Is your life as flat as a pancake? (And what to do if it is)
Yesterday was shrove Tuesday here in the UK which inspired me to write a flat as a pancake post.
You will probably live a long time. The UK comes 21st out of the 35 developed nations studied for female life expectancy, at 85.2 years, and 14th for men, at 82.5 years. So it’s probably a good idea to make as many years of those happy ones 🙂
It’s quite common for people to suffer a dip in life satisfaction at some point in their lives, with the most common age for this around early to mid forties. This is often referred to a a mid life crisis. Yesterday I took 2 bookings from people in this age range who felt they need to evaluate their lives and make sure that the rest of their life gives them satisfaction.
So what are the reasons for feeling as flat as a pancake? Although they will be different for everyone, here are some of the themes I see in my work as a Hypnotherapist and coach specialising in what is labelled as ‘depression’ but today we can call it feeling as ‘flat as a pancake’.
People fall out of love with partners and themselves. Even though I am reluctant to use the word ‘self-love’, it is important to value yourself or you will attract all sorts of trouble into your life. You may become a people pleaser who can’t say no to others because you don’t have enough self-esteem to do so and fear upsetting others. Or you might attract people into your life that don’t value you because you don’t value yourself very much. The good news is that self-esteem is easily increased with a bit of self reflection and work. This is a big part of my work with my clients. Some people find a new lease of love for others once they like themselves more. And some people find the confidence to end bad relationships in pursuit of happiness alone or with a new partner.
Many people build great careers and businesses in their twenties and thirties only to find that the money doesn’t give them the kind of happiness they seek in later life. Maybe the working hours or conditions clash with their desire to be with their family or the work/life balance is out of kilter. Often, people chase the ‘dream’ only to feel unfulfilled when they get it. This is because deep down inside money isn’t one of their key values so the sacrifice that has to be made to get the money (and there often is one) just doesn’t sit right. It’s really useful to uncover your values and align your life and the way you spend your time and energy to your values which means you feel more at home in your own skin and much happier with your life. This is a key part of the work I do with my clients and they are often surprised at what is really important to them.
You get a job and you are *insert your name* the manager, or the accountant, or the teacher or whatever. You get married and you are *insert husband or wife’s name* husband or wife. You have children and you are *insert childrens’ names* mum or dad. So who are you really. Seriously, try and answer that question now. It’s usually hard for people! When I do identity work with people, I help them rediscover parts of themselves that they have forgotten
Life can dampen dreams. When you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, they don’t wait and think will it pay their mortgage, will they be able to handle the commute, is there career progression and will it ever offer flexible working. They answer from their HEART. They say things like ‘pop star’, ‘astronaut’ or ‘football player’. They dream big in line with their passions, the things that excite them, where they think they will be happy. Dreams are different to goals. Goals are usually SMART (smart, measurable, achieveable, realistic and timebound) and yes, goals can leads towards your dreams. But dreams light you up and excite you and everyone should have at least one dream. Who knows, it might even come true 🙂
Pitfalls of being a pancake
If you find yourself feeling flat as a pancake you might sink into depression. People can stay in this situation for weeks, months and even years. But what people don’t realise is that you can do a lot to help yourself ease depression or even shake it off altogether.
You might find yourself comfort eating to counteract what’s missing in your life. Or emotional eating to avoid facing up to things.
Often people become anxious when they feel out of control or lost in their lives. Almost like a symptom for things that aren’t right. Anxiety sometimes follows stress or comes before depression.
Some people can tolerate stress for a long time before they ‘snap’ or ‘crumble’. Once this has happened they find themselves assessing their lives and looking to avoid the same situation. Don’t underestimate stress (it’s not called the silent killer for nothing).
So what can you do if you feel flat as a pancake?
It really helps to get some help when you feel as flat as a pancake. I help people smooth issues of the past and feel better about the future. Your thoughts will feel more organised and you will be able to think more clearly with a renewed sense of purpose.
Once you let the stuff you’ve been carrying for years, decades or a lifetime go, you will be amazed how much lighter and brighter you feel. I will help you get back in touch with yourself, understand your needs and what you need to do to meet them. We will look at ways to bring joy into your life so you feel happier and fulfilled.
It is never too late for a new beginning, every single day is a clean slate waiting to be filled by you.