3 Key Steps to Lasting Change

Self-ImprovementAdvice

  • Author Carmen Gilfillan
  • Published March 29, 2024
  • Word count 993

If you want to improve how you take care of yourself, change how you think so that your perspective becomes a more positive one, and boost your own self-confidence, belief, and esteem, there are three key steps you need to consider for establishing lasting change in your life.

These key steps are how you…

  1. Breathe to mitigate stress,

  2. Write for profound insights, and

  3. Think to uncover the positives.

As a life and wellness coach for almost 20 years, I have worked with many clients whose lives have been transformed with the above simple but immensely powerful activities practiced consistently. I personally, have also used these techniques to turn my own life around and fulfil my dream of becoming an international author.

The first key step is to become aware of the role that stress is playing in your life. In these go-go times of high-alert living, it’s easier than ever for us to be caught up in the speed, scale and stress and of life. Before we know it, we may be running on empty, compromising our health and heading for a stress-induced breakdown.

There’s a real need in the 21st century for us to take back the control over what can easily become negative, unresourceful stress. One of the easiest and most effective ways we can begin to reduce stress and bring instant relaxation into our lives is just by learning how to breathe properly.

Conscious, deep abdominal breathing moves you from a space of fight/flight (stress) into a space of rest/digest (calm). Deep breathing acts as a bridge between these stress and calm states. There are many different ways to breathe, and box breathing is one of them.

Box Breathing

Box breathing involves inhaling for four seconds, holding for four seconds, exhaling for four seconds and holding for four seconds. This cycle is repeated four times. Often after four rounds of breathing in this way, your nervous system feels much calmer, more settled and more at ease. This has the effect of moving you into a much more grounded space, and you may also find that you’re able to think more clearly.

The second key step to lasting change is to release the kind of beliefs that are holding you back. When we talk about self-limiting beliefs, we’re often referring to a train of thought that could lead us to act in ways that are unhelpful to us. Our belief systems act partly as filters through which we see and interpret that world. When we can let go of the beliefs that keep us stuck, we can begin to enjoy life in the way we wish.

Free Writing

One amazing technique for releasing the kind of beliefs that hold you back is free writing. This simple, but powerful technique involves simply putting pen to paper and writing. You can ignore grammar, spelling, punctuation, and neatness, and just write.

What do you write? Anything that comes into your head, in exactly the way it emerges. You may start to write things related to your everyday life: what to have for dinner, the beginnings of your shopping list, the row you had with your boss. However, soon you’ll move beyond the conscious level and into your subconscious.

At this stage your writing style will change and you’ll start to go deep, write about more profound knowledge and information you have within, and begin to reveal insights from deep inside you.

This is an amazingly powerful, confidence-boosting technique that uncovers your deepest beliefs. Once revealed, you can do something about turning those beliefs around by highlighting them, questioning them, and deciding on key actions you will take to begin neutralising them.

The third key step to lasting change in your life is to begin to take control over how you think and behave. Changing your thinking patterns will have a direct knock on effect to how you act and treat others around you.

Whether you fail or whether you succeed is up to you and the attitude that you adopt towards failure and success. Personal development experts suggest we can decide how we react to a situation whether or not we’re able to control it. It’s our attitude towards success and failure that could be said to be the determining factor as to whether or not we move forward in life.

Positive Alternatives

One powerful activity you can engage in to influence how you think, and hence behave, is the Positive Alternatives exercise. This activity involves dividing a sheet of paper in half. On the left half, you write down as many of the negative expressions you tend to use in your everyday life. You then note down, on the right, positive alternatives for those expressions.

For instance, if you tend to use the word “problem”, you’ll write it down in the left-hand column. As an alternative, you may choose to write “challenge” on the right. If you find yourself using the phrase “I can’t”, this will go on the left. As an alternative, you may choose to note down “How can I?” on the right.

This simple exercise, if used consistently, will help you become much more conscious of the words and phrases you think and speak about on a daily basis. By proactively finding more positive alternatives to your language patterns, your vocabulary will be start to change, which, in turn, will begin to raise your self esteem and have a positive knock on effect to how you behave.

Profound Shifts

Using these three exercises, box breathing, free writing, and positive alternatives daily will begin to elicit profound shifts within you. These shifts will, over time, gradually start to change your perspective on yourself, your life and the world around you. This perspective change will in time lead not only to a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with yourself and those around you, but also to positive, lasting change in your life.

Carmen is an author, speaker, healer, achievement coach, and wellness specialist. She runs a wellness and self-development practice, Stimulus, which is based in the UK. Carmen has written the 7-step self-care and success book, The Inner Rising, to help readers do the inner work to rise to the next level and design their ideal life. You can order the book at: https://www.balboapress.com/en-gb/bookstore/bookdetails/837317-the-inner-rising Contact Carmen at: info@stimulus.uk.com

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