By Andrea Seydel
BEYOND HAPPY: Women, Work, and Well-Being
Are you struggling to manage it all? What does a typical day look like for you? How many roles do you play in a day? Wife, mom, co-worker, shopper, problem solver, conflict resoluter, chef, etc. ROLES INTENSIFY FEELING OF OVERWHELM. As a single working mom, I sometimes struggle with the stress of trying to do it all, I yell at my kids and then feel guilty. I lose my cool simply from overwhelm.
Science has shown that women's level of happiness has declined over the past 40 Years. Surveys reveal that 80 percent of working mothers feel stress about getting everything done. In the Book Beyond Happy, Beth Cabrera created a masterpiece that we can use as an INTERVENTION this stress and overwhelm that life can bring.
This book is all about the strategies hundreds of women use in order to manage it all. Combined with positive psychology which is the science of what leads to thriving individuals, workplaces and communities. She covers topics including hope, optimism, love, resilience, strengths, flow, purpose and meaning.
Since well-being means different things to different people and it is a subjective sense of how our lives are going, this book looks at multiple factors that influence our well-bing. We will discover two dimensions: 1. FEELING GOOD AND 2. DOING GOOD. People who experience more frequent positive emotions have higher well-being than those who feel good less often. FEELING GOOD. We also know that people who sense their lives are worthwhile because they are pursuing meaningful goals and making a positive difference have higher well-being than those who don't feel they are doing good. DOING GOOD.
Ready and eager to for some practical solutions for improving our well-being right now? This book offers a combination of the results from research on women's careers with findings from positive psychology.
The Path to Well-being
The Problem: Trying to do too much. Be all things to all people plus have a career!
What Can Be Done: Discover your own avenues for improvement.
Understanding Well-Being: It is a combination of feeling good and doing good.
Feeling Good: Positive emotions provide us with benefits: Positive individuals tend to have stronger relaitonships and are also physically healthier. Positive emotions lead to greater creativity and better decisions making. Chronic stress and negative emotions affects our ability to feel good. But we can balance the ratios of positive to negative. Think of your attention like a vacuum or spot light. It sucks into your brain what it illuminates. With neuroplasticity, we have the power to rewire our brains so we experience less stress and more positive emotions.
Doing Good: Believing that what you are doing is valuable and worthwhile. We have need for purpose, for values to help us decide how to act, for self-efficacy to make us feel we have control and the need for self-worth to believe we are worthy. Sense of doing good comes from pursuing goals that matter to self and others, from engaging in activities that are consistent to our values, from developing strengths, from making positive impact in others lives.
Enhancing Well-Being: Our well-being is enhanced when we experience frequent positive emotions- that is , we feel good- and when we sense that our life has meaning- that are making a difference by doing good.
Beyond Happy Assessment Image- FEELING GOOD Score 1-7 DOING GOOD Score 8-14 Well-Being Score Total
Slow Down: Find Moments to STOP Stop, Take a breath, Observe, Proceed.
Don't Multitask: Increase mindfulness by doing only one thing at a time. Give attention it deserves. Example 1-10 ABC...
Connect With Nature: Spending time outside helps you be mindful
Pause: Count to ten
Meditate: Formal practice to cultivate mindfulness.
Notice the Good: Make an effort to notice and savour what is good
Count Your Blessings: Pick a time every day to stop and count your blessings
Express Gratitude: to others and yourself
Reframe Situations: Turn "have to" into "get to" by reframing obligations as opportunities to feel grateful.
Visualize the future: Hopeful people are individuals who think the future looks bright, expecting it to be better than the present. Visualize your ideal future.
Set Specific Goals that will move you in the direction of your desired future.
Make a plan: Use if-then planned to help you take action.
Identify Alternatives: Alternative strategies for achieving your goals.
Notes Your successes: Keep a victory log where you record all your successes.
Find Role Models- think about the effort it took your role models to achieve success.
Unconventional Bookclub with Andrea Seydel
MindMeister: Online Mind Mapping and Brainstorming (link)
Live Your Values:
Clarify Your Values: When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier. Values drive decisions. Identify the values that influence important life decisions. Heroes list characteristics clues to values- Compassion, courage, authenticity.
Align Your behaviours Do your behaviours match your values?
Discover Your Purpose: Reflect on your values and experiences in order to discover your purpose.
Develop Your Strengths:
Identify Your Strengths: CLUES- Enjoyment, Ease, Excellence, Energy. VIA Inventory of strengths. Gallup Strengthsfinder. R2 Strengths Profiler. Feedback. Share story of challenge.
Apply Your Strengths: Look for ways to use your strengths more.
Make a Positive Impact:
Detect a Need: that you could help to satisfy.
Do Meaningful Work: Change your tasks or your interactions with other in order to find more meaning
What Matters Most
Connect With Others:
Spend Time with Family and Friends: Make an effort to stay in touch with family and friends.
Build Relationships with Co-workers and build a network of social connections.
Strengthen Your Relationships
Engage in Positive Interactions: Make an effort to spend time with others. Maximize the amount of positive interactions.
Show Appreciation let people know you appreciate them
Establish Trust: act in ways that build trust
Be Generous: Chunk your acts of kindness.
From struggling to thriving
This book helped us gather insight into how to effectively balance career and family responsibilities without the stress and overwhelm.
We learned that Understanding Well-Being is a combination of feeling good and doing good.