“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!

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

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

Ingredients To Thriving Children

Raising Thriving Children Series

What are the ingredients for a thriving child?Have you ever made a recipe — but forgot a key ingredient?  Or maybe put in the wrong ingredient?  One time, I left salt out of a cookie recipe.  It was pretty bad.  Another time, I accidentally put salt in instead of sugar.  It was awful.

Ingredients are important.

So, what are the key ingredients to help instill in a child?  To help them thrive?

Let’s face it:  we will be adding ingredients, whether we mean to or not.  That’s just what happens in the parenting process.  The question is whether we are intentional about the ingredients — and if we have the RIGHT ingredients to put in.

Our goal:  A Thriving Person.

The starting point: A child learning to thrive.

Listen to this week’s podcast for the 5 key ingredients to raising a thriving child.

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

Eggs, Balls, And Turtles

Raising Thriving Children Series

Raising thriving children.  Are they eggs or balls?  Lessons from baby turtles. . .Summer has flown by!  Here we are, already at Labor Day in the States.  That kind of marks the end of summer for many.  Most schools are back in session and schedules start to be a wee bit more important.  Structure returns.

And parenting may be ratcheted up just a bit.

It’s a great time to be thinking some about your hopes and goals of your parenting.  I’m guessing that your hope is NOT to be the rescuer for life.  Maybe more like coaching from the sidelines while the kids run their plays.

Or maybe like volunteer turtle patrols.

Know what I mean?

If not, maybe a listen to this week’s podcast will clarify for you.  Remember, there are two models of viewing kids:  Eggs or Balls.  I’m leaning toward balls.

Let’s think about it in this week’s podcast, below.

Raising Thriving Children Series
Introduction

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

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