Our current models of happiness and well-being are based on the study of averages. Consequently averages are considered to be the norm that you can expect to achieve. Traditional psychology research focuses on these norms or averages and determines what is possible based on what is average for most people. It then turns its attention towards helping those who are below average reach the average. Very little if any focus is based on those who fit into the above average category.
Averages however do not reflect your authentic potential or optimal levels of well-being!
Perhaps you can relate to this scenario;
- You wake up in the morning with your mind filled with all of the things you need to or have to do that day. Consequently you go through the day meeting one obligation to the next. When lying in bed that night you fall asleep thinking about the next day and all of items on your list of to do’s. You can’t wait until Friday so that you can really relax, have fun and enjoy your life.
For many people this scenario represents their norm, however as you can see this does not reflect optimal well-being and life potential. It simply reflects reaching average. It is compelling to reach for your potential vs. merely settle for average when you consider the other side of the equation such as the fact that rates of stress, depression and anxiety are going up every year.
According to the CDC, 1 in 10 Americans are depressed. It is the common cold of mental illness and is believed to be outranked only by cardiovascular disease in the coming decades. It costs 83 billion per year due to loss of work and medical expenses and women are two to three more likely to have depression than men. These are the statistics just for depression, if we look at stress these numbers are much higher. It is now estimated that 80-90% of all disease is stress-related and costs 150 billion to 300 billion annually.
When you apply the strategies that work for the above average group you have the potential to raise the average for everyone. This can easily be seen in professional athletes. What was once viewed as nearly impossible is now the average. No one thought the 1 mile race would ever break the 4 minute threshold. We have found this to be repeatedly true in our work. When we speak to people at the level of their potential they rise to the standard of what is possible vs. what is common.
Coaching and Counseling
Hilary Stokes Ph.D. and Kim Ward Ph.D. have been a team for 20 years, specializing in mind, body, spirit psychology. They are the authors of the bestselling books The Happy Map: Your roadmap to the habit of happiness and Manifesting Mindset: The 6-step formula for attracting your goals and dreams and founders of Authenticity Associates Coaching and Counseling. They are passionate about combining the best of holistic and traditional approaches to health and happiness. If you are interested in learning the answers to the most frequently asked questions on how to decrease stress and increase happiness sign up for their free video series.