events. And then, there are tailored communities such as The Growth Community and BNI. The latter instil the ‘Give As Gain’ ethos, which isn’t about selling but educating others about your ideal client. The right network turns peers into your personal marketing squad.

Remember, each networking mode has its quirks. Online offers convenience, face-to-face promises depth, and hybrid? The best of both! Your goal? Become the therapist everyone “knows, likes, and trusts.”

It’s Not Just Business, It’s Personal

Recognise this: you’re not merely offering a service but catalysing life transformations. So, price your services rightfully. And it’s not just about that session hour. Consider the prep, post-session documentation, and the plethora of unseen tasks. You are your brand, and your price reflects your value.

Show Me the Money

Making a career leap demands financial acumen. So, seek grants and funding opportunities. For instance, when I ventured into becoming a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Sheffield Launchpad was my financial godsend. It might take grit and a bit of resourcefulness, but with a hawk-eyed search, you can locate the funds to ease your transition.

Boundaries and Resilience

Every so often, doubts and setbacks will knock on your door. In such moments, let a personal mantra or quote reignite your fire. And as you grow, don’t shy from seeking external support, be it a virtual assistant or a marketer. Know which hat you don at every juncture – are you the therapist, the marketer, or the admin today? But amidst this hustle, remember to hit pause. Rest is not just crucial; it’s non-negotiable.

The Final Word

Turning your therapy side hustle into a full-time profession sometimes feels like threading a needle in the dark. But with a strategic approach, a robust network, financial planning, and oodles of resilience, you’re setting yourself up for success.

Embrace this journey with its highs and lows, for on the other side lies a fulfilling career waiting to be moulded by you. Take the leap, and your future self (and those countless lives you’ll touch) will be eternally grateful.

wellbeing consultancy during lockdown

How I Continued To Support My Clients Through Lockdown Due To A Pandemic!!

wellbeing consultancy during lockdownMonday 23rd March seems a long time away, but that was the last client I saw face to face in my clinic in Broomhill Sheffield. I remember the session very well; she wasn’t typical of my clients. They are usually aged between 40 – 50, women business owners who are suffering due to the loss of identity and confidence; who have lost their direction in life due to raising a family, running their own business or driven in their career.

In a nutshell, I help them to rediscover their identity, they gain better clarity, feel more motivated, confident, and in full control of their life.

On this occasion, I was working with a lady who was struggling to cope with her mental health. Her anxiety was affecting her relationship with her partner and her ability to concentrate at work.

The sessions continued over the internet using the Zoom video-conferencing application, as have all my client coaching and consultancy sessions on the easy-to-use platform. However, not everyone is using, or familiar with this programme. Some prefer Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Go To Meeting, Whatsapp, Skype, Messenger or BlueJeans, described by app developers that it provides an immersive video, audio ad web conferencing experience. It took me ages to download and run this application.

I had to learn how to deal with the unexpected quickly, and oh yes I had plenty of encounters, come on, what would you do if you’re delivering a hypnosis session then you hear a loud knock at the door from the courier driver delivering your Amazon goods? Usually, those items would have been transported to my clinic.

Young children and babies seeking the attention of their mums, then you’ve got the family pets who also want to get in on the act. Or you see the hubby scamper through the bedroom in just his underwear, not realising that his partner has someone else in the bedroom, albeit on the other end of the computer.

Do you want to hear my favourite story? I was delivering an online webinar for the South Yorkshire Expo, which involved sharing my computer screen so that I can present a PowerPoint presentation. I’d hosted a similar event for the Federation of Small Business the week before and a few others during the lockdown, therefore, I was familiar with the setup.

I could see all the delegates online in their little square boxes, some with videos turned off, which is something that I learned to familiarise with rather than being irritated.

The host gave an eloquent introduction then handed over to me. I addressed the online audience and proceeded to provide an overview of my session. At this point, I ensued to share my computer screen, and up popped my carefully rehearsed presentation.

All appeared to be going well, plenty of engagement, good use of the chat facility, and I could see plenty of thumbs up. Until I noted a message in the chatbox, saying “Mike, we only see a picture of a brain.” On my screen, I’d moved on further into the presentation at least seven slides further on.

Oops, my screen share had paused, I’d done this in error and was not aware of this. Therefore, I was yapping away for five minutes or more over a picture of a brain, possibly on a topic which had nothing in common with the brain!!

I received a lovely message following an event which said, thanks so much for the time you spent today giving us some takeaways for our mental positivity. Just seeing your wonderful smile all the way through made a huge difference to the day!

Messages such as this are heartfelt, and this is the very reason why I love what I do.

