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5 Reasons People Are Always Unhappy And Unfulfilled (And How To Overcome It)

5 Reasons People Are Always Unhappy And Unfulfilled (And How To Overcome It)

Everyone feels “off” from time to time. We feel like we aren’t good enough, or that our actions aren’t as noble as we wish they were. We are constantly looking for approval, and worrying that we might not get it. How do we fix this? How do we break away from our worries and fears to just enjoy our lives?

Below are 5 major things everyone feels at one point or another and the solutions to help you feel better.

1. Complaining

    Via: huffingtonpost.com

    We all complain a little too much from time to time. It could be about the weather, our job, our house, our significant other, our friends and family, or about how someone didn’t make your food the correct way at a restaurant. Complaining is so easy to do, and it’s a habit that we all need to break. When you complain, you pick out the negatives with others (rather than the positives).

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    Have you heard the saying “It’s easier to hate someone than to love someone”? While this may seem true, it isn’t. It takes an awful lot to like someone, especially when they seem to get on your nerves whenever you see them. It’s even harder to accept their flaws and love them. Disliking or hating someone is easy, you don’t have to work on building a relationship with them or even attempt to talk to them. While you’re complaining about what they do or don’t do, they’re trying their hardest to show you they’re capable of doing something. The next time you start complaining about something or someone, write down five positive things that out rule the negatives. I promise you will feel better, and eventually you will only see the positives in others.

    2. Under Appreciated

      Via: unsplash.com

      It’s hard to appreciate ourselves when we feel under appreciated. The thing is, we don’t need others to value us in order to value ourselves! Self-love is so important, and a lack of self-love will leave you feeling upset and useless. When you fully accept and love yourself, you open a new world of possibilities.

      Those insecurities you had will soon vanish, and you will feel on top of the world. Loving yourself will promote self-approval and confidence. Plus, you don’t need the approval of someone else in order to feel happy and to appreciate yourself! Be a better you for yourself, and no one else.

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      3. Worrying Too Much

        Via: unsplash.com

        This is something that everyone struggles with from time to time. We worry about things that have happened, things that are currently happening, and things that might happen in the future. We need to remind ourselves that we are not alone when this happens. Whether we want to admit it or not, we all get anxiety from worrying too much. It just so happens that some are worse with this than others.

        The next time you start worrying about things that have or haven’t happened, sit down with a piece of paper and pen, and write out three possible outcomes that are good. When you start writing things down (whether it be goals or happy thoughts) we instantly feel more productive, and we have a grasp on our emotions. Writing has self-soothing abilities, and will eventually enhance your self-knowledge. The next time you start to worry, bring out your paper and pen and jot down happy thoughts, things you wish to happen, or just a short note to yourself. You can even start a “worry journal” where you can write down your fears and thoughts. You can reflect back on it at a later time during the day.

        4. Fear of Loss

          Via: entrepreneur.com

          Sometimes our lives are filled with clutter. It may be material items, or what’s going on in our head. Imagine how free you would feel if you could just clear your mind for a little while. If you lose some memories, or just forget bits and pieces, don’t beat yourself up over it. Perhaps those memories weren’t the greatest, and it’s better that you forgot about them!

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          The same goes for material items. You may say “I could never lose this, I’d be so upset” and misplace whatever it is you’re afraid to lose. Time will go by, and you may not even notice it’s missing until the next time you think “Oh, what did I do with that?”. Suddenly, your heart sinks, and you get frantic looking for your item. The scary truth that you’ll have to face is: It didn’t mean as much to you as you thought it did. If you truly treasured your items, you would find a good place to put them. On your desk, or in a box near your bed. You wouldn’t be so careless with them! So, no worries. Material items come and go, it’s nothing to get upset about.

          5. Overcome Jealousy

            Via: law.uoregon.edu

            We all feel jealous of others sometimes. We look at someone else and become unhappy with who we are / what we look like. Looking through social media can sometimes be a bummer, especially since we only see the positives in somebody else’s life. The thing we seem to forget is that everything is not (always) as it seems. Just because someone you look up to is posting nothing but happy things, doesn’t mean their grass is necessarily greener than yours.

            We all fight our own private battles, some worse than others. We never truly know what someone is going through unless we’re told by that person in particular. Instead of focusing on somebody else’s positives and wishing your life was more like theirs, water your own grass. There is no better way to happiness than keeping your mind busy and focusing on yourself. Who cares if someone has a “better sense of style” than you do? Does style matter when you’re out in the real world? I don’t think so. What matters is what’s on the inside!

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            Featured photo credit: ontheriver09.files.wordpress.com via ontheriver09.files.wordpress.com

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            Published on May 18, 2021

            How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

            How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

            We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

            The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

            Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

            Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

            Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

            There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

            Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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            Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

            We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

            Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

            A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

            The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

            Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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            Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

            Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

            Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

            While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

            Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

            These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

            Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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            Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

            Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

            Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

            Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

            Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

            Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

            As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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            This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

            Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

            Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

            These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

            Actions Speak Louder Than Words

            Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

            Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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            Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

            More Tips Improving Listening Skills

            Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

            Reference

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