I think we’ve all been there. A tough time. A decision so big and confusing that it’s paralyzingly. Suddenly, you’re your own worst enemy. If you haven’t been there, good. If you are naturally consistently stable and cheery, good for you. Please, carry on and enjoy your day. If you are sometimes grumpy, moody, sensitive or experience less than ideal emotional circumstances, welcome. I love you. I’m happy we are in this together. Everything is going to be ok.
Not often, but occasionally, I get really overwhelmed, sad and confused. Like, bad. Like, I’ll go for a hike alone, hear a rustle in the woods and think, “If that’s a mountain lion and I’m about to be mauled and eaten right now, that might be for the best.”
Luckily, I’m a self improvement ninja, and I’ve learned some handy tools for combating crippling confusion and moderate depression.
Marie Forleo says, “Clarity comes from action, not thought.” That hits the nail on the head. You aren’t always going to know what to do, what direction to go, what next move to make. That’s ok. The key is to try something, anything. Get going. You won’t figure it out stuck in your head.
But, where to start when you’ve been confused so long that you’re stuck, sinking deeper into the mucky, sticky recesses of your own brain? Here’s my tip on what to do when things seem desperate.
HOW TO GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY
Let things get very quiet if possible. Distance yourself from the voices and opinions of others. Focus in on your heart. I find walks and bathtubs to be the best place to do this, but pick your pleasure.
Start focusing on your thoughts. Try being the audience to your thoughts, instead of your usual participant. Pay attention to how each thought makes you feel. For example, thoughts like this probably make your heart feel heavy: “Gah, I feel shitty. I’m so fucking confused…” Chances are that your heart feels heavy, like the thought is pressing down on your chest, making it hard to breath if you are having thoughts like that one.
Acknowledge how the thought makes you feel and move on.
Your mission is to go on a scavenger hunt in your heart. You’re looking for a little spark of fire. You’re looking for a thought that gives you even a pin prick of excitement. Even if the vast majority of your thoughts are negative, you only need to find one, tiny thought that has an ounce of possibility, hope or excitement in it.
It doesn’t matter if it’s crazy. If the thought of owning a goat farm lights you up, great. Conversely, doesn’t matter if the thought is totally low-key. The thought can be as mundane as making pancakes or buying a new color of nail polish. All that matter is that it catches your interest and is something you want to do.
Hold on to the spark when you find it. Let yourself dream. Ruminate on the thought. Expand the thought. Let the thought fuel your energy.
The spark is your intuition. The spark will lead you back to certainty and happiness but only if you get moving.
Take action. Make a move. You don’t have to upheaved your whole life and buy a goat farm, but you can if you want. You can just google pictures of goats or visit a local goat farm. Whatever you do, make sure you are taking literal, physical action. Leave the couch, and go buy that nail polish. Make yourself some pancakes, even if it’s 3:30 pm and you just had a snack.
The action will make you feel better. The action will lead to the next good thing. Stay focused on looking for sparks in your heart. Remain committed to taking action.
If you find yourself stuck in your head again, go on another scavenger hunt in your heart. Remember, the goal is to get into action and constantly be on the lookout for sparks. What sounds good? What sounds fun? What makes you feel alive? Do it! Take a chance. Take some risks. It’s better that being depressed and stuck, waiting to be eaten by a mountain lion.
Keep moving forward and, eventually, you’ll get your groove back. It all starts with doing a scavenger hunt in your heart, looking for your fire. All you need is one tiny spark to get the fire going again.
Love you, badasses.
Good luck on your scavenger hunt. Let me know how it goes.