Today I have the pleasure to have my dear friend Talu as a guest blogger for the month of August. I met Talu earlier this year before Corona craziness and it was like I was meeting up with a lifetime friend. The connection was instantly there! She is an amazing expat Happiness Coach raising two children in Hamburg, Germany.
Make yourself a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy Talu’s insightful blog entry.
Hi, My name is Talu and I’m a certified Happiness Coach, I’m so excited to bring awareness on this wonderful blog to you wonderful people.
I was born and raised in London and within the last 20 years I have lived in 5 other countries, Switzerland, Indonesia, US, China and now Germany second time around. I’m a mother myself of two children, my daughter is 13 and my son is 11. I have always loved to travel and explore new places, I graduated in London with my BA Hons in Tourism Management, followed by my Masters Degree in Air
Transport Management. I started my career off in the Aviation business with my desire to discover and travel more.
During my moves I also worked in other industries; Consulting, Marketing, Real Estate, Teaching English and Relocation. All of my positions have in different ways given me the chance to live my value and passion to connect and coach people.
My coaching vision is to facilitate my clients through reflection & awareness to lead happier lives, where ever they are globally. I believe when we are aligned with purpose all aspects of our lives flow organically.
In a multi-cultural marriage raising multilingual children we focus on embracing each new day with gratitude and adventure. Talu Sehra-Eckhoff
Last month I had a Live with Flor on Instagram and talked through how to find your calm with change…
Living abroad is one of the most enriching and exciting adventures one can have. Giving one the opportunity to have new experiences, new cultures and languages. However, living overseas is not always easy, settling into an unfamiliar environment away from people you love, having to make new friends, and starting everything over – can leave one easily out of balance.
Having spent the last 20 years overseas, facing changes and not being able to plan long term, has no doubt given me way more resilience to confront change in whatever shape or size now, it’s true what they say that CHANGE is the only constant thing!
How to manoeuvre through and find that breeze and still choose to smile
Here are my top tips on how to create a happy life when change arrives!
We are creatures of habit and naturally what feels familiar is no doubt safe and comfortable, so the first step is in recognising that when we step out of the norm, there are bound to be differences. The moment we allow ourselves to acknowledge change, comes acceptance of not knowing and we switch on a mindset that is embracing rather than feeling anxious. When we think about it moving abroad isn’t the only change in our lives right, it can come in all forms, a new job, new relationship, new school, new house, transition in our mental or physical health and so on….
The aspect of acceptance is basically coming to terms with your current situation. Take for example If you are lost, even if you have a map of where you want to get to, you can’t get there unless you know where you yourself are, right?
Next time you face a transition start with embracing where you are at with my simple ABC:
A for awareness locate your position
B take a deep breathe
C Choose to embrace instead of being anxious
2. Understand your thoughts
Here’s the thing we have around 80,000 thoughts a day – about 3,500 an hour, of which around 80 % are negative, hard to believe right?
The good news is, if you can recognise a negative thought you can consciously choose to change it. Negative thinking patterns can have a strong and sometimes devastating impact on our relationships, our health, our work, our lives and more so when we face transitions.
The good news is that you can actually train your thoughts to become more positive, heres a simple practice to help you. Observe your thoughts take 10mins a day, noticing any negative pattern and the ones that are bothering you the most. With each negative thought try to reframe the situation, to consciously switch the negative with a positive scenario.
For example, a simple shift from “This is too daunting” to “I’m going to break it down and take the first step” can help us move forward and think positively.
End with scanning at least 3 positive thoughts, to keep the momentum going.
3. Truly focus on being in the present
Essentially living in the now means, focusing completely on the current task at hand, by not worrying about the future or thinking about the past.
How would you respond if I asked you the following?
▫ Can you change the past?
▫ Can you predict the future?
Neither right, so living in the moment is what we have. Our lives consist of a series of present moments, they are forever unfolding before our eyes! We are human BEINGS and not human happened, take note of that BEING, in English this is the present continuous form -ing.
Here are some practices to help you be more in the moment:
– Set daily intentions, when we set long term goals we often miss the opportunity of what is happening right now, as our thoughts drift to the future.
