It seems as if we are hard wired for taking action and getting things accomplished. Our survival as a society depends on the actions of many different people. We each do our part and everything runs smoothly. It only makes sense then that we have an internal mechanism hard wired into our brain that rewards us for getting things done.
I’m sure you’ve seen this in your own life. You feel proud, accomplished, and happy when you wrap up something like a big project (whether it be for work or otherwise), or simply finish reorganizing your closet. It’s a great feeling and it’s what drives us to get things done on a regular basis. It gives us motivation to take action.
On the other hand, when we don’t have anything meaningful to do and we don’t feel like we’re contributing, we may feel sad or even depressed. People who don’t have a fulfilling job, or feel like the work they do isn’t useful, are much more likely to feel down, tired, sad, and depressed. In addition, studies show that people who work longer are more satisfied. So, if you are retired and don’t feel productive or feel like you are contributing to anything, this could lead to feelings of being unfulfilled and of sadness.
The best way to turn this around then is to find something you can do to make you feel more productive and fulfilled. If you feel like you’re contributing to others, having a positive impact on their lives, all the better. Give it a try. The next time you feel down, force yourself to do one little productive thing. Do some laundry, organize a kitchen cabinet or a book shelf, clean the bathroom or your car. You get the idea. Then use the accomplishment from this to motivate yourself to get something else done. Keep building on it, and before you know it you’ll notice your mood changing to be happier.
If you want to supercharge this experience, go out and do something productive that helps others. Volunteer ~ Go work at a soup kitchen for a couple of hours, or help out at your local animal shelter. Offer to baby sit for a friend with little children who hasn’t gotten out all week. Doing something that benefits someone else will make you feel much better. I have a retired friend who is mentoring others in their businesses. He feels it not only is productive but stimulates him intellectually as well.
For the long run, make it a goal to regularly do something that helps fuel this feeling of being fulfilled, as well as contributing and giving back. What can you do this week or this month to work towards this goal? That’s where you want to start and in the meantime, keep volunteering, keep taking action, and do things that make you feel happy and accomplished.
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My mission is to Educate, Empower and Elevate Savvy Women to step into their full potential and passion for health, wealth and happiness.
I am a dietitian by trade but an entrepreneur in my heart, as well as a best-selling author and speaker who values authenticity, honesty and ethics while taking my message to the world and helping others shift from dependence to independence in all areas of their lives. I see my connections and relationships with others as a way to encourage, energize, and empower them to live up to their full potential.
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