“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

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

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

The Importance Matrix

Tools To Thrive Series

The Importance MatrixDo you find yourself chasing after all of those “urgent” tasks, only to discover that they really don’t matter?

President Dwight Eisenhower said, “I have to kinds of problems.  The urgent and the important.  The urgent are not important and the important are never urgent.”

Sometimes, the urgent things ARE important.  They probably get done right then and there.  But then the urgent (but not important) tend to crowd out the important (but not urgent).  For example, those meetings and tasks at work that you take on can seem urgent.  But they might not be important.  On the other hand, relationships with a spouse or children can get pushed to the side because they are not urgent.  Yet they are important.

The sad part is when the important (but not urgent) get shuffled off to the side for so long that they become no longer important.  Broken relationships, hurting spouses — they drift away.

The Eisenhower Box is named for President Eisenhower.  It is a powerful tool in your Thriving Toolbox, as you work to get priorities clarified.

Listen in to learn how to use it in 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

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

Only Control What You Can

Tools To Thrive Series

Control what you can.Isn’t it interesting how much time people spend trying to control what they can’t control, and how little time we spend trying to control what we can control?

Imagine what would happen if we could flip that.  What if we spent our time trying to control what we CAN control.  And what if we released the rest?

There are really only 3 things that you can truly control.  After that, you are wasting your time and energy.  And you will likely frustrate yourself and others.

This week, as we add another tool to the toolbox, let’s look at the 3 A’s you can control.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness