Kristen Butler

What are the 3 Zones of Living and which one are you in? Find out…

We all live our lives from within one of the Three Zones of Living: the Complacent Zone, the Survival Zone, and the Comfort Zone. Typically we bounce in and out of each of these zones throughout our life.  The zone where you spend most of your time determines the quality of your choices and therefore the quality of your life. 

For example, your enjoyment of life is impacted greatly by which of these zones you most consistently make your home. Happiness studies show that once our basic survival needs are met, more possessions don’t always translate into more happiness. In fact, the pressure of working more and harder in order to attain bigger lives compounds our level of stress, causing us to feel increasingly unhappy and unfulfilled. When we use effort and hard work to push ourselves to grow, we are in danger of diminishing the true quality of our lives even as we achieve more. 

Understanding the Three Zones of Living, knowing where you are at any given moment, and continually moving into the zone that fosters inner peace and connection is the most effective way that I know to improve the quality of your life and create experiences that are enjoyable and fulfilling. 

Complacent Zone

This zone is characterized by a false sense of contentment and satisfaction, which is frequently used to conceal fear, self-doubt, and limiting beliefs. People in this zone may be dissatisfied with life, critical of themselves, and pessimistic about the future. They may experience negative emotions such as worry, blame, resentment, depression, and anxiety on a daily basis. 

The Complacent Zone can lead to a lack of action, passion, and genuine engagement with life. People may feel stuck, lost, and hopeless if they believe they are in a state of stagnation.

It is important to acknowledge these feelings and to work towards breaking out of the Complacent Zone by recognizing and confronting the limiting beliefs that keep us stuck and moving towards growth and self-discovery.

Survival Zone

I’ve witnessed firsthand the consequences of living in the Survival Zone. This zone is fueled by high effort, and those who are overachievers and routinely push themselves outside of their comfort zone will most likely spend the majority of their time here. Due to the constant comparison and competition, this zone can also foster feelings of envy, judgment, and resentment. Everything in the Survival Zone is constantly changing, from one’s beliefs about what is possible to their fears and doubts, resulting in inconsistent results and unexpected setbacks.

I’ve also seen how this zone can lead to exhaustion, whether from mediocre results despite intense effort or from the constant effort required to maintain highly successful results.

After reflecting on the life of my grandfather, who lived and worked in the Survival Zone, I was inspired to write about it. He was a successful salesman in the Pittsburgh steel industry, dedicated to his job and the American Dream. He relocated his family several times and worked long hours, frequently traveling for work on weekends. The grind of this life, however, eventually caught up with him, and he became an alcoholic who struggled with stress. Unfortunately, his hard work and dedication did not pay off in the end, as he died of cancer shortly after retiring.

My grandfather’s life was a shining example of the dangers of living in the Survival Zone, and I see it all around me in American offices full of stressed, overworked, and burned-out employees. The evidence of this zone can be found everywhere, from the stacks of documents on executives’ desks to the tired eyes of the employees I pass. Many people live this way, just trying to make ends meet and chasing success at the expense of their well-being.

Comfort Zone

The Comfort Zone is a safe space where you can express yourself without fear of being judged. It’s full of things that make you feel at ease and natural, and it gives you power during stressful times. When you’re in your Comfort Zone, your stress center (the amygdala) is inactive, and you’re at peace, which allows your body to heal and your brain to become more creative. The HeartMath Institute’s scientific research has shown that when you feel safe, your heart rate goes into coherence, resulting in more efficient organ function and faster healing.

I enjoy seeing my children in their Comfort Zone. They move with grace, joy, and a sense of boundless possibilities. And, like children, the Comfort Zone is not a static environment. Because we are learning creatures who seek new experiences and push the limits of our abilities, it can always expand and become more. My daughter’s Comfort Zone expanded as she became more at ease at the park, progressing from clinging to me to making friends and playing independently.

Adults frequently resist expanding their Comfort Zone for fear of becoming stuck in it. However, living from the Comfort Zone implies that we choose paths that make us feel safe, comfortable, and supported rather than paths that cause anxiety and fear. This is the key to my success in growing the Power of Positivity community to millions of people. People frequently ask me how I did it, but it’s not much different from other business books and programs – it’s simply a matter of being aware of how I feel and making choices that align with my comfort and safety.

The Takeaway: You Can Use Your Mind to Transform Your Day From Bad to Good

Sure, everyone has an occasional “bad day,” especially when they wake up to the rush of a morning commute, kids dragging their feet, and deadlines looming. I have those days, too. 

But to ignore the negativity instead of addressing it only empowers it to destroy your entire day. 

So learn your “zone” and take steps to find your comfort zone. Take the time each day to acknowledge any negative feelings and transform your negativity to positivity. Understand and accept that you deserve self-love. 

You will shine with positivity after you give yourself permission to live a joyful life.

