5 Things to Ask Yourself if You Aren’t Happy- Even If You Don’t See the Point

Being unhappy is horrible. It can take over your life and suck all that is good and joyful out of it. None of us want to be unhappy but many of us are.

One thing many of us don’t ask ourselves is why we are unhappy. We have a vague understanding that our lives are not what we hoped they would be but we don’t know specifically why.

In an effort to help you identify what specifically is making you unhappy I have five questions for you. Answer them in terms of your own life and you will get the answers you are looking for.

Here is my latest: 5 Things to Ask Yourself if You Aren’t Happy- Even If You Don’t See the Point.

#1 – Are you living in integrity?

All of us having internal guiding principles that are important to us, things like the importance of trust or honesty or loyalty. These guiding principles light our path to living our best life but unfortunately they can get lost as life happens.

Do you know what your guiding principles are and are your living them?

I have a client who was having an affair with a married man. He made her deliriously happy, or so she told herself. But still she didn’t feel good about her life and she didn’t know why.

I asked her what her guiding principles were – what was most important to her in a relationship?

After some thought and discussion she realized that the truth was of paramount importance to her. And that nothing about her relationship with the married man was based on truth.

“Are you able to live with that?” I asked. “And be happy?”

The answer was no and she soon moved on. On into a relationship that was based on truth and trust and she is happy.

#2 – Is your relationship making your heart sing?

Our romantic relationships are very important, more important than many of us recognize.

In this modern world we are told that we should be able to take care of ourselves and that to rely on another to bring us some happiness is a sign of weakness.

But this just simply is not true.

Happy committed relationships provide much that is essential to human survival: commitment, communication, touch, sharing, sex, support, laughter, joy, sex. When we have those things our lives are fuller, we are satisfied, we are loved. Other things can bring us down but the foundation of a good relationship help us when we founder.

Being in a relationship isn’t necessary for happiness but being in a relationship that is toxic puts you on the surest path to being unhappy.

I have a client whose husband was always one of two things: absent or drunk. She wasn’t sure which was worse – his not being in the house or being drunk when he was. What she did know was that it was making her miserable. She was always hoping that things would change but they never did. She was alone in her marriage.

And the rest of her life? It foundered. Her parenting suffered, she stopped eating well and exercising and gained 20 pounds, her work was neglected and her crabbiness made her friends stay away.

What did she do? After much deliberation and overcoming lots of fear, she asked him to stay absent and she is fighting her way back to herself, on the path to living the life of her dreams.

#3 – Do you make a difference in the world?

I know you are going to say that you just don’t have time to volunteer. How could I possibly ask you to do that?

I am not going to ask you to do that. Although if it appeals you should try it. Volunteering makes the world go round.

What I mean by making a difference is asking you how you interact with others in the world. Did you smile at the checkout person at the grocery store? Do you hold doors for other people? Do you refrain from giving the man who cut you off in his BMW the finger? Do you pick up trash that you see in the street?

All of these things contribute to the world in a small way and doing them will make your life a better place as well. The act of smiling at someone will actually make you and the person you smiled at happier. Holding doors for people makes them feel noticed and you made it happen. Not giving someone the finger will allow you not to feel the pain of remorse in the middle of the night. And picking up that trash will literally make the world a more beautiful place.

So make a difference in the world every day. It will make you happier. I promise.

Want to be happy? Let me help!

#4 – Do you feel healthy and strong?

You know when you go out on a long dock and it’s old and creaky and with each step you wonder if you are going to end up in the water? If you aren’t healthy and strong, like a good dock, you could find yourself drowning before you know it.

Taking care of yourself is the key to a foundation from which happiness can grow. Eat well, but don’t deprive yourself. Exercise, but only so it makes you feel good. Do one thing that makes you happy every day, like a massage or lunch with a friend. Find a life coach, to get the support that you need.

If you feel healthy and strong you will be able to take on whatever life throws at you.

Wouldn’t that feel great?

#5 – Do you challenge yourself?

