“I Have Everything I’ve Ever Dreamed Of.”
Why Am I Not Happy?
By Julienne B. Derichs LCPC
Happiness is not a solid steady state. The feeling of happiness flows with the ups and downs of everyday life. In our lives it is the balance between contentment and discontent that determines overall happiness.
Happiness – delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing. Characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment or joy resulting from the possession or attainment of what one considers good.
Contentment – satisfied with what a person is or has; not wanting more or anything else. A peaceful kind of happiness in which one rests without desires
Signs of Discontent
Dissatisfied? Uneasy? Do you have a restless desire for something that you do not have? You don’t need a tremendous amount of insight to know when you’re out of balance, but sometimes it creeps up on you. It can seem as if you wake up one day and realize that things are not right. These are a few of the signs:
- You don’t want to get out of bed.
- You have a hard time motivating yourself to do routine tasks.
- You have doubts about yourself.
- You feel mildly depressed for days at a time.
- You sometimes overeat and/or use alcohol and drugs to feel better or escape.
- You often feel chronically tired, de-energized, and listless.
- You worry about how you will keep things together.
- You feel bored or restless.
- You wish you were somewhere else.
- You often have headaches, stomach upset, and other body aches and pains.
- You sleep too little or too much.
- You have frequent bad dreams or nightmares.
Feeling dissatisfied with your life is not a pleasant experience, but it can lead you in a positive direction. These feelings are important because they are telling you that your actions are out of sync with your values, goals, or talents.
Balance - a state of stability, relating to body or emotions; a process of
continuing to create harmony among elements.
A value is a belief, a purpose, or a philosophy that is meaningful.
Whether we are consciously aware of them or not, every person has a core set of personal values. Values can range from the everyday, such as the belief in hard work and punctuality, to the more psychological, such as self-reliance, concern for others, and harmony of purpose.
Rediscover What Is Important to You
Imagine that your life is handed back to you and you are able to do anything you want. What is important to you? What values will direct you?
Consider each word on the following list individually. It is not necessary to force-rank them or compare them against each other. Assign a rating to each word:
1 = Very important to me
2 = Important to me
3 = Not very important to me
______ Acceptance by others ______ Accomplishment ______ Activity ______ Admiration & Appreciation ______ Authority ______ Beauty ______ Being liked ______ Being well-paid ______ Calm ______ Casualness ______ Certainty ______ Challenge ______ Choice ______ Comfort ______ Community service ______ Creativity ______ Enjoyment ______ Excellence ______ Excitement ______ Financial security ______ Fitness ______ Flexibility ______ Freedom ______ Fulfilling my potential ______ Fun ______ Growth ______ Harmony ______ Health ______ Helping others ______ Honesty ______ Independence ______ Making a difference ______ Mastery ______ Morality ______ Nature ______ Originality ______ Peace ______ Personal development ______ Pets ______ Pleasure ______ Popularity ______ Power ______ Prestige ______ Privacy ______ Prosperity ______ Recognition ______ Relaxation ______ Respect ______ Risk ______ Solitude ______ Spirituality ______ Stability ______ Status ______ Stimulation ______ Surprise ______ Time for friends ______ Time for family ______ Uniqueness ______ Wealth ______ Wisdom
Now make a list of all your number one’s, The Very important to me. These are some of your most important values. If you think of something that isn’t listed, feel free to add it.
We can energize our lives by taking on the full responsibility of implementing the values we hold in high esteem. Once we recognize values that are meaningful to us, we can develop strategies to implement them. When we make the concentrated effort to implement those strategies, the opportunity to feel contentment, happiness and balance is sure to follow.
The final part of this process is to compare how you are currently spending your time with your list of most important values. How well do they match each other? What clues can you find that will help you find more satisfaction in your life?
You may have everything you think you want, but if those things are not aligned with what you value most, those things can feel meaningless, empty and unsatisfying.
The key point to keep in mind about values is that putting energy into what you value energizes your life and creates happiness. For an individual, committing to and applying values releases fresh energies, which attracts success, achievement, and well being. Counseling is an essential tool in helping you identify your values and learn how to take steps towards greater happiness.
Contact Julienne Derichs
Call 773-562-3074 or