Adapting to this way of working has definitely been an enjoyable learning curve and who knows this may be the new way of working for many of us in the future.

If you know anyone in your world, friends, neighbours, work colleagues who you think would benefit from spending some time with me, please ask them to get in touch. I’d be delighted to arrange a free 30-minute consultation.

Telephone 0114 327 2683 or email

Best rated therapist in Sheffield 2019

The Best Therapist in Sheffield 2019

Best rated therapist in Sheffield 2019

??What an honour – My practice has been hand-picked to be rated one of the top 3 therapists in Sheffield, UK! ?

This required a 50-Point Inspection that includes local reviews, history, trading standards, ratings, satisfaction, trust, price and their general excellence. As they put it, ‘Only the bee’s knees!’

To view the result of the inspection click on the link below.


Jon Covey Podcast - Life coach Sheffield


Jon Covey Podcast - Life coach Sheffield

Stress Management Expert, Consultant & Integrative Therapist Mike Lawrence shares his life journey.

Mike has spent a large number of years helping others thrive, be that in the workplace or their life. Today’s episode, Mike shares his journey, his stint at Butlins as a Redcoat and how he now helps to remove stress from your life.

Click on the link below to listen

Mike Lawrence - Life Coach in Sheffield, Holistic Therapist, Hypnotherapy

Fiona Duncan-Steer Founder at RSViP Business Networking Agency

REVIEW: Mike Lawrence Consultancy & Mike Lawrence - Life Coach in Sheffield, Holistic Therapist, HypnotherapyHolistic Therapies

Mike Lawrence has been hailed in the media as having a ‘gift’  being the ‘go-to’ person when considering a holistic treatment…

Treatments advertised on Mike’s website range from stress management and life coaching to cognitive behavioural solutions and Chinese therapies.  Many of these therapies are given with the aim of assisting and encouraging people to, for example, quit smoking, manage pain, stress and anxiety, and he covers many health issues through integrative therapy.

Upon meeting Mike, I felt an instant calming feeling, as his persona is just that, very relaxed and content in himself- something many could learn from.   I visited Mike at his clinic based in Sheffield recently and if I’m honest I wasn’t entirely sure which treatment (s) I was booked in for, I simply booked in for a ninety minute session with the knowledge that Mike knew his ‘stuff’ and would assess accordingly when I arrived and advise on which way to go from there and I was exactly right.   Although Mike is a qualified hypnotherapist and also trained in the Chinese art of acupressure and Tui na he is also very spiritual and intuitive meaning he has the benefit of being able to assess very quickly and easily what a client requires of him and which treatments or combination of treatments he should administer, therefore each patient is treated as a bespoke case as such.

Mike’s demographic aims at anyone interested and open-minded enough to embrace his treatments and theories, however specifically busy professionals often visit for assistance in many of the above treatments, with them living busy lives and needing that little bit of encouragement to simply slow down and manage their stress levels.  We all lead busy lives these days so this could apply to anyone- perhaps you are going through a difficult time at present, grieving a passed loved one or you could be busy parents who may not be getting enough sleep- sleep is another of Mike’s specialities!

I mentioned previously that Mike is a very intuitive person and as such offers what is called intuitive therapy- integrative psychotherapy that utilises intuition to uncover what the client senses but may not be consciously aware of.  This was something Mike used with me after taking me into a very deep state of relaxation through hypnosis – something I have never experienced before, nor thought I’d be able to do.  As a busy professional myself my mind is always overactive, and I often find it difficult to shut myself off; in particular when asleep and so over the years I have experienced affected sleep patterns as well as stress and anxiety which many of us have and will in various stages of their lives.  Often we try to self-diagnose or visit the doctor whereby medication is often the only remedy offered, however as someone who only resorts to Western medicine as the last option and prefers to seek natural and holistic approaches to everything in my life; I found Mikes treatments to be extremely interesting.   I would say that I have experienced more than the average person when it comes to what is commonly known as ‘alternative therapies’ and have embraced them all individually for the benefits they offer,  however I learnt a lot from my visit with Mike Lawrence having never heard of for example intuitive therapy or known much about integrative therapies.

Mikes knowledge in the areas in which he promotes is vast, and he is visibly passionate about his work and the industry in which he works.  We spent a good hour post-treatment just chatting about all things natural and health-related and found many synergies with our daily routines and diets.  For example, Mike likes to juice and uses sea moss /seeds in his juices and smoothies as I do.  We also shared recommended brands of natural products we have tried and tested- for example, deodorants and skin care that omit the dangerous, nasty chemicals, so many common brands contain and Mike kindly emailed me some of his favourite products following my time with him.