I know that I have my routines. I get up, walk my dog, do some yoga, work all day, walk my dog again, do errands, have dinner, take a bath and go to bed. Pretty much every day.

As a life coach I know that while routines are good for keeping us on track it is essential to challenge ourselves. Challenging yourself will keep your brain going strong, keep you physically confident and get that adrenaline rushing.

What do I mean by being challenged? It can be anything.

When I got divorced I promised myself that I would start doing all of the things that scared me. I learned how to ride a jet ski (which was awesome), I conquered my fear of driving in the snow (which was convenient), I took up crossword puzzles (which has made me way smarter) and I can now use power tools. Even a drill.

It’s so hard to imagine now not being able to do those things. Doing them has given me so much more confidence in myself – not only that I can do them but that I challenged myself to overcome my fears and prevailed.

And did I mention that I was way smarter? That makes me happy.

So there you go. 5 Things to Ask Yourself if You Aren’t Happy.

Unhappiness to so many of us is just the status quo. We assume that this is the way life is and we just push through it. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Happiness IS possible.

Are you making choices that are feeling good? Are you feeling loved and supported in your relationship? Did you make someone smile today? Is your foundation strong? Did you do something recently that got your adrenaline pumping?

If not, choose one and make it happen.

Happiness is yours for the taking. Today.


Need more questions to help you find happiness?

Contact me here and I can help!


 

 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Things To Do When You Hit Rock Bottom – Even if it Feels Like You Are Going to be Stuck There Forever

Imagine how you would feel if everything that you have always had, wanted, longed for and dreamed of is suddenly gone. Gone.

You are overwhelmed with emotion. You are full of hopelessness and dread. You would much rather drive your car into a cliff than continue to live the life that you are living.

How can anyone expect you to live this way, with everything lost?

This is rock bottom. Also known as being down a rabbit hole.

It only happens a few times in a lifetime and when it comes, BAM, it sucks.

Rock bottom means it’s time to pay attention.

Here is my latest: 5 Things To Do When You Hit Rock Bottom – Even if it Feels Like You Are Going to be Stuck There Forever.

#1 – Notice where you are.

Many of us hit rock bottom and don’t even realize it.

We find ourselves in pain and drowning and it is so much easier to have 4 drinks or a box of Oreos or bike 50 miles than to recognize the truth of where one has found oneself: looking up from deep down in the rabbit hole, vanquished.

If you find yourself in a spot where the pain is worse than anything that you could ever have imagined, pause for a second before you reach for that bottle of wine. That pain is telling you something. It’s telling you that it’s time to pay attention. That things are really, really bad and that it’s time to start doing something about it.

I have a client whose husband left her the same week that their kids went off to college. In one fell swoop, after 23 years, she was no longer a wife and only a part time mother.

Down the rabbit hole she fell. And she hit the bottom. Hard.

#2 – Get the hell up, after a spell.

Being in a rabbit hole is scary as hell and very painful. But you also might find that it starts to feel comfortable. There is something cozy about wrapping yourself up in your negative, hopeless thoughts, taking comfort in the fact that your life sucks, that you are a horrible person and that what the hell does it all matter anyway.

And it’s okay to sink into that coziness for a bit. After all, you are going to have a bit of work to do to get out of it so resting up is okay. But sooner or later, preferably sooner, you are going to have to climb out of it.

For my client the rabbit hole was cozy for bit, and full of Oreos, but when she looked up and saw the light at the top she remembered where she was and knew that she was going to have to do whatever it took to get out of it. But, boy, were those walls steep – it took her a while to start the climb but start the climb she did.

#3 – Assess the situation and try something different.

Once you have spent some time in the rabbit hole with your thoughts and feelings you get to know them fairly well. Now is the time to take a good hard look at them. To figure out how you have gotten where you are and not only how to get out of there but to move forward towards the life that you have always wanted.

One of our primary human foibles is that we tend to approach a problem with the same perspective as the one with which we caused it. How can we expect to solve a problem that has dragged us down the rabbit hole with the same actions that brought us there in the first place?

We just can’t. It doesn’t work.

