Coming out of mental and emotion tailspin is never easy. At times I allow myself to spiral out of control very quickly. I get lost and am not sure how to turn things around. The last 2-3 months I have gone through this pretty badly. During this period I’ve been experimenting with actions and ideas that are turning my attitude, mindset and ultimately my life around. Theses are the things that are working for me.
Motivational videos – I wake up and the first thing I do is watch a video on my phone. I try to find something to watch the night before so I have it ready for when I wake up. Sometimes I’m really feeling one video that’s working and Ill listen to it a couple mornings in a row. Lately I will listen to these videos several times a day. It gets me through the gym, work and whatever else I’m doing.
Exercise – Within an hour or waking up I head to the gym. I like to get it out of the way first thing so I can spend the rest of my day focusing on other tasks. Exercising gets the endorphins going in my body and helps me let off some steam. Some times my friend will drag me with her to Hot Yoga. Recently I started doing sprints with my dog after the gym. We walk a block and then run a block. Its cold as shit out in Philly and Im really out of shape from a cardio standpoint. But, it forces me out of my exercise comfort zone and all I can think about is just trying to breath and keep up with her. She loves running so it allows me to connect with her more as well.
Write – For me its cathartic. I get to take all the shit that’s eating me up inside and put it on paper and see it for what its really worth. Writing has allowed me to take an outside perspective on my internal feelings. I can better evaluate whats going on with me and weed out the real problems from the bullshit
Force myself to do things I’m fearful of – Doing things that take me out of my comfort zone helps me build confidence. It enables me to face my fears and learn to trust in myself. I become more cognizant of that fact my fears live only in my head. The consequences for taking these little risks are never as bad as I imagined. I learn that I am able to handle rejection and failure and keep moving forward towards my goals.
For example; Sunday I was at the gym and a really cute, fit girl came in and started working out near me. I wanted to strike up a conversation with her, but my game is pretty weak. I was afraid to speak to her, so I decided I was not going to leave until I did. I had already finished up my workout. I was forced to do exercises I don’t normally do until I built up the courage to go over, introduce myself and talk to her. It took me about 25-30 minutes of doing ab exercises that I hate, to finally go up and start the conversation. She was nice, nothing bad happened. She didn’t run away screaming “stranger danger”. Ultimately, she wasn’t really feeling me and I didn’t get her number, but the outcome didn’t matter as much to me. I just needed to do it for me. I needed to show myself that I have courage to do what I fear.
Ask myself the question “how does this serve you” – This is a concept I learned in rehab. Whenever I have negative thoughts or want to take negative actions I ask myself that question. The majority of the time, just saying these five words will instantly stop me from following down the negative path I am heading. It takes the power away from the negative thoughts and allows me to refocus my energy and attention.
Pray – I know this will make some people cringe. I’m not religious. I don’t practice nor am I here to proselytize a certain religion. I’m not even really sure I know who my God is. What I do feel is that something greater than myself is out there. Every night before bed I get down on my knees and talk to God. I give thanks for the days events and I ask for the strength to work on my character flaws and defects.
Sometimes I ask for a reprieve from whatever is bothering me at the time. I feel there is a certain sense of humbleness and humility in asking God, the universe or whoever for help when I am struggling. For me it helps right-size me. I do believe in the saying “A prayer without action is powerless.” If I don’t do the work things will never get better.
Laugh – The power of laughter is something I lost touch with until recently. Statistics say that the average child laughs about 300 times a day. While the average adult only laughs 5 times daily! Somewhere along the way I lost my sense of of how important it is to laugh. I need to fill my life with things that make me smile, laugh and feel good. Laughter helps me deal with my problems and not take things to seriously. Lately when I need a laugh I go to YouTube and look up Dave Chappelles old stand up. No matter how many times I’ve watched it I’m laughing my ass of seconds.
Give back – Going out of my way to do for others is 100% foolproof way for me to get out of my own head. Whether its having a conversation about whats going on in their life or helping them build towards a goal its always effective. If I am truly engaged in what they are doing or saying I don’t have the capacity to worry about whats going on with me. Its a nice break at times from myself.
I train a friend of mine at the gym three times a week. She is a HUGE pain in the ass. She whines and complains the whole damn time. I often wonder why I put myself through the aggravation. Then I realize there are so many reason why this is good for me. It’s great practice for me to be creative with my problem solving skills. It gives me insight into the perspective of people who may not be as driven as I am. People who want results, but don’t really want to put in the work. It forces me to look at aspects of my life where I fall into that category. There are so many benefits that better my life from helping someone else better their’s.