Interestingly Mike also runs a ‘Mind Spa- A session (half day) at the Mind Spa is a different kind of spa, one designed to offer preventive wellness for the mind and body.  There is also a corporate wellness programme on offer for companies who wish to implement an in-house wellness protocol to help improve employee productivity and a general healthy work environment.

Within my time with Mike I was given hypnotherapy, intuitive therapy and a combination of acupressure and Tui Na- at the end of the treatment when in discussion, I mentioned that my calves often feel very tense and therefore often tender- on a scale of one to ten I was asked what the pain level was at that current moment and I responded with an eight.  Mike spent a few seconds doing some energy work (likened to reiki) and in a matter of seconds he then again asked me what the pain was from one to ten- It had reduced to a three!

Mike goes above and beyond to assist in whatever you are looking to achieve in your life to bring you to optimum health as best as he can and to encourage you to be the best version of yourself in various ways.

Some things need no explanation. I highly recommend a visit to Mike for an improved overall mind and body cleanse and don’t forget to take your open mind along with you.







pain relief in Sheffield alternative natural pain relief

Alternative Pain Relief in Sheffield: 7 Ways To Use Your Mind To Manage Pain

pain relief in Sheffield alternative natural pain relief

Based on the best quality studies of general population samples, the estimated prevalence of chronic pain in the UK is 43%. This equates to just under 28 million people.

Drugs are very effective and essential for many at managing and getting rid of pain, but they often have unpleasant side effects.

If you suffer or currently living with musculoskeletal pain, fibromyalgia, backache or any other chronic pain that inhibits your quality of life, there are alternative ways that you may want to consider that doesn’t involve the use of drugs.

Are you familiar with meditative walking, tai chi, breathing exercises, positive thinking, yoga and other mind-body techniques that will give you the ability to reduce your reliance on medication to manage your pain?

Studies have shown that chronic pain might not only be caused by physical injury but also by stress and emotional issues. In particular, people who have experienced trauma and suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are often at a higher risk to develop chronic pain.

Events or stressors that make you anxious or upset, such as a death in the family or the loss of a job, release cortisol in your body causing inflammation, increased heart rate, and narrowing of your blood vessels. Those changes in your body cause you to feel pain.

Additionally, when you experience emotionally difficult times, stress can weaken your body’s immune system and make you more susceptible to colds and other infections.

Constant pain can interfere with your daily life, keeping you from doing things you want and need to do. it can be a natural instinct to eat or drink too much and skip out on regular exercise, it can take a toll on your self-esteem and make you feel angry, frustrated, anxious, and depressed.

The link between depression and pain is why doctors often use antidepressants as one treatment for pain relief. These drugs can help with both the pain and the emotional strain it causes. Pain also interferes with sleep and raises your stress levels. Both a lack of sleep and more stress can make pain feel stronger.

Mike Lawrence says…

“performing a combination of mind-body activities increases the effectiveness of relief from pain.”

Pain Relief Techniques To Take Your Mind Off Pain

The following techniques can help you take your mind off the pain and may help to override established pain signals.

1. Alternate Nostril Breathing

Is a simple yet powerful technique that relaxes the mind, body, and emotions. It is particularly helpful to ease a busy mind if you are experiencing anxiety, stress, or having trouble falling asleep.

With just a few minutes of alternate nostril breathing, you can restore balance and ease in the mind and body. Sometimes when we feel exhausted or find ourselves doing too many things at the same time, it’s because energetically, we are out of alignment. This breath is great for restoring that essential balance.

2. Tai Chi

Is a low-impact, slow-motion, mind-body exercise that combines breath control, meditation, and movements to stretch and strengthen muscles. Some solid research shows that tai chi can benefit people with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, tension headache, and other ongoing, painful conditions.

In one trial, for example, 66 people with fibromyalgia were randomized into two groups: one group took tai chi classes twice a week, the other group attended wellness education and stretching sessions twice a week. After 12 weeks, those in the tai chi group reported less pain, fewer depression symptoms, and better sleep than the control group. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

3. Meditation

Journal of Pain, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Pain Society, found meditation an effective tool in reducing pain and anxiety. Meditation is about being in the present, the now moment and focusing on bringing positive energy to yourself and releasing low vibration, (negative energy) away from yourself.

Some people choose to use meditation only when they’re in pain or feeling stressed. Others, like me, incorporate meditation into their daily routine. I start off every morning with a series of meditations to help me find my energy balance before I walk out the door, during treatments and sessions in my clinic and prior to going to bed.

4. Integrative Therapy

Many people simply put up with the relentless pains that never seem to show up on scans. Most of my clients have been prescribed endless tablets to manage their various discomforts, but like you, they just grin and bear it as the doctors and the medication isn’t really helping. I have been very successful in helping many people just like you.