My client knew that one of the things that consistently came between her and her husband was her tendency to be manipulative. She always said that she used this skill for good but her husband didn’t always see it that way.

So what did she try to do to win her husband back? You got it. She manipulated him. She made him nice dinners. She instigated sex and watched Sunday night football. She changed who she was in an effort to manipulate her way back into his good graces.

And guess what. It didn’t work.

When presented with a rabbit hole quality issue it’s time to take a good hard look at a new way to address a problem. Don’t think “I have always done it this way so…” but rather think “What have I never tried before?”

Try it. It can be a very tall ladder out of your very deep hole.

Have you hit rock bottom? Let me help!

#4 – Make a Plan.

Okay so now you know what you are dealing with and it’s time to make a plan.

It’s time to look at each item that you have assessed as needing addressing and see what needs to be done.

For my client it wasn’t about manipulating her way back into her husband’s good graces. It was about taking a good hard look at what had happened in her life and her marriage and to decide what she wanted to do about it.

I would like to pause here for a second and suggest that this might be the time to hire a life coach, namely me. I can help you assess what needs to be addressed and make a plan for you to do what needs to be done. Just sayin’.

#5 – Keep Going. Do Not Stop.

Winston Churchill said “If you are going through hell keep going.” Wise words to live by.

You have hit rock bottom. You have pulled yourself up and out of your hole. You have assessed the situation and made a plan to change things. You have taken a great big step and then you stop. And pick up that box of Oreos, take a few slugs from your bottle of wine and hop on your bike for a hard five hour ride.

Listen to me. You may have hit bottom but you have also scratched your way out of it, up to this spot in the light where you could get started on what needs to be done. You were brave. You ARE courageous. Don’t let fear get in your way.

Because is this what you truly want your life to look like? You had the strength to pull yourself out of that hole. Why would you let yourself sink back in there? It’s not fun in that hole.

And right in front of you, ready for the taking, is the life of your dreams.

Imagine just how having the life of your dreams would feel.

Pretty great, no?

So there you go… 5 Things To Do When You Hit Rock Bottom.

At some point in our lifetime we all hit rock bottom. We find ourselves in a spot where we never imagined we would be and can’t imagine getting out of.

But the resilient of us do. And YOU are one of the resilient ones.

Don’t let that rabbit hole suck you in and keep you there. Fight your way out, into the light and live the life of your dreams.

C’mon. You can do it!


Need more ideas for getting up off the bottom?

To welcome in 2017, I am offering one free session to the first 3 people who reach out.

So do so TODAY.Contact me here and I can help!


 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Things To Do in The Face of Fear – Even If You Just Want to Run Screaming

An opportunity comes along. A once in a lifetime opportunity – that job you have always wanted, the love you have always sought, a move that could change your life. You should be excited, right? No! Instead you find yourself scared out of your wits.

Why? Wonderful opportunities often come with that dreaded thing…change. And change is scary. Paralyzingly so, at times.

But don’t run. There are ways to face fear head on so that you don’t miss an opportunity that could change your life.

Here is my latest… 5 Things To Do in The Face of Fear – Even If You Just Want to Run Screaming.

#1 – Take a deep breath.

Yes, I know I always say this but deep breaths are essential for keeping yourself from running from fear.

When presented with something that scares us the hormones in our body produce the fight or flight response: we can either stay (fight) or run (flight). More often than not flight seems the easiest option so that’s what we do – we run. But if, when faced with something that scares us, we take a deep breath we immediately calm that instinct. Without our heart racing and our hormones pumping it’s much easier to face down that scary thing in front of you.

So next time you feel yourself starting to run from something that scares you stop and take a few deep breaths. Breathe in 3 seconds and out 5 seconds. Before you know it you will be thinking clearer and can move on to face what you need to face.

#2 – Ask yourself what it is that you are afraid of.

Many of us feel fear as a general feeling. We don’t take the time to identify exactly what we are afraid of. And not knowing what we are afraid of makes it very difficult to deal with those fears.

