THRIVE! is the name of a program developed by Dr. Heap in 2013 at the University of Kansas to help women find well-being.
The purpose of the thrive program is to empower women with the knowledge we need to live a healthy, happy, flourishing love, prosperous career, fabulous, awesome, magnificent, rockin’, envy-inspiring, every woman’s dream kind of thriving life!
Consider the following questions for a few moments:
How would you define a thriving life?
When you look around at women today, do you see a lot of thriving?
The general consensus to this question is—not really. And researchers are confirming what we are observing all around us—happiness in women is decreasing. This phenomenon has a name—researchers are calling it the paradox of declining female happiness.
The paradox of declining female happiness: What is it and why is it happening?
The paradox of declining female happiness was big news in 2009 and left everyone with a “WTF?” type of attitude. The study showed women are not more satisfied today compared to 50 years ago—this left researchers and feminists scratching their heads.
I have to admit, when I read this research, my reaction was the opposite…“no ----, Sherlock!” Why? Because I have been talking to women and couples about well-being, happiness and love for the last 15 years, and I've run across very few women living the thriving, rockin’ lives of their dreams!
The big question is—why and what do we do about it?
I am not suggesting we should have stayed in Leave It to Beaver land back in our grandparents/great grandparents era, or roll back time so our best case scenario would be to find a nice husband to make us barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen! You cannot tell me June Cleaver was actually happy. No one can be that positive all the time! Research backs this up, by the way. If a person has more than 11 positive comments to one negative comment (called your positivity ratio), that person is being insincere and unrealistic. This was June Cleaver in a nutshell!
Today we have super-model, airbrushed bodies to live up to, whereas the previous generation’s equivalent was- bake a fabulous meatloaf while bringing your husband the morning paper looking perfect and maintaining a pristine smile. Both are impossible standards and neither will make us happy, but given the choice I would rather try and live up to the supermodel (by the way I plan to hit Sonic for some onion rings over lunch- anyone want to join me?).
I love the fact that 50% of my medical school class was made up of women and the sky’s the limit when it comes to our opportunities! Society needs women involved in leadership roles—the planet needs what we have to offer!! So why in the world aren’t women thriving!?
Take a few minutes to come up with an answer to: If one hundred percent of women want to thrive—then why are so many failing to create the life they desire?
From what I have gathered by meeting with women and offering insights from research in the areas of reproductive medicine, positive psychology, and the brain science of love (plus a few more sources like the cognitive neuroscience of self-regulation, the psychology of goal setting, and cognitive behavioral therapy…), we are dealing with an information gap! You don’t have to be a doctor, a psychologist, or a brain scientist to understand and benefit from the information emerging in these amazing areas of science!
Most women, and men for that matter, believe that you are lucky if you do not struggle with chronic illness as you age. You are lucky if you are happy and satisfied with life. You are lucky if you are successful in your work. You are lucky if you found a great guy, have an awesome marriage and really great kids!
By waiting and hoping to “get lucky” we lose control of our lives! By hoping to “get lucky” we do things to ensure that “luck” eludes us!
In addition to buying into the myth of “luck”, we also have assumptions and perceptions that have been handed down to us by the previous generation about health, happiness and love that guide our decisions. The big problem lies in the fact that many of these assumptions are leading us to do things that are counterproductive to attaining happiness, health and thriving love according to recently emerging research! And we are working very hard at these counterproductive goals!
We need to create our own luck by powering up with the knowledge—based in recent research—that will empower us to be our own advocate in the doctor’s office, satisfied in whatever work we do, and find, fall in love with- and stay in love with- Mr. Right for life!
This thriving life is 100% possible! You just need to know how! Learning about what causes well-being is a first step--download Dr. Heap's guidebook on the spiral staircase of well-being in our store!