Aside from its calming and stress-relieving properties, Integrative therapy also provides an intensive cleansing effect by flushing out toxins from the body. The application of deep and gentle pressure on the limbs and trunk helps loosen built up toxins and transports them in appropriate pathways to be neutralised and eliminated from the body.

Allowing the body’s built-in recuperative powers to function efficiently and the body to revitalise the balance itself. In the past, practitioners discovered that the vitality travels throughout the body, head, extremities and organs along meridians via chakras, the body’s energy centres. The vitality is called ‘Yuki’ and is a positive, living dynamic energy.

5. Yoga

While many forms of yoga practice are safe, some are energetic and may not be suitable for everybody. In particular, the elderly or those with mobility problems may want to check first with their doctor before choosing yoga as an option.

But for many people dealing with depression, anxiety, or stress, yoga may be a very attractive way to better manage symptoms. Indeed, the scientific study of yoga demonstrates that mental and physical health are not just closely associated but are fundamentally equal. The evidence is growing that yoga is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health.

Neuroscientific studies demonstrate that our brains physically change when we experience positive or negative emotions. This plays a significant role in how well we manage pain, especially on a daily basis.

We also know that areas of the brain can be influenced by thought. For example, if you are feeling extremely anxious, your pain threshold will decrease.

The mind and body are in constantly communicating, therefore, a perception of pain can change dependent on the way we feel it. This is why shifting our perspectives about our pain is very important—it’s an effective way to control our symptoms, no drugs required.

When we turn negative thoughts into positive ones, we change everything. We stop letting pain control our lives by moving forward and growing stronger. Adopting a more positive outlook on life doesn’t just change the way we think, it changes the way we feel.

One small change can make a powerful difference. It improves our symptoms almost immediately, and when we improve our symptoms, our outlook improves on life improves.

6. Change Your Environment

Pain isn’t just rooted in your body and mind, it’s also a constant factor within your environment and your social environment.

All too often people who are in constant pain withdraw from contact with their family and friends. They feel inhibited by their symptoms or too embarrassed or distracted to reach out to loved ones.

Don’t make the same mistake. Support is a valuable asset and can come in the form of life coaching, integrative therapy and hypnotherapy. Facing challenges is easier when you aren’t alone.

7. Relaxation Techniques For Pain Relief

Relaxation exercises calm your mind, reduce stress hormones in your blood, relax your muscles, and elevate your sense of well-being. Using them regularly can lead to long-term changes in your body to counteract the harmful effects of stress.

“There isn’t a secret formula or one ‘right’ or ‘best’ relaxation technique. You may have to experiment with several to find the one that works for you.” Mike Lawrence says. Choose whatever relaxes you: music, prayer, gardening, going for a walk, talking with a friend on the phone. Here are some other techniques you might try:

  • Foursquare breathing. Sometimes referred to as the box breathing technique, breathe deeply, so that your abdomen expands and contracts like a balloon with each breath. Inhale to a count of four, hold for a count of four, exhale to a count of four, then hold to a count of four. Repeat for ten rotations.
  • Guided imagery. Breathe slowly and deeply. For example, imagine a peaceful environment in which you feel comfortable, enthusiastic, and relaxed. Incorporate colours, sounds, smells, and your feelings. Repeat five to ten minutes daily.
  • Self-talk. I often encourage clients to change how their internal dialogue and how they think about their pain. For example, I may ask a client to change “Pain prevents me from some of the activities that I used to do – I don’t care anymore” to “I can achieve anything that I want to when I put my mind to it. I can visualise it already done.”
  • I’m a registered holistic hypnotherapist, therefore, I would induce hypnosis with a client and implant suggestions, such as, “You’re going to sleep soundly tonight.” Provide an audio recording of the session so that the client can listen at home.

I would love to help you on this journey.

As always, I hope this helps. Feel free to share this with your family, friends and colleagues.

“The pain of the mind is worse than the pain of the body” – Publilius Syrus

Best Alternative Medicine & Holistic Health Service Sheffield

Best Alternative Medicine & Holistic Health Service


Best Alternative Medicine & Holistic Health Service Sheffield

Customer Service Excellence Award 2019 – South Yorkshire

Following extensive preparations, research and deliberation, I am absolutely delighted to confirm Mike Lawrence Holistic Therapies as one of our chosen winners’ for the 2019 Alternative Medicine & Holistic Health Awards hosted by GHP-News!

These awards were designed to recognise those who go above and beyond for their patients and customers, striving to offer relief and reassurance in places where more traditional medicine cannot.

