“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!

3 Growth Mindsets for Tough Times

3 growth mindsets to help you with tough times.Your mindset doesn’t change what is happening “out there,” but it can change how you perceive it “in here,” in your mind and thoughts.  Which can also change your actions.

The circumstances are the same.  But whether you feel stuck or empowered, that depends upon the mindset you carry.

Over the years, I have worked to shift into more productive and useful mindsets when tough times hit.

(And I promise, they will hit — just part of life.  Not a sign that the world, the universe, God, or anything else hates you, is teaching you a lesson, or anything else.  Being alive means there will be tough times.)

In this week’s podcast, I try to compare some not-so-helpful mindsets with some better ones.  I want to suggest three mindsets for you.  And you can adopt them at any time!

Mindset is up to you. . . once you realize it is up to you!

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing with Roadblocks
You and Your Thoughts
Thrive Principles

Building Your Resilience Muscle

Building your resilience muscle.You’ve got this muscle in you that you might not know about it.  Maybe it is strong, just naturally.  Or maybe you have built it on purpose.  Or maybe it needs a little strengthening.

The muscle?

Your “resilience muscle.”  It helps power you through tough times, so you can bounce back from the struggles.

Here’s the problem:  many people don’t know you can build it.  Many people do their best to avoid tough times and struggles.  And many refuse to let that struggle build the muscle.

One problem:  the struggles are unavoidable.  But if you let that Resilience Muscle atrophy, those struggles are just tougher.  If you strengthen the muscle, future struggles are not so insurmountable.

Let’s get fit and build that Resilience Muscle!

RELATED RESOURCES
Damaged, Resilient, or Thriving?
Thrive Principles Book
What Thriving People Know About Tough Times

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

Antidote To A Narcissistic World

Raising Thriving Children Series

For parents:  An antidote to the culture of narcissism.Have you noticed that the world is getting more and more narcissistic?  More “Me-Me-Me” thinking is infecting society — to the detriment to the environment, civility, and those at risk.

We can’t stay on this course.

Is there an alternative?

I believe there is a clear antidote to the narcissistic culture.  And I believe parents play a roll in inoculating their children from the narcissism.

Let’s discuss the family antidote to the culture of narcissism.

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

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

Systemize Your Life

Tools To Thrive Series

Systemize Your LifeGoals are great.  Except they give you no path to get there.  And goals can interfere with your happiness.  If you can’t get there, you feel frustrated.  Once you do get there, you can feel let down, not sure what to do next.

But you need goals, right?

Well, they are a starting point.

But what if you put “systems” in place to move you toward your goal?

Some people believe they need habits that move them forward.  But habits are formed through systems you create to move you forward toward some goal.

Want to write a book?  Don’t focus on the book every day.  Focus on writing every day.  Set aside 15 minutes, maybe an hour, and write.  Or decide to write 500 words per day.  That is your system.  Follow it, and soon you have a book.  But then there is a system that moves you forward, past the goal.

Make sense?

Listen to this week’s podcast for more info on “systeming” your life.

 

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

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