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Ready for the Life Satisfaction Scale? Let's Get Started

January 19, 2022

By Justin Mink, LPC Natchaug Hospital If rough seas make good sailors, by now we should be approaching expert level. The challenges of 2021 have left their mark physically, mentally, and emotionally. Approaching the year ahead with an attitude of positive expectation is important as the future holds unforeseen challenges, joys and possible pains.  And whether we are planners or free spirits, personal preparation is essential to ensure our future success. The first step is to take an inventory. As we take a look back, we see behind us a litany of successfully navigated obstacles. And we may find some ways we can improve as well. Let’s start the year by taking inventory our current state of being. As any ocean sailor will tell you, if left unaddressed, salt quickly begins its deteriorating work, so it is essential to clean and polish our vessel. One simple way to review this information is a Life Satisfaction Scale. A few categories to examine may include our level of satisfaction with our physical health, mental health, family, friends and fun. Each category can be scored based on the level of satisfaction in that area using a 0-10 scale, with 10 being the most satisfied. Score your highest level of satisfaction and then list two ways you could increase the score by one or two points. For example, you could score your physical health at a 7 and then increase this by one or two points by listing items such as eating three meals a day and drinking more water daily. You could increase your current mental health score by reading a good book or getting a massage. If we find that our scores aren’t what we want, start by picking a category that is easiest to increase. Personally, I would rather do something I enjoy, so let’s take a look at the fun category. Say for this category that my current level satisfaction level is a 3 out of a possible 10, so not very satisfied at the present time. I can ask myself, “How can I increase my score from 3 to 5?” I like to bowl, so I if I focus on that category with the intent of increasing my satisfaction score just a little, I could plan to go bowling. Interestingly, when one category on the Life Satisfaction Scale increases it often affects others areas positively as well. I like to call this linking. Are there areas that naturally link together? Those can be the most powerful and affect the other areas of your life. The activity of bowling can easily be linked with the category of friendship, so I could invite a friend to go bowling. If I do this, I am likely going to have fun bowling, while at the same time improving my relationship with my friend, and incidentally my mental health and physical health will also be positively affected. And a small increase in any one of the areas can act as a powerful catalyst to improving others areas.

Handling Resistance

Whenever we consider making a change, we often feel some amount of resistance. To push through the resistance, the inertia, takes strength. I love the quote, “Strength is won by strength.” This means to be strong, we have to display strength, to use strength. When we do, we usually find a positive result. Some wise person has said, “Display in yourself that which you desire to become.” Successful people have the habit of doing things that unsuccessful people don’t do. It doesn’t mean they necessarily like doing those things, but they do them anyway. So do what it takes to push through resistance and increase your life satisfaction, in small ways at first.

Prepare for the Future

Let’s look with gratitude at who we are, what we have accomplished, and be grateful for the future we have the opportunity to make. We have much to offer to our family, friends, and strangers we meet. I encourage you to take an inventory of what has been, enjoying the successes, and learning from the challenges, to be prepared for what is to come. And we will arrive at our destination – one of hope, strength, kindness, and health, as we move forward together. To view Justin Mink's "Managing Emotional Wellness" webinar, click here.