June Converse

Thriving After Trauma - Author and Writing Coach

Hopeful New Year: A New Way to Define Happy

I was in a group recently and a woman talked about wanting to be happy. The group leader handed her a set of Mixed Emotions cards (see below for a link). She asked her to select ten. In order to explain this better, I’m going to do the same activity.

Step One: I’ve gathered my Mixed Emotions cards.

Step Two: Grab ten cards to represent how you feel and how you want to feel. Don’t take hours to do this – flip through the cards and find ten that “hit” you. Today, I’m feeling very overwhelmed and discouraged because some of my writing plans are not coalescing. And, this is happening because I just don’t understand some important concepts. Based on how I feel and how I want to feel RIGHT THIS MOMENT, I chose the following ten cards:

emotion cards
If you click on the image, you will be directed to Amazon. Please read my affiliate link below.

In case you can’t read the picture, my ten are: inadequate, confused, overwhelmed, confident, proud, encouraged, frustrated, discouraged, hopeful, excited

Step Three: Put the cards in order from the most difficult emotion to the most wanted emotion. This would vary for every one of us. It would also vary based on the day or even the time of day. Today, I put them in this order:

emotion cards
If you click on the image, you will be directed to Amazon. Please read my affiliate link below.

inadequate – discouraged – overwhelmed – confused – frustrated – encouraged – hopeful – excited – confident – proud

Step Four: The woman I mentioned in the opening paragraph spoke of feeling despair and her desire to feel happy. She built her cards starting with despair and ending with joy. Between those she had eight cards that moved her one step closer to joy. Do you get the point?

We can’t go from despair to joy in one step. I can’t go from feeling inadequate to proud in the blink of an eye. BUT I CAN move from feeling inadequate (which is the worst) to feeling discouraged (which is slightly better). Then I can move from discouraged to simply overwhelmed.

I acknowledged I feel inadequate and I became INTENTIONAL in doing something to feel less inadequate. What actions can I take in the next few minutes to stop this inadequate feeling?

  • Finish this blog – let it be authentic and then let it go. (done J)
  • Look back on my to-do list for the last several days and jot down accomplishments. (done J)
  • Choose ONE area where I’m confused and find a video to watch on the topic. (found one J) Hint: I found a short video because I knew if I found too much information I’d go backwards!

Just making this list makes me feel less inadequate. I’m not proud yet – but that was NOT my goal. My goals were simple – 1) be honest with myself about how I feel, 2) acknowledge that this particular feeling will not go away just by wishing, 3) find ways to feel just a bit better.

I’ve spent exactly 20 minutes on this activity (including writing this blog) and I feel so much better. My energy has returned. I have a tiny (very tiny) plan that I know I can handle. Once I’ve done that, I’ll reassess. I may drag my Mixed Emotion Cards back out. Oftentimes I’ve found that finding the most accurate word for my emotion is cathartic.

It’s 2018. Let’s not make crazy resolutions. Let’s resolve to be authentic. Realistic. Intentional. Let’s plan to move ONE SIMPLE STEP towards a better life.

Suggested Resource:

Mixed Emotions cards are wonderful and can be used in many ways. The cards come with a booklet of suggestions. http://amzn.to/2m9IcUl

I wanted you to be aware that I am part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program where I will earn a fee if you choose to purchase using the links presented in this site. Please know that if I recommend the resource, I have personally read or used it.


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June Converse with purple hair
Choosing to rebuild a life after a breakdown has been a challenge. I became an author and a blogger who openly shares...

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