Three Methods To Overcome An Emotional Rut

I’m in physical, spiritual, and emotional distress right now. I had an entire motivational article written for today, but I decided to postpone it.

My body physically aches, my mind drifts to the forgotten past and distant future, and I feel like I’m losing control of my emotions, functioning minimally, as I drift through each day, a hazy blur.

In phases like this, contrary to my better judgment, I tend to focus on what. Now more than ever, I need to reframe my mind towards where. One ‘w’ acknowledges, and the other, directs.

Don’t Ask, “What am I currently focusing on and thinking about?”

We give our brains free-reign over us. Through millions of years of evolution, thoughts are left to the unconscious mind, wantonly unguided. Pondering what, is just being aware of your current thoughts. Being in the present is important but is very different from choosing to direct your mind.

The brain prefers effortless unconscious processes, but it inevitably hinders your progress, pinning everything down. Free-reign over your thoughts destroys your energy.

Thanks evolution.

Instead I have to preemptively battle my thoughts. Asking what emphasizes now, but asking where focuses on the place I want to be. I’m not the pilot now, my brain is. Being in control requires conscious control.

Ask, “Where shall I focus my thoughts right now?”

This forces me to consciously be aware of my thoughts, feelings, and energy. This means being aware of such things and choosing to guide them rather than letting them unconsciously or automatically drive me.

Through conscious awareness I can slowly start to rehabilitate my emotional and spiritual system. I have to refocus my thoughts and actions towards this central goal.

Sleep like a sloth

Recently, I’ve been tremendously lacking in this area. Between work and work and her, sleep is a distant memory. I can feel the effects on my mind. Diminutive sleep pushes your brain into autopilot.

Sloths always seem to have that big goofy smile on their faces. I think it’s because they sleep at least ten hours a day. I have to start carving out time each day for sleep. I have to be as diligent as a sloth.

Appreciate Yourself

We have talked about being grateful for everything around us. Even when things seem bleak, there is always at least one thing to be grateful for. But, we never really focus on ourselves.

I ask myself two questions: “What is my favorite physical aspect about myself? What is my favorite emotional quality about myself?”

When you’re in distress, the only things you focus on are negative aspects. In these moments of turmoil, turn inwards. Discover what you love about yourself. These questions are unbelievably hard to answer. Force yourself to find something.

Tag Someone In

I realized this morning, that I haven’t seen my rocks, my support group, in a long time. Somewhere, between the hustle and bustle of work and life, I forgot to make time for them.

I saw them three times a week forever, but this last little stretch was barren. Today, I saw Steven for the first time in a few weeks. He injected much needed support, positivity and love into my life.

When you’re in need, reach out. Sometimes it’s the only thing that will save you. Your support group is there to help you succeed and live, thrive and prosper. They look out for your best interests.

I practice what I teach and I teach what I practice. Somewhere along the lines I forgot about that. I try to help to as many people as possible through my works, but today, you helped me.

You are part of my extended family. You share my happiness, positivity, zest for life and, inevitably, my pain. Every one of our readers that views, likes, comments, shares, and shows any other form of love, know that I am so appreciative. I know today I will be okay because you are all here for me. I love all of you.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

Seven Methods To Deal With Your Worries

I’ve been running around like a headless chicken. This last week of school has been agony. It has been sucking my soul. Today has been one of those days where nothing seems to click. I woke up worried.

I woke up thinking about all the assignments I have due over the next few days. I even forgot to write an article for today. I feel like this article is rushed. These worries are taking over.

It happens to everyone, but this isn’t a side of me that I like very much. It’s dramatic, but when you get caught up in the moment it can feel like you’re drowning. All you want is a breath of fresh air.

Today I want to focus on solutions rather than problems so let’s ignore the thousands of hours I could spend figuring out the why, and instead, focus on the how. How am I going to get rid of these worries? Here’s what I came up with:

1) Write it down and throw it away.

I find it incredibly therapeutic to, first, be able to physically look at my worry, and then proceed to throw it out.

Throwing away your worries and stresses can have a profound effect. The physical act of writing down your negative thoughts and then throwing them away can be a mental cleanse.

2) Cancel rule.

I find this method extremely effective. The next time you worry and find yourself lost in your thoughts, start repeating ‘cancel’ to yourself.

Repeat the word ‘cancel’ over and over again, until the word itself means nothing. You will have derailed your negative train of thought and you can start to focus on something else other than your worries.

3) Confide in someone.

“A trouble shared is a trouble halved” – Chinese Proverb.

Sharing your worries with another person allows you tackle that stress with someone who may have encountered the same problem. Everyone is human and they have the same worries that you do.

You’re not alone in this. Their guidance and objective perspectives could lead you to a revelation that you would have never reached otherwise.

4) Write your grateful list.

