5 Ways to Get Out of Your Rut
A friend of mine was recently in a rut. Everything from her dating life, to work, to health issues, to family relationships were a source of frustration. A black cloud seemed to follow her everywhere. In our conversation I could feel the burden she felt. She was sitting in a hole and had a hard time coming back out.
We know that life is a roller coaster. Sometimes the world seems in order and often it doesn't. The important question is, what can we do when times are hard? How can we pick ourselves back up, brush ourselves off and move forward with optimism and courage?
Our health coaching work allows us the opportunity to work with many different clients. Based on our conversations with them, here are some suggestions we encourage you to consider.
5 Steps to Moving On
1. Decide to feel better
Misery is a love-hate relationship, I know, because I’ve been there. For 2 ½ years after my divorce in 2008, I was wallowing in my pain…until the very moment I decided it was enough. The moment I made that decision things started to look up all around me.
Are you wallowing in our pain? There is almost something comforting sitting in that hole rather than having to make efforts to move forward. Isn't that true? Are you ready to feel better today or do you still need a week to feel your sadness? Make sure to look at your mental state with full awareness and whenever you are ready make 'moving on' a conscious decision.
2. Be grateful
Once you decide to feel better, a good way to start to feel better is to count your blessings. Do you have a toothache today? No? Awesome. Celebrate! Do you have food on your plate, a bed to rest your head on, money to pay your bills, hot water to take a shower, a car to get you from point A to point B?
If you find it hard to truly feel the appreciation for these things, contemplate the opposite. How would it feel to go hungry? No? If it's hard to find gratitude for anything know that the start of every gratitude practice is the hardest.
The challenge is that if your mind is used to thinking negative thoughts throughout the day for years it is physically hardwired to continue to do so until you actively change the wiring in your brain. Rewiring happens when you repeatedly think new thoughts (e.g. thoughts of gratitude for the many things around you) or follow a new habit (e.g. pausing to find a better perspective on every situation that makes you angry). The brain adapts to the new way of thinking and, if practiced again and again, will start to behave that way more often until it's a natural habit.
So, daily gratitude practice is important. My dad asks himself every evening what the 5 things are about that day that make him feel grateful. I personally have a daily meeting on my calendar called "Gratitude". All day I add to the notes the things that stand out. It's always open on my phone so it's easy to remember to see the good all day.
3. See the beauty in all things
With spring knocking on our door, it’s easy to find so much beauty around us. Trees are budding. The birds are singing. The sun is shining. Can you pause and be in awe of it? I mean this literally…can you stop your car on the way to work and just admire the beauty for a moment? Do you feel like saying “who has time for that”? But if you can’t find JOY in the small things around you, what does it take?
Look at the world through the eyes of a young child. Everything they see is exciting…mommy, mommy, look! Mommy, do you see this! Instead of getting annoyed with them, can you look at the world through their eyes and start getting excited about the small stuff again?
4. Change up your routine
Doing the same things in the same order every day gets boring and is a sure way to keep you in a rut. Switch things up! Get out of bed on the other side. Read something inspirational first thing in the morning. Change up your breakfast. Keep the TV off and play music that makes you happy. Dress in more colorful clothes. Find a new route to drive to work. Call a friend on your way to work and give them your love. There are so many ways to switch things up. Just try 2-3 new things and get energized by the excitement of something new.
5. Let go of the past
We all have painful memories from our past that continue to have a hold on us. Is a past hurt or painful memory fueling your negative thinking? Choose to let go of that memory every time it comes to grip your mind. If that doesn't feel possible, talk to someone - a counselor, a friend or other confidant.
Helping you create new routines, a healthy mindset and lasting peace is what our executive health coaches specialize in each and every day. Click the 'Contact' button in the top right corner or simply send us an email to email@example.com to schedule your free discovery session.
Remember, at JOYVIAL, we are committed to helping you live your healthiest, most JOYful life. For all the latest health and wellness tips and to get inspired, following along with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.