Having looked into the work of Mike Lawrence Holistic Therapies, in particular, the client/customer relationship, company growth, dedication to innovation, we feel as though we have been able to do just that!

Bark certificate of excellence life coach Sheffield

Bark Certificate of Excellence – 2019 Winner

Bark certificate of excellence life coach SheffieldMike Lawrence is delighted to have won a Bark Certificate of Excellence Award 2019.

Every day thousands of people visit Bark online to hire professionals to help them suffering from stress, feeling depressed, suffering from chronic pain or struggling to cope with some aspect of their life, therefore, seeking a life coach.

The Certificate of Excellence Awards acknowledge the best professionals on Bark who stand out from the crowd and offer an outstanding service to their clients.

Mike Lawrence Holistic Therapies is privileged to have been recognised as one of the best in the category for Holistic Therapy.


International Stress Conference

How To Actively Take Control of Your Time and Your Life 2019

Price: £27 EarlyBird booking if you book before 29th December 2018, price will then increase to £47

Do you want to get more done in 2019?

Are you ready to take more control of your life and reduce or even completely stop procrastinating?

Or have you been feeling that it’s about time I made significant progress towards my life’s ambitions?

Then come to our workshop in Sheffield where we will learn and discover methods on how to make 2019 one our best years yet!

Price includes:

  • Entrance to the 3-hour event
  • Receive 7 Top Tips packed with nuggets of information that will transform your life and help you follow through with your New Year’s resolution
  • Individual (one-to-one) 40-minute follow-up coaching session either face-to-face or Skype after the event
  • Refreshments and snacks at the event
  • Networking opportunity and maybe finding an accountability partner to keep each other on track
  • Demonstration of benefit of holistic therapy treatment

We all know that everyone makes resolutions and commitments to things that they want to change or otherwise improve. Everything from losing weight, giving up smoking, stop gambling, making more money, finding true love, or getting a better job. And of course, around the holidays people get really excited setting goals. But unfortunately, statistics show it only takes 2-3 weeks before almost 80% of them give up!

That’s right. Nearly 80% of the people who said they want to make significant changes in their life never actually do it. So why do so many people give up? We’ll discuss that as well at the workshop.

Just look at Levi Roots. Musician, restaurateur and philanthropist, who was guest speaker in Sheffield recently. He said, mentors (coaches) can help to offer a sounding board to explore new ideas, as well as helping to connect business owners with the support and advice they need.

He said: “After appearing on Dragon’s Den my career took off in so many exciting directions and at an accelerated pace. Once again, the coaching I received from Peter Jones proved to be instrumental in the development of my business. His guidance and business expertise were crucial to the final outcome.”

We don’t all have businesses, but we’re all looking to keep becoming better.

Also, a client who was a member of the 2018 workshop wrote: “I am delighted to have been introduced to Mike, he was brilliant. The reason I contacted him was to seek advice about the broken relationship between my partner and I. Mike was not only a very good listener, he also made me feel at ease, whilst he uncovered some of the issues which I had which were underlying. This was by talking through with me about the situation, which was seemingly beyond repair. However following Mike’s coaching, my partner and I have become a lot closer than ever before. We now enjoy the most fantastic loving relationship. I am over the moon and the last few weeks have been amazing! Thanks so much from us both Mike.”

This is why we are offering this workshop in Sheffield, so you can witness first-hand the benefits of having that little extra bit of help and support towards your goals.

Some of the things we’ll be going through are:

  • Addressing any negative emotions, you are feeling
  • Getting clarity on what you want from life
  • Identifying a better career path
  • Working through relationship issues
  • Support on improving your health or losing weight
  • Stop smoking with hypnosis
  • Figuring out why you are struggling financially
  • Getting unstuck from any situation that may be holding you back
  • Ridding yourself of fears and phobias
  • Fear of flying

But please be aware that we can only accommodate a limited number of people throughout the day. Because we are providing focused sessions, we want to make sure we have enough time to help everyone who signs up. So, if you are ready to tackle the New Year and stick to your goals and commitments, make sure to sign up early!

Looking forward to meeting and supporting you as best as I can.

Click here to reserve your place.

Health Sheffield, stop smoking, stress management, life coach in Sheffield

People Must Take Responsibility for own Health

Health Sheffield, stop smoking, stress management, life coach in SheffieldHealth Secretary, Matt Hancock, triggered a row after urging people to take greater responsibility for their own health to tackle the rising toll of illness from diseases such as cancer and obesity.

In a speech on Monday the Health and Social Care Secretary called for a big increase in people making healthier lifestyle choices, such as reducing the amount of alcohol and junk food they consume.