You don’t have to be surrounded by family eating turkey to be grateful. You will beat up, tired, lonely and heartbroken throughout this life. During these times being grateful for whatever you do have can be the only thing that saves you.

I jump to this tip as soon as I feel even a slight funk coming on. Write down ten things you are grateful for, or twenty, or thirty. As many as you need to remember that there is always something in your life worth feeling good about.

The worse off you are, the deeper you will have to dig. But if you find something to be grateful for at rock bottom, you’ll never have to worry about falling again.

5) Go for a walk.

Being in nature is calming – but even looking at an image of nature can decrease worry levels and increase positivity.

I love walking outside. The sights and smells have a very calming effect on my brain. Sometimes, I take the beauty of nature for granted. When you stop everything and go for a walk, you really start to appreciate the beauty around you.

That energy is transferred to me and leaves me with a renewed sense of vigor.

6) Breathe deeply.

Few people breathe properly. They have breathing that is shallow and faint because it’s left to the unconscious mind. Pay close attention to your breathing. Focus on your breath and feel it deep within your stomach.

It allows your body and brain to get a burst of oxygen, relieving any worries. There are a lot of little problems that can be worried over. The key to managing worry comes from ignoring these little problems and just taking a couple deep breaths to calm down.

Take thirty seconds to stop what you are doing and breathe. This always helps me. No matter what you are doing, you always have thirty seconds to spare. 

7) Ten-year trick.

I imagine myself ten years in the future, at a bar with friends. Everyone is laughing. We are talking about how funny it is that we used to think everything was such a big deal.

Then I break out my story about the current situation I am in and how trivial it really was. Of course everyone dies of laughter because the future me is hilarious.

Imagine what a funny story your current situation is going to be a couple years from now. This will help you keep things in perspective and move on from your worries in a more graceful fashion.

8) Reset tomorrow.

I lied. Sorry. But, I came up with one more.

Sometimes I am in a funk, I’ve tried everything, and there is no way out. At this point I remind myself that this is just a feeling, not who I am. Maybe today is a write off, but tomorrow is a new day.

Every morning begins anew. Focus on restarting tomorrow. Everything will be fine. Worries come and go, and no matter how big or small they are, there is always a resolve. The more you worry, the bigger it becomes and the longer it stays at the forefront of your mind.

They won’t go away unless you stop thinking about them. The more you think about your problems, the more your problems will multiply. Think positive thoughts and put on a brave face. If all else fails, reset tomorrow.

Thank you readers for helping me figure out my worries. I’m glad you’re on this journey with me.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

The 3 Rules For A Good Life

What is a good life? Without getting too philosophical, I think a good life is only based on a few rules.

There are too many rules in life. I’m told to stand up straight, act a certain way; don’t use the salad fork for the steak.

What do you mean?

A FORK IS A FORK!

Amidst all the criticisms how do you live a good life? To be honest, I don’t know. But, here’s where I start:

1) Laughter

Every single day, I insert a reason to laugh. As children we laugh about 300 times a day. As an adult, that number is reduced to a meager 7.

SEVEN.

How did we go from 300 to 7?

Did we cross some bridge of agony and now here we are: Mindless drones that wake up, go to work, participate in office gossip, watch Breaking Bad, and then sleep and die?

Laughter is really hard as an adult. It must be, right? Going from 300 to 7? There must have been some sort of life-changing traumatic event that occurred between childhood and adulthood.

We need to get back to our childhood roots. We need to laugh more. Start here:

Standup – Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K. Gabriel Iglesias

T.V. Shows – Blue Mountain State, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Office

Movies– Anchorman, Happy Gilmore

YouTube – Our Own Gentlemen’s Corner (no list would be complete without it)

2) Be Grateful

Start your day with gratefulness. Before I get out of bed, every morning, I say ‘thank you.’ The simple-ness of living often gets taken for granted.

“But I’m drowning in debt. I have no friends. My family hates me.”

Even if it seems like you have nothing to be grateful for, there is always something. You can still breathe. You can still come up with ideas. You can still walk and eat and live.

In a previous post, I mentioned the importance of being grateful. You can check that out for more information.

Grateful-300x300

3) Never go to bed angry

I seldom get angry, but when it happens I make sure to deal with it immediately. Address it with the other and with yourself.

Your ego will not let it escape your thoughts. Cast your ego away. Allow those angry thoughts to float away into the wind.

Ask yourself, ‘how much does this matter?’

More often than not, it doesn’t.

Ending the day with anger sets the tone for your next day. Those thoughts fester in your sleep and you wake up with them, fresh in your head. Those thoughts will weigh you down.

Apologize or let it go completely. It’s not worth wasting your life over any problem.

For me, I know everything will be fine if I follow these consistently. And maybe, I can laugh, be grateful for the advice and shrug it off the next time someone tells me that I’m using the wrong fork.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

Four Stress Relieving Methods

Recently my life has been quite stress-free. There haven’t been any problems worth worrying about and everything is going according to plan.

