"Thoughts trigger emotions, and emotions trigger actions," says Bowral-based counsellor Jilly Heart.
Jilly is firmly of the belief that you have the power, and the choice, to improve your life and your outlook.
Jilly says her goal in becoming a counsellor is to make a difference in people's lives, and to teach you the tools and strategies that will allow you to shift your behaviour in a positive direction.
She also believes in making the experience interesting, and uses a variety of methods to build a raport with people so they trust her, "because trust is so important in the process," Jilly says.
As part of that process, Jilly explains that it is important for you to know who you are. Pondering the question of what does strong really mean? - is it in the body or in the mind? - Jilly offered this. "Resilience is within your mind. You can control your thoughts. You have the ability to control your mind. It doesn't control you."
It doesn't matter what age a person is either. There will be methods that can help.
Jilly has noticed that kids like her fun energy.
It's also noteworthy that they're far more inclined to open up to a counsellor than they are to a parent or other close guardian figure.
Jilly also says that when she notices a child supressing their emotions it's a red flag that needs to be addressed.
"You always want a child to speak their truth," Jilly said.
From about the ages of 14 to 18 it can often require a bit more time and patience to build up the necessary level of trust, and Jilly has a few methods to choose from.
She often likes to engage the creative side of their mind with an artistic activity like painting or clay making during this initial stage, so they can open up when they feel comfortable doing so.
Jilly explains that we need to remember "we are all a work in progress and we never stop learning."
Jilly also says it's important for us all to "make a conscious effort to live a fulfilling life and to feel authentic," rather than pretending our way through life.
She says we must also learn how to be gentle with ourselves, "and it's OK to make mistakes." That's just part of being human.
It's also "normal to feel low moments," the trick is learning to let them pass without having an unduly negative effect on your life. There are some very valid techniques to help you achieve this.
Jilly defines this as "the state of being comfortable, healthy and happy."
It sounds so easy to achieve, yet for many it remains elusive.
In addition to being a counsellor, Jilly is also a marriage celebrant, so her motivation to help couples through their relationship is heightened even further.
It won't surprise you to know that communication is the key, but it's the ability to genuinely listen as well as articulate how you're feeling and why you're feeling that way, that helps break down that barrier.
LEARN ABOUT YOU
"When people learn and understand about themselves, they make better choices," Jilly said.
Circling back to her opening point about thoughts being the initial trigger for action, by changing your though pattern you can change your reaction to various emotions, and in turn you can have a positive effect on your own behaviours.
"It all starts in the mind".
Jilly's intention is to teach you various tools, strategies and techniques that will help you not just process your past, but also prepare you for things life will bring in the future.