So make a list. One that details what exactly it is that scares you most about the situation. And then take those fears one at a time and address them.

I have a client who was so unhappy with her marriage that she decided if they just moved, anywhere, all would be good. The prospect of picking up and moving to another country was more appealing to her than the prospect of sitting down with her husband to work on their marriage.

She was making plans for this move when I met her. I challenged her on her plans and asked her why she couldn’t face her husband. What was she afraid of?

It took her a while to answer but her list looked like this:

  1. I am scared that we will have to talk about how we feel.
  2. I am afraid that I will get hurt.
  3. I am afraid that our marriage won’t work even if we try to work on it.

Once she had her list she knew exactly what she was afraid of. We talked about each specific thing and were able to more easily address each one because she had identified them so clearly. Addressing fear as a general concept is almost impossible.

She still lives in her family home and she shares it with the man she married and they are working things out. It’s not easy but she is happy.

#3 – Push back against those negative thoughts

Yes, back to those lovely thoughts in your head. The ones that tell you that you just can’t do anything. Especially anything new and risky. The brain likes things to stay the same. The same is easiest.

But staying the same is not how we find happiness. Happiness comes from taking risks and facing fears. So when those self-defeating thoughts enter your head shut them down, one at a time.

I have a question I always ask when making a decision about something scary. “What’s the worst that can happen?” It works every time.

I have a client who is being given a job opportunity that could change her life. She is scared to make the move because she isn’t sure if she can make enough money to maintain her life. We talked about how much she would need and I asked her if she would be comfortable asking for that salary when offered the job. She hesitated.

I asked her what was the worst that could happen. For her, the worst would be that the amount would not be doable. But I pointed out that armed with that info she could make an informed decision about whether to take the job or not. And if the amount was doable then YAY, good for her for speaking up for herself!

So use those thoughts of yours to fight your fears and not succumb to them.

#4 – Recognize that history is just that. History.

Many of our fears are grounded in our history. I read a quote recently that said “it is not the moment that is tragic but the memory.” Think about it. It’s true, isn’t it?

We carry the memories of a lifetime of moments that have caused us pain and we use these memories as fuel for our fears.

But we need to remember that those memories are in the past and we are now looking at our present and future.

I have a client who is madly in love with a man who loves her madly back but his life is complicated and he isn’t always emotionally available to her. Both her father and her ex-husband weren’t emotionally unavailable and both ultimately left her. This caused her immeasurable pain, pain that she has carried forward in her life.

So now she is scared about committing to this man because she doesn’t want to get hurt again.

She and I are working together to look at the differences and similarities between these three men and identify what in particular scares her. She is then having open discussions with her man about her fears.

She isn’t letting her past pull her away from this man but she is proactively addressing her fears and making decisions based on present circumstances instead of ancient history.

And she is feeling hopeful. Very hopeful.

#5 – Embrace it. It’s Exciting!

Imagine if every day for the rest of your life was going to be the same. The same routine with no challenges or excitement. Just sameness.

Things that are scary are harbingers of change and change is one of those things that makes life a better place.

Yes, confronting your fears could allow you to save your marriage, get that job of your dreams or the love of your life and that would be wonderful. But the biggest outcome from facing your fears is the strength you gain as a person.

When you have faced your fears and overcome them you gain a huge sense of accomplishment, one that will always stay with you and only serve you well in the future .

Imagine that next fear coming along and you thinking “I’ve got this.” And you would know that you did because you have faced fear before and prevailed.

It would be pretty awesome, no?

So there you go. My 5 Things To Do in The Face of Fear.

Life is a scary place, full of all sorts of twists and turns, things that happen that change the way we thought things were going to be. It’s exciting but very scary. And it’s okay to be scared.

But know that you have the power to push past that fear, to reach for everything that you have ever wanted. And once you learn you have that power your life will never again be the same.

So go for it. Whatever you have ever wanted. Go for it. You can do it!


Looking for more ways to face fear?  Contact me here and I can help!

To welcome in 2017 I am offering one free session to the first 5 people who reach out.

So do so TODAY.


 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!