“I’m Just Not Happy” and What To Do About It

What to do when you are "just not happy."Do you ever hear yourself say (or just feel), “I’m just not happy”?

What does it mean? What’s keeping you feeling better?  It might be depression. But it might be something else. (If you are concerned about depression, CHECK OUT THESE RESOURCES.)

There are some other reasons for “just not being happy.”  In fact, in this week’s podcast (you can listen below), I note 4 different reasons.  The good news is there is a path through each one.  But you can only follow the path when you identify it.

If you are “just not happy,” take a listen.  If you know someone who is “just not happy,” invite them to listen with you!

Surviving Headline Overload

Surviving Headline OverloadI noticed it sometime around September of last year. . . I was getting sucked into the news!  And for several years, I had done a pretty good job of limiting my exposure to the “news.”

It seems more like an addiction. . . one little taste. . . and you are pulled right back in!

To be clear, I am not against the news.  I am not against reporters.  I am not against the networks.  EACH of us is responsible for how we take in the information.  It’s just that too much news does little to inform, but lots to disturb.

Which often leaves us feeling scared, stressed, and helpless.  None are necessarily true.  Just the way it makes us feel.

In this week’s podcast, I discuss how to deal with (and survive) Headline Overload.

HELPFUL RESOURCES:
Dealing With Anxiety
You and Your Thoughts
The Thrive Principles

Teaching Thrive Principles To Kids

Raising Thriving Children Series

Teaching Thrive Principles to children and young adults.In my recent book, Thrive Principles, I provide 15 strategies for living a thriving life.  In that book, I note that this does not mean an absence of struggle and tough times.  I suggest, instead, that these tough times are the fuel for thriving.  They are the times we build our thriving muscles — IF we understand how to thrive.

Guess what?

This is a great list of strategies to teach children and young people.  Imagine entering adulthood with those strategies and skills at the ready.  Imagine that when the tougher times come, young adults already know how to move through them — and thrive!

I’ve noticed that many people never learn to thrive.  And many learn to thrive only when they are at a tough point.  Then, when nothing is working, they finally have to find a way to thrive — in the midst of struggle!

Wouldn’t it be easier to master those skills along the way, when we are just trying to figure out the skills of life, anyway?  What if we just learned the helpful skills — not the unhelpful coping strategies that usually cause more struggle down the road?

Take a listen to the podcast to hear how those Thrive Principles can help your child.  (And if you think YOU might benefit, LEARN MORE HERE or grab Thrive Principles wherever you like to buy your books.)

Raising Thriving Children Series
Introduction
Eggs, Balls, And Turtles
The Important Influence On Children
Ingredients To Thriving Children
Antidote To A Narcissistic World

Raising Thriving Children

Raising Thriving Children Series

Raising thriving children. A new series on parenting resilient kids.If you are a parent, you know that hope/fear.  You hope to raise a wonderful human being, and you fear making a mistake on the way.

This week, we begin a series on raising thriving children.

During this series, we will look at the goals of parenting, the limits of parenting, and what a parent can do to help a child learn to thrive.  Thriving is not an innate skill.  It is learned.

But it can also be lost in the shuffle of life.

I believe there are two paradigms of parenting:  children are like eggs or children are like balls.

Since eggs can shatter, they must be protected and insulated.  Balls, on the other hand, bounce.

Which model do you see in your own life?

(By the way, if you missed it, I challenged our common understanding of self-confidence just last week.  You can learn about that by CLICKING HERE.)

Listen below for the two theories of parenting and an introduction to this new series.

Finding Your Confidence

Tools To Thrive Series

The truth about self confidence.  How to find it.  How to build it.  How to have it.Confidence.  We all want to feel it.  We are in a culture dedicated to the importance of strong self-confidence.  And yet, it always seems out of grasp.

Why is that?

Because we want confidence to be “there,” already present.  We want it to be a preset of living.  You know, just an innate part of you.

But it isn’t.

If you have self-confidence that you can do something — regardless of preparation, training, knowledge, or skill — that is false self-confidence.  And it will fail at the first moment of challenge.

Which is the innate problem in our current model of raising “self-confident children” (and, by the way, next week is the start of a series on Raising Thriving Children).

And it is why we keep hoping to feel confidence, first, rather than having to build it as we go.