I don’t mean to brag. I’m sorry. But until school starts, my life will continue to be relatively stress-free. But like death and taxes, stress is virtually unavoidable in today’s world.

Although stress is an unavoidable factor, there are ways to manage it. If you manage stress, you manage your mood. I feel like it’s safe to say that everyone has an identical final goal – to be happy.

Managing stress is one of the many yellow bricks on that long road to happiness.

yellow brick road pic

1) Confide in someone

“A trouble shared is a trouble halved.” – Chinese Proverb

But don’t complain. Sharing a problem with someone close allows you share that stress factor. Share it with someone who may have encountered the same problem.

Their guidance will be extremely helpful. But be weary! Don’t complain to people, especially to random strangers.

Remember that everyone encounters stress and the majority of people do not want to hear how bad your day was. Keep your thoughts with close family and friends.

2) What are you thoughts?

Everything stems from your thoughts (well, your brain). How does your brain deal with stress and stressful situation.

i) Write it down

And throw them away (or burn them). I find, throwing your thoughts, worries, and stresses away have some profound effects. The physical act of throwing away written negative thoughts can mentally purge them.

You can also burn them. Call me a pyromaniac or arsonist (none of which I am), but there is something incredibly therapeutic about fire.

Creating-Realistic-Burn-Paper-Effect-in-Cinema-4d

ii) “Cancel Rule”

A friend of mine suggested the “Cancel Rule.” Personally, I find this method extremely effective. Next time you are stressed and find yourself lost in your thoughts, start repeating cancel to yourself.

Repeat the word ‘cancel’ over and over again and that negative thought appears to have vanished away.

3) Go for a walk

Being in nature is calming – but even looking at an image of nature can decrease stress levels and increase positivity.

Personally speaking, I love walking outside. The sights and smells have a very calming effect on my body. Sometimes, I take outside for granted. When you stop everything and go for a walk, you really start to appreciate the beauty.

Everything is green and striving. That energy is transferred to me.

4) Breathe deeply

I’ve mentioned the importance of breath in a previous article (You can check it out here). Too few people breathe improperly. The breaths are shallow and faint because breathing is left to the unconscious mind.

Stop for a few moments and listen to your breath. Feel your breath entering your stomach and exiting your nose. Pay close attention to your breathing. It allows your body and brain to get a burst of oxygen, relieving any stress that may occur.

There are a lot of little problems in the world that can be stressed over. The key to managing stress comes from ignoring the little problems.

These problems find their way into your brain and fester until they become large ones. Following the mentioned techniques has helped me manage my stress levels.

How do you deal with stress and stressful situations? Leave a comment below. My readers and I would love to hear from you.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

One Tip Closer to 'Trouble-Free'

I went camping over this past weekend. Everything about it was amazing. It was sunny and peaceful.

Recently, the pressures of work and life have been etching away at me. It slowly chips away till I can barely continue. I feel my work get sloppy, I start making mistakes, and just generally irritated.

898cea7dc36cebe23545548615e6ebbdCamping helped a lot. Aside from the mosquitoes, I loved it all. The peace and quiet really puts everything back into perspective. It gave me a moment to let go of everything and just enjoy the tranquility of nature.

Laying around with good (and new) friends, having some much needed laughs (my cheeks still hurt), canoeing, fishing (I caught a mini sunfish), and star-gazing. These little things made me forget about everything.

Your brain voice likes to replay all the past memories and mistakes and contemplate all the future trials and tribulations. Sometimes, you need a ‘wind me down.’ I think it’s incredibly important to give your brain a break.

The Method

For me, camping did it. Maybe you’re not an outdoorsy type of person. That’s okay. Do something else. Dance, sing, eat, play StarCraft, make short videos or anything that tickles your fancy.

The goal is not to distract your brain, but to occupy your brain. Distracting your brain is keeping all those thoughts about the past and future in the back of your head.

Occupying your brain is to indulge in the activity to the point where all you are able to think about is the activity. Pick something that you thoroughly love through and through and set aside some time each day.

Give yourself a chance each day to enjoy something that completely empties your mind, only focusing on your task at hand.

But, how will I know?

Next time you do something you thoroughly enjoy, ask yourself, “Am I living in the moment?” In this present time, are you only thinking about the activity? If you are, then you have a winner.

You owe it to yourself to be trouble-free. Trouble-free in itself seems like an impossible task to accomplish with the seemingly endless problems looming over us.

And it may actually be impossible to be completely trouble-free. But for a push towards the right direction, give yourself some time each day to be trouble-free and adhere to it.

Your body and brain will thank you for it.

How do you achieve a trouble-free mind? What do you do to help yourself out in those dark times? Put your suggestions in the comments below. My readers and I would love to here from you!

Be bold, be free, and love on.