Have you ever paused to wonder about your well-being?
I’m not talking about happiness. I mean your overall sense of being satisfied with how you live your life. Do you ask yourself, “What brings me MEANING?” I hope so!
This question is often more appropriate than asking yourself, “How am I FEELING?”. Feelings are so blamed fleeting, like a firefly’s luminous light. The tiny critter brightens your evening in a quick vanishing flash. Then the spark dissipates and darkness resumes. Happiness is fleeting like that, too.
Recently, I have been thinking about MEANING and asking myself, “What REALLY matters?” I am a happy, optimistic camper. It’s not that my life is dark. You know me better than that.Â But there are days when it seem like I’m eating a crap sandwich rather than delicious hot fudge! Like my day is in a holding pattern while unsavory issues pile up. I bet you have days like that, too. It’s called “being human”, yes, but the lack of clarity feels like I’m lost in mushy fog.
When life’s uncertainty comes to sit on your door step, and your well-being seems to be taking a holiday, what do you do?
My friend, scientist/author Todd Kashdan, in his new book, “The Upside of Your Dark Side“, reminds you to be an intrepid explorer. To accept life with flexibility, openness to nuance, and to savor negative emotions as well as upbeat one. Life takes willingness to assimilate and process all of it, not just the good stuff.
Negative emotions are often a bouncy springboard to help you re-frame the crap.
Re-fashion it into opportunity for growth, rewards and more meaning. And yes, it takes effort. Grab your grit (passion and perseverance) when you get into a snit. Add a dash of “can-do” and put yourself in a growth mindset. Woo hoo!Â Then observe yourself moving forward in your action plan towards getting what you want. Each small step transports you to where you want to go. To add to your accomplishment, make sure to celebrate your win with another. Sharing your joy sweetens their positivity pot, too.
Well-being is physical, too.
Sit down with yourself. See how your body is processing your life. Where is discomfort living in your body? Locate your aches and pains. What is the wisdom of your body blessing you with to help you move forward? Hint.Â According to another talented friend, Gallop bestselling author of Eat, Move, Sleep,Tom Rath, you may just need to get up and MOVE your body, SLEEP at last 7 hours a night and EAT appropriately. I know, easier some days than others, but new habits work wonders if your goal is well-being.
According to Rath in his new book, “Fully Charged” there are 3 essentials to learn to infuse your life with well-being:
1. Meaning: Doing something that benefits another person.
2. Interactions:Â Creating far more positive moments that negative moments.
3. Energy: Making choices that improve your mental and physical health.
When Tom and team surveyed more than 10,000 people to see how they were doing across these areas, they discovered most people struggle on a daily basis. Only 11% reported having a great deal of energy. The result? Lower capacity to be effective at work and home and compromised psychical health. Yikes! The good news, Rath’s book enlightens with a ton of specific activities and new habits for you to employ to jack up your vitality and sense of well-being.
Your well-being begins here:
1.Â Be mindful of your negative impactÂ on yourself and others when you whine, complain, or put down someone else. These words have a negative charge for you and everyone around you. Be mindful to use more positive words.
2. Focus on LESS and DO more. In a study of 150,000 the average Americans’ phones are unlocked 110 times a day. Wow! And in the evening, they are checked 9 times a hour. People end up thinking about something rather than accomplishing what they want to do. This distraction leads to less happiness.
3. Take a 15′ movement break away from sitting every 45′. Get up and stretch, grab a healthy snack, and practice gratitude. Connect with others who make you happy. Better yet, take a walk. Rath uses a treadmill desk and a recumbent bike when he is on the phone. Smart guy.
Heed Tom Rath and you will become healthier.
Listen to Tom’s back-story. He has dedicated his life to studying strengths, well-being, and a healthy life-style. Since he was 16 and lost sight in one cancerous eye engendered by a rare cancer-causing disease, Tom has fought cancers. Cancer continues to be rampant all over his body, including liver and pancreas. With a “bring in on!” attitude, he walks the well-being health talk like no one else I know. His life’s meaning is writing books and making worldwide research-based presentations to help you become more healthy and happily alive. Now there’s a mission!
Still feeling stressed in all your mess?
Feeling alone? Not sure what your next step is going to be?Â How about this. Dig deep. Be open to creating your own answers. Listen to your internal dialogue, the story you are telling yourself about your life. You really need to sit into this one. Be brave. Listen to your truth. Brene Brown’s new book, Rising StrongÂ ignites you to own your vulnerability, get more courage, deal with your shame, and rally your worthiness. You CAN re-write your old life scripts if you get a grip!
Ask yourself frequently, “WHAT DO I REALLY WANT?” Then, to magnify the good in your life, ask yourself every day, “WHAT WENT WELL TODAY?” This is a great one to ask family member at dinner. Or ask at the kids’ bedtimes. Peak ending theory says what you focus on at the end of the day is often well remembered. Great to go to sleep with a smile.
Need a guideline to help you answer this question?
Looking at the pillars of your life: Rate each from 1-10. 1 means you are in the tanker and 10 means you are totally satisfied re:
- Physical health
- Emotional well-being
- Intimacy/personal and professional
- Friendships, Person/professional
- Environment, Home/work
- Community involvements/volunteering
Choose one area of your life to work/play with to improve. For a month, make a daily concerted effort to focus on it. Write down your wins. Stretch the rubber band of who you are now to who you want to be in a month. Even half a point gain may help you shift to more positivity.
After you accomplish this, ask yourself one of my favorite positive psychology coaching questions, “What else?” Then add another attitude/behavior, or habit you would like to change. Life never stays the same. Be focused, specific and dedicated. Watch more meaning float your well-being boat.
As I pondered my meanderings writing this blog, up popped the question, “Do I really want to think about the future?” I do, but I also want to make sure I am living my well-being Best Self Life right now. How about you?
If you need decision-making skill-building to help you focus and rally your positivity, I am here at your service.
Flash me an email or feel free to call me 920 682 9119. Your positive psychology coach awaits.
Or perhaps you need some help rallying your relationship?
Get a copy of my latest book,Â “Rev Up Your Relationship Resilience ~ 7 Positive Psychology tips to Make Love Last”.
Hugs of positivity,
P.S. I took the photos in my back yard. The monarch butterfly population is almost extinct. Every time I see them now, I run outside to capture a photo. These lovely critters remind me to savor. They flutter away and bless my #1 VIA strength, Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence, world. I am grateful, also, the yellowtail butterflies seem to be thriving.