5 Morning Positivity Habits to Jump Start Your Day

There is no better feeling than waking up looking forward to the possibilities and promises of a new day ahead. But I must take the opportunity to cultivate that first blush of positivity before the realities of the day. 

Here’s the good news. Once you learn how to lock in that optimistic feeling for the day, you’ll be able to resist anything that attempts to sabotage your joy. 

But how?

I prioritize the time for self-love. This might sound like a lot at first but becomes ingrained in your routine after a few weeks of practice. 

Five of the methods I most enjoy are these:

Daily affirmations: 

I create my reality through words, shaking off negative thoughts and replacing them with positive. Dozens of studies agree–reaffirming your worth is a helpful tool in everybody’s self-care kit.

It is free, easy, and only takes a few minutes. Just take the negative self-talk and replace it with affirmative language.

A common example of negative language is, “I can’t do it.”  Through affirmations, I flip the script on the negativity and create a positive statement, “I can and will do it.” I say this several times, carefully reflecting on the words, until I believe it. 

Mindful coffee or tea:

Drinking your coffee or tea with an attitude of gratitude and mindfulness is another quick and easy method to infuse your day with positivity. Many hit the button on their coffee maker, pour their favorite hot beverage into a to-go cup and run out the door to face a hectic commute. 

Replace the rush with ten minutes of gratitude. As I prepare my drink, I take the time to thank those who harvested the beans or leaves, notice the fragrant aroma, feel the weight of my favorite mug in my hand, and sip intentionally. I notice the flavor, warmth, and aromatics, enjoying every sip.

This morning routine might add five minutes, but the time it takes to nourish my soul is worth every second.

Deep Breathing: 

On the busiest days, with the least amount of time available, I enjoy three minutes of deep breathing. This activity is quick and refreshing for the mind and body.

As I take in each breath, I close my eyes and notice how it feels to fill my lungs, holding it in for just a few seconds. When I release the breath, I do so with a giant whoosh, visualizing negative thoughts leaving my body as I expel them into thin air. 


As the mother of two young children, I know the challenges of clutter. Not only is it unsightly, but studies note how it can lead to a chaotic feeling not only in the home but also in the emotional center of the brain.

I often set a timer for five minutes, using that time to carefully put away anything that’s out of place. I’m always surprised at how much I accomplish in such a short few moments. Not only do I feel the instant gratification of getting something done now, but I also create more time for family and friends at the end of my workday.


Exercising in the morning works by releasing endorphins, the “feel-good chemicals” from the brain. It literally releases joy, which then radiates throughout your body. It doesn’t matter your fitness level or experience. Focus on what you can do.  You might lace up your running shoes for a morning jog, perform yoga poses to greet the morning, or even do gentle arm circles or leg raises from a chair. 

Set your alarm a few minutes before your normal time to carve the time out of your schedule and claim this time as yours. You’ll feel joy-filled immediately after your workout. But you’ll also make yourself physically stronger over the long term, a happy result of this positive morning routine. It only takes three or four times a week to experience the physical benefits of exercise.

Of course, these are not the only ways to set a positive intention and lock in your optimism for the day. Incorporating things that you love into your morning routine is what you’ll stick with. That might be drinking water, gardening, writing in a journal, making the bed, or prayer. 

You deserve this time, and the love you give yourself.

Creating Your Positive Feedback Loop

I love the positive feedback loop that I create when I intentionally make time in the morning for healthy habits. Seriously, the rest of my day just flows so much better. I feel good about myself. My relationships are more positive. I enjoy my work more. Even household chores like the dishes and every day commitments feel easier to do when you start the day with positive and self care.  

Likewise, when I don’t get a chance to take time for my positive routine, I notice a difference. Sometimes it’s not always drastic, other times it is. I feel really “off” or generally feel like I am walking through mud to get through my day.

That’s because a morning routine is everything! It sets the tone for your day. It gives you the opportunity to have a fresh start, a new perspective. Numerous studies have found that the attitude you have in the morning is usually the one that will stick with you throughout the day.

It’s true… positive people have trained their mind to be positive. When you meet someone who glistens with optimism, this was no accident. Habits that they commit to daily have helped them choose to see the good repeatedly until positivity became a natural habit for them over time. Some of the most positive people I have met were not given an easy life. They create strength and happiness from dark places.

“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”

– Winston Churchill

5 Ways I Boost My Mood When I’m Having a Bad Day

It’s natural to have bad days every once in a while. 

Maybe you woke up late, spilled coffee on your shirt, or had a conflict with a friend or colleague. 

These negative experiences can quickly take a toll on your mood, leaving you feeling irritable, anxious, or down in the dumps. 

When you’re stuck in a negative mindset, it can be difficult to engage in healthy behaviors like exercise, eating well, or getting enough sleep. This can further exacerbate your mood and lead to a vicious cycle of poor health outcomes. 