– Switch it! Another fun mindful activity I share with my clients is to switch it for e.g. when eating/writing do it with your opposite hand, this surely will bring your focus to the task at hand 🙂
– Take a walk in nature, notice at least 5 things around you, i.e. the birds, the flowers, sounds, colours, texture! Bringing your awareness to focus on the joy & flow in this moment.
Make it your intention to be present and should you start to wander try the ABC and bring your awareness back by CHOICE.
4. Choosing positive language
Even the words we use impacts our happiness and how we approach change and stress, positive language can literally change the way you approach life. —positive words like “can,” “love” and “compassion” strengthen areas of the brain’s frontal lobes, and promote cognitive function.
Watch out for my tips on Tuesday to enhance your happiness, I recently wrote a post about a 3 letter word we use, that limits our thinking and opportunities, can you guess it?
Yup it’s BUT, when we replace it with AND we not only allow opportunities to blossom we also start practicing making more mindful positive choices. Positive language can be a tool with a great potential for you and for those around you. Science has already proven it in numerous studies.
Notice the words you choose and how you can choose a positive alternative.
5. Focus on the things you can control
I’m sure you can confirm that in most situations you will notice the things that we often worry about, are things that are usually out of our control. Giving yourself a re-set phrase/ button can be helpful to remember the things that are in your control. Such as your health, nutrition, exercise, entertainment, immediate environment and doing something you love, i.e. your hobbies or discovering something new that makes you feel ALIVE!
What have you discovered that you are enjoying within the last 6 months?
6. Spread smiles and your gratitude
I know it sounds simple, yet in practice it is challenging to carry our smile and gratitude all the time…
Let’s look at why its important to at least choose to carry it more often:
Smiling actually boosts our happiness, studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural painkillers, and serotonin. Together these three neurotransmitters make us feel good from head to toe. Not only do these natural chemicals elevate your mood, but they also relax your body and reduce physical pain. Having lived in places where I couldn’t initially communicate, a simple smile would always suffice. A smile is the universal language 🙂
Smiling, laughing, random acts of kindness are all contagious have you noticed? Gratitude is also a happy emotion trigger, so why are we not doing more of this… its about practice, awareness and making it a choice.
A practice I share with my clients is to count their smiles for a day, you will be surprised what difference the results can make. Also a great way to start your day with gratitude is simply to identify three things that you feel blessed for. Often families, including my own, we talk in the
evenings about our day and share what challenges arose and what we are proud of as well as the things we appreciate. When we name them the following morning we allow to embrace a new day with appreciation & calm.
It’s the simple adjustments that can influence our happiness & well being for ourselves and others.
7. Celebrate each day
Celebrate every day, aim to make it count! Of course, you will not enjoy every day of your life, having the tools to reset when things are challenging is what matters and making the choice to have as many good days.
Collect all the beautiful moments and create a scrapbook/photo album or journal for yourself. You can always browse the pages when you feel low and remind yourself of the nice memories. Remember the grass is greener where you water it! Where ever you are remember our planet truly is an incredibly beautiful and magical place to live. There is beauty all around— It’s blissful, pure magic.
When I feel low on energy or simply homesick the first thing I do is get outside and spend time in nature. By the water, at a lake, or canal or the beach, watching the sunset, sitting beneath the moon, or just getting lost in the stars. Knowing that if I was somewhere else I would still look out to our planet and feel the same vibes.
It really puts things into perspective and helps me remember I am part of something so much bigger. Our Earth is here for us, and I’ve developed a deep connection to our beautiful planet, which helps guide me through the challenging changes in my life. I truly feel like a citizen of our globe.
Life is constantly changing, take a moment and reflect how you can create new happier intentions. We are all moving into a new normal and by doing this with sound choices can contribute to our well being and happiness for the long term.
If there’s anything I’ve learned through the experience of moving abroad, is that it gets easier. Embrace the journey & the experiences, you’ll create a life you love.
I hope I have inspired & triggered new ways how you can be happy with your life abroad. Should you need further support to explore how you can apply these practices into your lives, I would love to hear from you…
Thank you for stopping by 🙂