How many of you have ever asked yourself or wondered… is there more to life? Probably, most of you at one point or another, right?
The truth is from the time when you were a young kid, most of you were raised to believe in dreaming, having fun, being happy; and told to stay a child as long as you could. How many of you remember hearing those words? Well, the women of 3 Women Voices remember.
Yet, somewhere along the way, from childhood to adulthood, your dreams were lost, your focus was shifted, and you stopped believing. You stopped believing in YOU and what you wanted. As you developed into an adult, life happened: bills, responsibilities, relationships, kids, working and so many other life-altering moments that stole your dreams. Don’t get us wrong, some people were able to surpass their circumstances, and stay true to the course of reaching their goals and dreams. Bravo to you! But the majority of women never got that chance. As a matter of fact, most women not only lost their dreams in life, but they lost themselves in the process… you know by being everything to everybody, and therefore, putting themselves last. It is for that reason, they never got to live… to live out loud. In fact, most of us find ourselves just existing: waking up, going to work, tending to family, watching TV, going to sleep, and then the cycle starts all over again.
In all of that, what did you do to make “Yourself” happy?
The truth be told, so many women, deep inside, probably wondered what their life would have been like if they had just gone for it… let go of their fears, restraints, roadblocks, and inhibitions, and decided to LIVE. We know you’ve thought about it. We’re not talking about just existing, we’re talking about LIVING… living out the dreams you once imagined as a child. With that thought, what if only you had dared to be different, stepped out of your comfort zone and taken the flight to what was possible in your life, and to the things that would’ve made you happy.
What would your life be like now? Close your eyes and think about it, can you see it? While you’re thinking, let Diane Lang give you insight into how to find your happy.
She is a Therapist, Educator, Life Coach, and a parent who is dedicated to helping people turn their lives around and is now on a mission to help them develop a sustainable, positive attitude. She has a M.A. in Counseling, and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from the New York Institute of Technology. She also has a Positive Psychology coaching certificate from the Wholebeing Instititute. She has been on numerous network television programs and in magazines discussing her expertise in her fields of therapy. Last but not least, she is an author and her latest book is called, “Creating Balance and Finding Happiness.”
1) Who is Diane Lang?
A. That is a question, I ask myself every few weeks or months depending on what’s going on. I’m forever changing. It’s a hard question to answer because I’m a work in progress. For now, I’m a person in the middle of a shift on the path towards my best life. In addition, I’m a person who likes change even though it scares me. With that said, I know there are things I want to change and that I need to work on. For instance, I want to have more balance in my life. Keeping that in mind, I’m a person who is kind, empathetic, a good listener, and caring; yet, I always forget about myself, and worry more about everyone else and what they are thinking.
2) Why did you get into this type of practice?
A. I got into the positive psychology – the happier side of psychology (laughing) because it appeals to me; it’s who I’ve always wanted to be and who I strive to be everyday. In fact, I’ve wanted to be happier, healthier, optimistic, and more resilient. Additionally, I’ve wanted to be self-aware of my inner beliefs and be able to make the necessary changes when the beliefs were limited. As a matter of fact, positive psychology has helped me to make all these changes, and so much more. It is for this reason, I only want to use tools with my clients and students that I have used on myself, so I know it works.
3) What does being happy mean?
A. Happy is external. For example: I’m happy the weather is good. I’m happy I got a raise. I’m happy I’m not sick, etc. So, joy is what I work towards and it’s there no matter what’s going on in my external world. Happy is a good place to be, but it’s not permanent.
4) Why is it important to be happy?
A. It’s important to be optimistic, happy and resilient because they allow you to work through the tough times. They also allow you to see the bigger picture, and to know everything is temporary and going to be okay.
5) Are you happy? If so, what makes you happy? Describe some times in your life when you weren’t happy, and how did you handle it.
A. I’m happy at this moment, but again, it could change depending on external circumstances; however, I always feel joy. Actually, I have a strong joyful foundation because I know the things in my life that bring me joy no matter what is going on in my external world; and I practice those things when I need to, which gives me self-care. For example, I have had bad times in my childhood and suffered with an illness as an adult. In fact, six years ago when I was sick, I used the positive psychology tools, and it literally changed my world; which is another reason, I use it with clients, and teach it. It’s so powerful.
6) How should a person deal with people, places or things that prevent them from being happy?
A. They should deal with them by using boundaries and limitations. So, if you have people in your life that are toxic, you should ask yourself – Why are they still in your life? As far as, family or people you choose not to break up with, it’s usually harder to break up with them; so you must set strict limitations and boundaries that are healthy for you, and at the same time, you must make sure your personal needs are being met.
7) When a person is not happy what impact does it have on their mind, body, life, and psyche?
A. It’s the mind-body connection. If you’re emotionally not feeling well, it absolutely affects you physically. We have two emotional needs that need to be met. One is belonging, which is when we have a few people in our lives who love us unconditionally. The second one is acceptance, whereby, we must have the acceptance and love of ourselves, and for ourselves.
8) If someone wanted to find happiness in their life, what are some steps they could follow that could possibly help them?
A. They could do a nightly routine that would take a few minutes, and that is free. They can end their night with these two questions:
- What are 2-3 things you’re grateful for that happened today?
- What are 2-3 things you did well today?
These two questions will help you retrain your brain for positive thoughts, and will help you to refocus what you put your attention on, which could cultivate happiness and mindfulness.
9) Does everyone deserve to be happy? Why?
A. Absolutely, but remember, we will have happy days and unhappy days, which is completely normal. Also, when we say “be happy,” it doesn’t mean to not feel the emotions (anger, sadness, and fear, etc.) but it means to feel them, so you are able to heal them. Therefore, when we are happy, we are naturally more resilient, so we can quickly move through the clutter.
10) Do you have to be willing to forgive your oppressors in order to be happy?
A. Forgiveness is very important. If we hold on to anger, it affects every choice or decision we ever make. When we make choices based on fear or anger instead of love, they are usually not the right decisions, and regret can become an issue.
11) If a loved one is unhappy, what are some things you can do to give support?
A. You can give unconditional support, but remember, you can’t change anyone, it’s up to them. Also, watch your own health because negativity is very contagious and draining.
12) Are there any red flags to look for in order to prevent suicides in loved ones or friends who may be unhappy?
A. Look for changes in their norm, such as:
- Are they isolating themselves?
- Are they not functioning?
- Are they feeling hopeless and helpless?
- Are they giving away items that were important to them?
- Are they talking about ending their life?
- Are they jealous of others who have passed on?
- Are they talking about death or even glamorizing it?
- Are they easily frustrated or agitated?
- Are they getting more and more angry, and destructive?
- Have they gone on a drug or alcohol binge?
If you suspect someone is suicidal, it is important to recognize the red flags, and get medical help right away.
13) What are options of support if you suspect that someone is suffering from mental illness?
A. You have options of therapy and coaching, which are both great depending on your needs. They both offer confidentiality, unconditional and non-judgmental support. For these reasons, mental health issues should be dealt with in therapy. And remember, change, transition, career choices, and working on bettering yourself can be done with coaching.
14) How could someone reach you if they wanted to contact you?
A. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for more information. I have numerous workshops, events and books that can assist you in finding your happy.
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