Speaking ahead of the speech Hancock said “We need to do far more to personally take responsibility for our own health.”

In his speech outlining plans for a major push to prevent ill health, Hancock will say: “Prevention is also about ensuring that people take greater responsibility for managing their own health. It’s about people choosing to look after themselves better, staying active and stopping smoking. Making better choices by limiting alcohol, sugar, salt and fat.”

Professionals criticise health secretary’s call for adoption of healthier lifestyles.

Simon Capewell, a professor of public health and policy at Liverpool University, said the minister was right to emphasise the need for effective prevention of epidemics such as obesity, diabetes and dementia.

But he added: “We must recognise the huge power of our lived environment and avoid naively just focusing on ‘personal responsibility’ and ‘individual choices’. People do not ‘choose’ obesity or diabetes or cancer. They have just been overwhelmed by a toxic environment.”

Stress Relief At Work – How To Alleviate Work Stress

Earlier this year I was invited to Frankfurt to deliver a workshop on how to alleviate work stress at the 4th International Conference on Depression, Anxiety and Stress Management.

Let’s take a look at some interesting findings

  • Image-conscious women spend more than twice as much money every year on looking good than they do on feeling good
  • Materialistic Britons believe having money is more important than enjoying good health or a happy family life
  • Women spend more years of their life in poor health than men
  • Brits spend more time on the loo than they do on exercise

Ageing Well: How Can We Make Longer Lives Healthier?

Public Health England October 2016 claimed the number of people living today aged 60 and over has doubled since 1980, and by 2050 we can expect to see the number of people aged 80 or more quadruple to 395 million.

Over four million (or 40 per cent) of people in the UK over the age of 65 have a limiting long-term health condition, such as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, cancer, arthritis and dementia.

Many of these conditions are linked to lifestyle and modifiable behaviours and declines in mortality have not been matched by declines in morbidity with marked inequalities between the least deprived and the most deprived areas remaining.

It Is Never Too Late To Make A Change

Our experiences throughout life can have a negative or positive influence on health, affecting the risk of chronic disease and other health outcomes in later life.

Timely interventions during midlife and beyond offer great potential to increase wellbeing, maintain health in both body and mind and reduce the risk of losing independence.

Research evidence sets out key actions for professionals to promote a healthy lifestyle for people in midlife and beyond. These include:

  • Stopping smoking: it is never too late to stop smoking, and after the age of 35-40, a person loses three months of life expectancy for every year of continued smoking.
  • Being more active: research shows that physical activity in older age has multiple benefits, including reduced mortality, improvement of physical and mental capacities and enhanced social outcomes.
  • Reducing alcohol consumption: chronic conditions caused by alcohol misuse include liver cirrhosis, and evidence suggests that regular excessive drinking increases the risk of the most common forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia
  • Improving diet and maintaining a healthy weight: a healthy diet is key to staying well as people age, and there are a number of causes of malnutrition in older people including socio-economic hardship, a lack of knowledge about nutrition, disease and the use of medications and social isolation

These are times when people may consider adopting new healthy behaviours or may be at risk of adopting unhealthy ones.

Life coach Sheffield, stress management Sheffield

Five Strategies to Live in The Present, Connect with People, And Enjoy the Life You’re Actually Living

Life coach Sheffield, stress help SheffieldHave you ever felt like a whole month just completely passed you by and you hardly remember even being there or where it’s gone? Or maybe you’ve been wanting to achieve something for a long time but you always seem to procrastinate and never get it done. If this sounds familiar, then you, my friend, need to harness the power of the present moment.

Here’s 5 tips to help you do that:

1.     Eliminate distractions which affect your health and wellbeing

Manage your life health and wellbeing, diet and exercise to boost your energy. Turn off the news on TV. Set up a bedtime routine, which will improve your sleep, and create a fitness routine. These 5 actions will give you a clearer mind and energy to do go about your daily life. They will make you appreciate relaxation, your health and wellness. Achieving your goals in the long-term perspective is what you want but burning out quickly can increase your levels of stress and this is what you get without sufficient sleep, lack of a healthy diet and insufficient exercise.

2.     Don’t let fear pull you into the future

Obsessive thinking about the future is a sure way to lose track of the present.

There is a one kind of feeling inside each of us that stops us from achieving our goals and dreams – a feeling that can suppress you and stop you from being who you want to be.

The word I am talking about is FEAR. What is fear? FEAR stands for


Why are we afraid to reach for the dreams? Are they too unreal? Or maybe we are not in a position to achieve them?

Some of my friends and colleagues are going through a difficult time in their lives. Their discomfort is not about paying bills although money could be tight.

