By Suzanne Lively – Lively Friends
Long before I started my life coaching business, Lively Friends, I was brought to my knees by a challenging experience early in life. I spent the next 20 years studying personal development, drastically changing my life and helping others do the same. I formalized my years of experience by graduating with a psychology degree from Dalhousie University in the spring of 2017.
Since graduating, I have been busy developing the signature program for Lively Friends. It is a membership program that condenses 20 years of knowledge and experience into simple, actionable strategies women can use to feel happier in their lives. I’d like to share a few with you to help you in those moments where you are feeling overwhelmed or disconnected – at work or in your personal life.
With these strategies you can change how you feel quickly and easily.
Use the acronym, ASH, as a quick reminder.
ASH – Become aware and share honestly.
Being aware, in the moment, releases fear about the future and immediately reduces feelings of being overwhelmed. Being present is a challenge, especially when busy.
3 Quick Tools for Being Present
Each time you stand in front of the mirror, putting on makeup or washing your hands, look in your eyes and mentally say hello. Do this each day until it becomes a habit.
When the alarm goes off, look at your feet on the ground, feel the chair under your bum, take a deep breath, and repeat three times “I am right here.”
This tool cannot be stressed enough. Try writing for fifteen minutes nonstop, as Julia Cameron suggested in The Artist’s Way. You will be surprised what is revealed. The simple act of writing restores a connection lost in the busyness; Connecting with yourself brings a sense of calm into your life.
Friends are the best tools in your arsenal. The benefits of sharing are life changing. Sharing with another helps us feel heard, cared for, and connected. Hearing ourselves talk is sometimes all we need to gain valuable insight.
Writing in a journal is a wonderful form of sharing as well, but it cannot replace intimate relationships — we need both.
Suggestion: Use a journal entry to write about the friends in your life with whom you can share. Explore what you need to feel safe. Maybe you have certain people you talk to about different subjects. Always look for a person who feels trustworthy, nonjudgmental, and loving.
There is always hope if you are honest. No matter how messy your life may be, if you are honest there is hope for positive change. The biggest hurdle is being willing to be honest with yourself.
Dishonesty, in the form of denial, feels easier because it does not require change. As Tony Robbins says, “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” Once you have established your truth then share it with a trustworthy friend. Sharing lessens the confusion and emotional upset.
You don’t have to change your whole life overnight. People tend to want big changes, especially high achievers, but it is the small changes over time that yield the best results.
Add ASH into your daily routine to boost your sense of calm and happiness!