At work, a negative mood can lead to decreased productivity, poor decision-making, and conflict with colleagues.

You know, the truth is, no matter how much you plan something or how positive you are, bad days happen. On days like this, I like to remind myself that maybe not every day is a “good” day, but there is always something good in every day. If we look long enough, many good things are happening every day, no matter how many “bad” things try to counter it or how “busy” we feel.

Doing this isn’t always easy at first, but over time it can be. Sometimes in our community people say, “Easier said than done”. However, I like to counter that with, “Easier done when repeatedly said.” We have to train ourselves to seek the good on challenging days and this often requires us to say to ourselves the things that will boost our mood or move us into the habit of gratitude. We must challenge our limiting or negative beliefs with positive ones.

How Do I Boost My Mood When I’m Having a Bad Day?

When we get in the habit of reframing our negative thoughts and words, we not only instantly boost our mood, but also train our brain to think more positively over time.

“Look for something that makes your day every day, and soon enough, every day will be filled with things that make your day.”

– Kristen Butler

As the CEO of PoP and a mom of two young children, this happens to me almost daily in some capacity – either in work or family life. I don’t always have control over the energy that is being presented to me. That’s why I must intentionally create and hold the energy within. 

For example… As a mom, I have to sometimes play the role of mediator, counselor, nutritionist, housekeeper, and judge (among other roles, lol) and this brings situations that aren’t always ideal, but they are part of life. It is part of my role of being their Mom and I have to be grateful for the entire process. 

That’s the magic of gratitude.  When I focus on why I am grateful and/or the solution, I cherish the role of being a Mom who gets to help my girls navigate the challenges of their life in the best way that I know how, so that they can grow up and face life the best way that they can as adults. It’s truly a blessing and a privilege.

When I don’t look at my circumstances from this perspective, I am resentful of my role and continue to experience more reasons to feel resentful and stressed. I have seen the proof in this so many times and science even confirms this, it’s called 
Even so, circumstances don’t always work out as you expect them to, no matter how much you plan or prepare for them. It’s called life! Duality exists.  It happens to all of us, and yes, of course, even me.  During challenging times or even a series of challenging events,  I utilize all the tools I talk about in the 3 Minute Positivity Journal. These are like daily rituals ingrained in my subconscious that are almost automatic, because I’ve been practicing them for over a decade. I know they work, because my life has completely transformed along with tens of thousands, even millions around the world. So let’s dive into them, shall we?

5 Ways I Boost My Mood When I’m Having a Bad Day

1. Gratitude Check

Gratitude is the act of expressing appreciation for the good things in life. It is a powerful tool that can help boost your mood and improve your overall well-being. By focusing on the positive aspects of life, you can shift your mindset from one of lack to one of abundance, which can have a profound impact on your mental and emotional health. 

When you practice gratitude, you are more likely to experience positive emotions like joy, contentment, and peace. This is because gratitude helps you focus on the present moment and appreciate what you have, rather than dwelling on what you lack. It also helps you cultivate a sense of perspective, which can help you cope with difficult situations and setbacks. 

Research has shown that people who practice gratitude regularly tend to have better mental health, stronger relationships, and greater resilience in the face of adversity. They also report feeling more optimistic and less stressed. In short, gratitude is an essential component of a happy and fulfilling life. 

By taking the time to appreciate the good things in life, you can boost your mood and improve your overall well-being.

2. Daily Affirmations

Daily affirmations are a powerful tool for improving your mental and emotional well-being.

Affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself regularly, with the intention of empowering yourself and shifting your mindset towards positivity. The practice of daily affirmations has been shown to have a range of benefits, including boosting self-esteem, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving overall mood.

3. Self-Care

Self-care is the practice of taking care of oneself physically, emotionally, and mentally. It is essential for maintaining good health and happiness. 

Self-care is important because it helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. When people take care of themselves, they feel better about themselves, and their mood is boosted.

4. Focusing on Wins

Focusing on wins, no matter how small they may seem, is an essential aspect of success and personal growth. Celebrating these achievements can boost our mood and increase motivation to continue striving for more significant accomplishments. When we focus on our wins, we shift our attention from negative self-talk, doubts, and fears to positive thoughts and feelings of progress and accomplishment.

5. Mental Health Check

A daily mental health check is important because it allows you to stay aware of how you are feeling and identify any negative emotions or thought patterns that may be affecting your mood. By taking a few minutes each day to reflect on your mental state, you can address any issues early on before they escalate and become more difficult to manage.

While it’s normal to feel this way occasionally, it’s important to take steps to boost your mood and prevent it from spiraling out of control. 

When you’re feeling low, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by negative thoughts and emotions. Failing to boost your mood when you’re feeling down can have negative effects on your mental and physical health.

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