Fortunately, they can take care of the essentials. What has them worried is the loss of direction and what the outcome of Brexit could mean to them.

When life was going well, everything seemed to be in order. Now that the security rug due to redundancies, shorter working hours and low annual pay increases, the rug has been pulled out from under them, they feel vulnerable and can’t seem to find their bearings.

It is okay to question your life’s purpose. It’s okay to say, “I’m not sure where the future will take me, but I will learn new skills if need be, plan and secure my future.” You aren’t in crisis. You don’t have to physically move to experience your next stage of life. In fact, take time out, meditate, create a dream board and reflect. Take advantage of the pause.

Most of us look too hard to find a unique, profound, and tangible reason for our existence. Instead, seek to discover everything that makes you feel alive and connected in the here and now.

Choosing to find a sense of direction over a destination can make your life easier. You can quit feeling disappointed with your life or afraid for your future.

When you release the need to know how your life will turn out, you live for a feeling instead of a goal. You appreciate what sparks

3.     Try the Savouring Strategy

Take notice of something particularly positive – something that makes you feel good. It might be the sound of your favourite recording artist, the majesty of a tree in your garden, or the chirping of birds as they fly around in a park. Absorb yourself in the details. Notice any positive feelings present within you – such as peacefulness, energylovevitality, gratitude, hopeinterest, or other feelings. Tune in closely to one of these feelings. Feel it fully as you enjoy the nature scene. Stick with that positive emotion. Appreciate how good it feels.  Extend it by breathing with it. It might feel as if your breath is enhancing your feeling, deepening it. If the feeling fades, turn to another positive feeling or to another pleasurable part of the nature scene.

Not all moments are savour worthy — but the ones that are should be savoured immediately.

4.     Use breathing as a catalyst for the present moment

The breath is the simplest and most powerful way to stay present in every moment because the breath is always present!  We can’t breathe into the future or the past. There is always only one breath and it’s happening right now

By focusing your attention on your breath every day, you help your mind to slow down and catch up with the present. You’ll start to notice your surroundings and time seems to slow down. At that moment, the world is your oyster and you have full capacity to take action and design the life you really want.

5.     Enjoy the ride

We often get so caught up with achieving something or becoming someone that we forget to enjoy the journey. And truthfully, the journey is the reason why you!

When you finally make it to your goal, if you do, you come to find out that you now want something else, and the journey continues to unfold. You never really reach a final point where you’ve done it all and you feel complete. There are just endless present moments to enjoy, unfolding infinitely.

So, take the time to pause throughout your day, take a deep breath, let go of the past, set your sights on a possible goal, then take your time walking every single step of the journey that lies ahead of you.

Mike Lawrence is a life coach in Sheffield, offering holistic therapies that include how to treat stress via stress management techniques.

Formula 1 British Grand Prix - Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton and the stress of competition

Hamilton is a four times Formula One champion and one of the truly elite figures in British sport but despite all that the 33-year-old admits he still feels the stress of competition.

Anthony Hamilton (Lewis Hamilton’s dad) British Grand Prix – Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of a record sixth British Grand Prix looked to be in tatters after Kimi Raikkonen pitched him into a spin at the start. The Mercedes driver recovered to second in spectacular fashion but it was title rival Sebastian Vettel who took the ultimate spoils with a superbly measured performance…

But despite his success on the track, Anthony Hamilton told me that he still feels an intense pressure to perform in front of the British fans at Silverstone last weekend.

Having watched the Ferrari’s pace in the three free practice sessions over the weekend, Lewis managed to put his car at the front of the grid infront of his thousands of adoring fans.

I asked Anthony Hamilton where did Lewis get that lap from he said, “from his gut.” he literally out drove the car.

In a magazine interview with Man 0f the World magazine Lewis said, “The thing with Formula One is, people perhaps struggle to understand what’s going on inside of the driver. There’s the stress of millions of people watching.

“You’ve got the pressure of the massive corporations sponsoring you. And then, on top of it, you put pressure on yourself, because you really want to succeed.”

“I want to empower young guys with the same belief I had instilled in me as a kid. Not everyone who gets beaten down by other people can overcome and use those experiences to get stronger.”

“Of course you have to work, but I like to maximize every day, enjoy it, because you never know when it’s your last.

“I’m very, very, very conscious of that, so I just like to make sure I enjoy the time I get, and I like to share it with people.

The psychological ‘secret weapon’ behind England in the 2018 World Cup

In late 2017, the FA hired psychologist Pippa Grange as Head of People and Team Development. The 47-year-old naturalized Australian, a former athlete who graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in sports science, was tasked with transforming the club’s culture and equipping players with psychological tools to help them better navigate the mental and emotional aspects of the game.