Listen to this week’s podcast for the Thriving Tool of Confidence — and we will be wrapping up the Thriving Tool Series with this tool.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift
Your Built-In Importance Indicator
The Importance Matrix
The Appreciation Approach
A Thriving Breath
Systemize Your Life
Using Mindfulness To Thrive

Using Mindfulness To Thrive

Tools To Thrive Series

Thrive tool of mindfulness.It’s a hot topic these days:  Mindfulness.

It has been touted as a stress reliever.  But it is far more than that (although it does relieve stress).  Mindfulness is really an awareness your experience.  In other words, instead of lost in thought or distracted, you are experiencing the world and you in it.

When you are mindful, you are more engaged with others.  You taste the food you are eating.  You feel the environment around you.

And you are not as lost in thought.  Do remember that your emotional state is a derivative of your thoughts (NOT your experience of your environment).

Stress is really about fear.  Fear comes from thoughts.  Not the experience, but your thoughts and interpretations of the experience.  Reconnecting with the experience disengages the thoughts.

Give it a try.  I give 3 simple mindfulness exercises in the podcast below.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift
Your Built-In Importance Indicator
The Importance Matrix
The Appreciation Approach
A Thriving Breath
Systemize Your Life

A Thriving Breath

Tools To Thrive Series

Using your breathing as a way to thrive and be healthy.It happens automatically.  You don’t even think about it.  Unless you choose to notice it — or even change it.  And it’s a good thing it happens automatically.  Otherwise, you would not last long.

Breathing.

Even if you don’t ever think about it, your breathing will keep oxygen coming into your body and carbon dioxide going out of your body. In and out.  All day long.

No big deal, right?

Wrong.

HOW you breathe determines whether your body acts as if there is a threat or whether your body assumes everything is alright.  One way causes stress.  The other way creates calm.

One way is how you likely breathe on a regular basis — and especially when there is a perceived threat or stressful situation.  The other way allows you to calm yourself down, increase your oxygen supply, and shift away from fear/stress.

Ready to shift to a thriving breath?  Listen below

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift
Your Built-In Importance Indicator
The Importance Matrix
The Appreciation Approach

The Appreciation Approach

Tools to Thrive Series

The Appreciation ApproachYour brain is really only capable of being in one of two modes:  fear/threat or love/appreciation. Unfortunately, the fear/threat mode is pretty much the default and automatic.

Fortunately, changing to manual and shifting to love/appreciation is not complicated.

More than that, there is plenty of research to point to the specific benefits of that shift:

  • Better emotional health,
  • Higher pain tolerance,
  • Higher sociability,
  • Greater life satisfaction,
  • More sleep,
  • More exercise,
  • etc., etc., etc.

There really isn’t much of a downside to gratitude and appreciation.  It just requires a shift in habits to get there.

Got 10 minutes or so per day, just for the next month?  YOU can build your appreciation/gratitude  toolkit and add it to your Thriving Toolbox.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift
Your Built-In Importance Indicator
The Importance Matrix

Your Built-In Importance Indicator

Tools To Thrive Series

Your Built-In Importance IndicatorWouldn’t it be nice if you had a built-in detector that let you know when something is important?  Kind of like a treasure detector to point out when to pay attention and dig in?

Guess what?

You do!

But you probably aren’t using it the way it was designed.  Most people aren’t.  In fact, most people use this indicator as an Avoidance Indicator — using it to AVOID things, even important things.

Used correctly, this built-in indicator will help you decide what is important and what is trivial.  It will also guide your choices.  Used incorrectly, and it will keep you stuck, small, and missing opportunities.

Ready to learn how to use it?  Listen below. . .

 

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift

The Perspective Shift

Tools To Thrive Series

Shift Your PerspectiveAs I ran through the woods, I could only see the trees and path right in front of me.  I had no idea how far up the mountain I had climbed.  I had no idea about the turns in the trail ahead.  And I couldn’t even see very far back, given all the twists.  My vision was only the few yards ahead.

Sometimes, life is like that.  We are so close to something, we lose perspective.  We can only see the next little period of time.  Which means that some things seem bigger than they are, and some things seem insignificant, but prove important.

Fortunately, one tool in your Thrive Toolbox is the capacity of changing perspectives when you want.

This week, to equip you, I want to provide you with 4 perspective shifts you can use.  Then, you can see the forest, even when the trees are right in front.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula