How would you describe your current state of well-being? And by well-being, I mean your state of happiness, comfort, and self-worth.
That is the question I posed back in early June in the first newsletter/blog post in this series focused on well-being. I wonder now, six weeks later, if you would modify your answer?
Are you struggling? Are you subsisting? Are you satisfied? Or are you soaring?
I believe there are 6 factors that contribute to a person’s well-being. I’ve written on four of them already and provide links here.
6 Factors that play into your well-being
Your purpose and work
Your inner world
Today I want to touch on the very deep and complicated state of your inner world. Your inner world is the place of your mind, heart and spirit. It’s where your emotions and thoughts and beliefs are generated.
When all is well in your inner world, you feel peace and joy, you are learning and growing, you feel grounded in hope and faith. But, when you are not well in your inner world, the list is long of the potential ills that can beset you…stress, anxiety, depression, emptiness, boredom, sadness, lostness, alienation, anger and rage…just to name a few.
This can be rough stuff.
So, before I offer some simple first steps toward strengthening your inner world, consider that what you might need is a deep dive with an expert. Your doctor, a therapist or a pastor are professionals you should turn to if your inner world situation is dire.
Seriously, go see somebody!
However, if your inner struggles are less pronounced, there are some age-old steps and disciplines, simple really, that are available to help you reform your emotions, thinking and faith. As with every one of the factors, I plan to write in depth on these disciplines and issues in a soon to be launched book/workbook/website/app #whoknows… but for now, just take a look at this list. Every one of these remarkable and simple options are at your disposal to help you to reframe your mind, heart and spirit.
Solitude, silence, reading, gratitude, savoring, journaling, play, worship, prayer, music, hobbies, art, and service.
Simple, yes? But I get it…simple, no, because they take time and intentionality. They require commitment and engagement. You have to sit down alone, shut off your phone, turn on the music, sign up to serve, stop and be thankful, write out your thoughts, go to church and actually relish pleasures instead of rushing through them. And there is a prerequisite to involving yourself in any of these spirit-refreshing acts.
You have to acknowledge that your well-being is suffering from an inner world malfunction. You can’t go on shrugging off your sadness, neglecting your anxiety or no-big-dealing your rage.
Admit it. You’re emotionally stuck and have been for some time. You’ve tried to fake it until you make it, but your loved ones see right through it. You’re tired, aren’t you?
That was me a number of years ago. Tired of fighting the nagging sadness while thinking I could just snap out of it. Yes, I thought I was better than anyone else at this stuff. C’mon, I was a pastor, for goodness’ sake! I constantly helped others deal with their inner world. “I’ve got this!” is what I told myself.
I didn’t “have” this.
Finally, humbled enough to listen to my wife and talk to my doctor, I got on some meds that helped me recapture some peace. But mostly, I was just honest for the first time.
Just imagine feeling free. Picture yourself smiling. Dream of waking up with hope and not dread. Consider your life with the stress level turned down.
It can be more than a dream. First, be honest. Then, talk to somebody about it. Finally, begin to mix in some effective disciplines that will reshape your inner world.
It’s time to experience satisfaction.