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I’ve been stuck in the “As soon as,” loop lately. You know the one…
“As soon as this week is over I’ll be able to take a break.”
“As soon as I finish (fill in the blank) then I can stop worrying.”
“As soon as I lose some weight then I’ll be happier.”
And so on and so on.
My therapist reminded me that this is anxious thinking. Any time I’m in the past or future, I’m taken away from the present moment which is the only place where peace lives.
I’m sure I’m not alone in daydreaming of better moments. We all experience feelings of unhappiness from time to time, but what we often do is distract ourselves from it in one way or another. (Guilty!)
Whether through the “As Soon As” game or stuffing our feelings down with online shopping or sugar and carbs, it’s hard to fix something when you don’t give yourself a chance to even recognize it’s broken.
This is when I turn to my Joy Audit workbook. Answering the questions in there helps me home in on what’s working and what’s not. Then I can get to work on tending to the low-scoring areas.
When you’re feeling “blah” and can’t seem to put your finger on what’s bothering you, dig in. Instead of turning away from the malaise, invite it to talk to you so you can hear what your soul is calling out for.
I’m not saying this is easy because our feelings are often complex and multifaceted. It can be tough to pinpoint exactly what’s causing the unhappiness so it’s tempting to simply brush our feelings aside and hope they go away on their own.
However, taking the time to reflect is an essential first step in addressing the issue.
If you find it difficult to figure out where things are a bit broken, visit that daydream life and compare it to how things are currently.
That’ll shine a light on it for ya!
By envisioning what you’d love your life to be and comparing it to what it currently looks like, you’ll have a compass to help you navigate the journey as you work on upping your happiness levels.
Once you’ve pinpointed an area of dissatisfaction, you can take action to address it.
For example, if you’re over your job, think about what could make it better. Is it time to look for a new one? Maybe brainstorm ways to reconfigure your role to make it more fulfilling?
If you’re feeling unhappy in your relationship, you might consider seeking couples therapy or individual therapy to work through any issues.
Then you begin, small step by small step, to work on those improvements.
Addressing unhappiness is not a one-time fix. It’s an ongoing process that requires ongoing effort and attention.
And it’s not a solo endeavor. It’s so important to seek support from friends, family, therapists, or coaches as needed.
So what will you pay attention to today? Me? I’m off to stop my brain from telling me “As soon as we turn the clocks ahead this weekend…” and I’m gonna go grab my light box instead.
P.S. If you’d like some help completing my Joy Audit workbook, I hope you’ll join me for my free workshop next week, “Take Your Life from Ho-Hum to Hell Yeah!”. It’s happening on Tuesday, March 14th at 3:30 PM ET. You can read about it here: https://kerririchardson.com/joy-webinar