Are you stuck in a bad place mentally? Can’t get out of your head? Don’t worry, it happens to all of us. Even if some of us don’t want to admit it. It happens to us all.
I’ve been struggling as of late with entertaining the negative self-talk. Yep, I still get stuck from time to time and have to pull myself out of it.
Sometimes it simply sneaks up on you. I’ve been pretty fortunate lately and have positive things happening in my life. I feel like all of the hard work and determination over the years is finally paying off. Of course, life happens. You find yourself in a good place mentally and then it only takes one trigger to knock you off balance. That happened to me as of late.
Then it seems the domino effect ensues. One little hiccup all of a sudden sends you down a negative downward spiral. You know the saying, when it rains it pours? I had about two weeks that knocked me off balance. I had about two weeks that I was completely living in my head. Let me tell you I was NOT enjoying living there. It was not a fun place to be. I was basically driving myself nuts.
Never mind what it’s about, because truth be told, it doesn’t really matter. We all go through times when things are just out of wack for whatever reason. Life happens. Relationships are tricky. It may not be the end of the world, but you just can’t seem to kick the negative thoughts. It’s super annoying and ultra frustrating.
Do you ever need a vacation from your own mind?
I spent two weeks entertaining negativity and blame. I know that I wasn’t really showing up for my spouse, my kids, or even myself. I wasn’t horribly off balance, but I know that I was not showing up in the normal sense that my family is accustomed to. I hated it. So, what did I do next? I started hating on myself even more for that! It’s a viscous cycle and one that’s all too easy to get stuck in.
Do you have something going on in your life that feels completely out of your control?
It’s the worst.
We like to tell ourselves that we can control the outcome, but sometimes we simply cannot. The only thing we can truly control is what we allow ourselves to think about. We can only really control the thoughts that we allow ourselves to entertain in our minds.
When you’re dealing with an issue, no matter how big or small, there’s really only so much you can do. We can’t really control anything. However, some people fall into this false sense of security by trying to control everything around them. It’s such a waste of time and energy.
We do have the power to control our own perception of what’s bothering us.
All you can do is formulate a plan, put it into motion, and then steadily monitor until a conclusion arrives. It’s that saying “Things work out for the best” or “All you can do is play your hand and see where the cards fall.” (or some variation of that) There’s all kinds of sayings but the overall theme is you must do what you can, and leave the rest up to God, or the planets, or Karma, or whatever you believe in.
That is super hard for me to do. I’m a fixer and uncertainty is not my strong suit. When I see a problem, I do whatever I can to fix it. I read books and articles and I try to educate myself so I can make better decisions. I see a professional if needed to make sure I’m doing everything in my power to correct the wrong. If you’re a fixer that means you like to maintain a certain level of control over various areas of your life. I struggle with that a lot. The good thing about this? I know it’s my weakness. I’m consciously aware of it, so it does help. I’ve definitely gotten a lot better at handling uncertainty, but again, it’s still my weakness.
When I became a single mother and had to raise two kiddos on my own, there was a ton of uncertainty. (You can read more about that here if you’re interested) The struggle was real as they say, and I had to practice a LOT of mental strength. I had to make a conscious effort every single day to stop entertaining the negative self-talk. I had to learn how to be happy on my own. I had to learn how to be happy regardless of any external factors.
How do you get yourself out of the mental funk?
You must come to terms with some harsh realities and then make your peace with it. That’s really all you can do. You can’t control it, so you just have to allow for uncertainty. You have to just go with the flow and learn to manage your thoughts.
Again, all you really control is how you manage your thoughts.
I had to remind myself that I’m not perfect and all I can do is my best. I just have to keep reminding myself that I’m a good person whose trying my best. I’m doing everything that I can do now to create a positive outcome and that just has to be enough. I’m simply not that powerful. I can’t control the outcome of everything. The only thing I CAN control are the thoughts that I allow to float around in my head.
I’m not even totally out of it yet. I’m still struggling but I know that at some point I will have some clarity on the matter. I just have to keep a positive mind set in the meantime. I must speak kindly to myself and know that I’m doing everything that I can do. That’s all I can do. That’s all that’s within my power to do.
That just has to be enough.
Are you completely fixated on something and it’s consuming your every thought?
The first thing you must do, is redirect your thoughts. How do you do this? I was forced to do this the other day.
It took me one full day to not let my “issue” consume my every thought. One full day! Once you break the cycle that first day, each day gets easier. Although it can sneak back up on you as soon as you let your guard down so be careful.
Here’s what I do.
I come up with my plan, I write it down, and then shut the book. I shut my journal and give it back to the universe. That’s all I can do at first.
Then, whenever my mind goes back to entertaining the worry and anxiety of it all, I say to myself “Stop.” I literally say to myself “Nope, I’m not going to think about this anymore.” I had to do it about 20 times that day. Probably more! I’d had enough and I had to just move on already! I was literally driving myself bananas. I know I was driving my family bananas as well.
The point is, I had to redirect my thoughts every single moment that I found myself thinking about it. It may sound super simple to you, but for me the struggle is real so I know there’s others like me. I resigned myself to how I felt about it, and what I could do about it. I formulated my plan, and then I just had to let it go! So, there really is only one thing that I can do. One thing and one thing only.
I must control the thoughts that I allow to float around in my head.
It’s almost like I’ve got to lasso them and yank them in. Then I must throw them back out as far away as possible from the forefront of my thoughts. I know they won’t really go anywhere, but they can’t sit at the forefront of my brain anymore. I have to allow room for more important things.
Some may call this avoiding, but if you’ve formulated a plan, and done all of the thinking you can possibly do, then it’s not. Too much worrying just makes you sick. Worrying never helped anything. Worrying just makes you suffer more as well as the people around you.
Your mental strength is a driving factor in the overall success of your life.
Be kind to yourself. The kinder you are to yourself the kinder you will be to others. Being too hard on yourself? I guarantee you if you’re being too hard on yourself, then you’re taking it out on the people around you.
Be strong. Take some deep breaths and just let it go.
Are you struggling to be happy? Read Is Your Mind in Constant Chaos.
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