“There is a dawning understanding that it will take more than the carrots or sticks to get people to keep performing and to keep striving for excellence,” Grange wrote in her book Ethical Leadership in Sport: What’s your Endgame?

“Athletes, like everyone else, want something to believe in, a vision that they can invest in and an organisation that they are proud to belong to.”

Grange doesn’t just instruct players, though, but also encourages them to get to know each other rather intimately. In small groups, the players shared life stories, anxieties and ambitions, with the goal being, as team manager Gareth Southgate said in a profile on Grange from The Guardian, to make “them closer, with a better understanding of each other.”

Grange has also encouraged the players to, complete daily wellness questionnaires and use individually tailored visualisation strategies to score during penalties.

Some of the tactics encouraged by Grange; stay motivated in the face of challenge, how athletes can use various tactics to shift to preferred “states” and “frames” of mind when under pressure.

Don’t fear failure, our successes are achieved through trying, and trying most often ends in failure. Every day in our general lives and our sporting lives we will win some and lose some; it’s just part of the way life should be. It could be missing out on a promotion, being pipped at the line in a running race or bombing out in an exam – it doesn’t matter – the important lesson is to learn from our failures, reassess, rethink, move forward (sometimes in a different direction) and keep those dreams and goals alive.”

Reframe emotions, as Gareth Southgate said, there’s no reason to be “hindered by history” once you understand that you can control how emotions are framed.

workplace stress management case study

Case Study: Work Stress Management at Priority Data

workplace stress management case studyPriority Data is a long-established reseller of computer anti-virus software, employing approximately 15 people needed to modernise its operation.

The Issue

Having been consistently profitable for many years, changes in the market meant the company was making a loss. To regain its leading position in the industry, it set out to completely restructure its operation. The company also embarked on a major restructuring programme which involved decentralising its operations and establishing regional cost centres. However, while sales and profitability improved, it was at a slower rate than anticipated, and although the changes were taking effect, it was at a high personal cost – employees across the organisation were experiencing stress-related problems, including poor health, increased absenteeism and decreased productivity.   A stress analysis established that it was middle managers who were experiencing the highest levels of stress resulting from the changes, especially as they perceived events to be beyond their influence or control. A further analysis confirmed that the restructuring programme had been the main source of stress, which consequently made it more difficult for employees to cope with changes as they were implemented.

The Solution

To minimise the problem, I worked with the employer to introduce a programme of stress coaching to run parallel with the change initiative. The aim was to address the issues of role clarity and responsibility and, vitally, involve employees in how changes were rolled out across the organisation. The result was a tangible reduction of stress-related problems, improved staff morale and an increase in sales and productivity.

Testimonials from Senior Managment at Priority Data

“From skeptic to convert in six sessions. First and foremost, my ability to deal with stressful situations improved almost immediately and continues to improve daily. I no longer dread situations at work or in my personal life that used to cause me immense grief. Decisions have become easier, worries have been a lot less and I am a much happier confident person. Thanks for providing alternatives to stress and providing me with the skills to maintain a healthy attitude for the rest of my life.” – M James, Area Manager

“The Stress course has been profoundly beneficial to me. I was fast approaching burnout physically, mentally and emotionally. Over just seven weeks the physical symptoms are receding and I’m improving in every way, every day. This has been a blessing to me. I have more energy, a greater sense of well-being and happiness. I have more joy in my life, and this is just the beginning.” – P Rickman, HR Business Partner

“I have a huge amount of stress in my life. So when I finally came to realise that I needed to do something to manage my mental and physical health from the pressures of a busy  life, I discovered most of the solutions being I researched weren’t for me… imagine my delight when I found Mike Lawrence, who ‘gets it’, and not just someone who is an opportunist … Mike transferred to me, in a remarkably easy and understandable way, a skill I never knew I had, and now can’t imagine coping without – the ability to turn off the constant chatter in my head of daily detail, become aware of the tension carried in the body, and let all the stress evaporate.” – Loui Durand, Managing Director

Mike Lawrence podcast business live

Radio Sheffield Business Live Podcast

Following a successful interview with Rony Robinson on his Radio Sheffield afternoon show, I accepted an invitation from Jamie Veitch, who hosts a popular weekly slot featuring selected guests include business people sharing their tips and advice on how they have overcome challenges and inspiration on his Business Live slot on Sheffield Live. The interview covers the efficacy of holistic therapies, stress in the workplace and transferable skills from a Butlins Redcoat. One of Mike’s clients is also live in the studio asking questions about holistic therapies who up until treatment for stop smoking was a sceptic.