Wouldn’t it be amazing if you were always in great spirits?
Imagine a world where things always went your way. If you never got stuck in a rut. If your days were only filled with laughter and happiness. If you experienced virtually no obstacles or challenges.
Hang on a minute. Would it really be that great? What if being stuck in a rut and overcome with stressful emotions was an opportunity for us to emerge better, stronger, faster and wiser than we were when life was a breeze? The dark cloak that often veils our spirit is really just a moment in time, and may be there to help us grow.
If you are having a day where you have simply forgotten the goodness in your life, here are some practical tools you can use to coax yourself out of a rut:
Go somewhere that lifts your spirits
Close your eyes for a moment. Put yourself in a place that you love. Where are you when you are happy, passionate and creative? Perhaps you’re on a beach, outdoors with a view or sitting with good company. I like having a place of refuge close to home that I go to when I need to get myself re-pumped up. Go there often and especially when you need some inspiration.
Get out of your own way
Ever notice that when you’re in a rut there’s a teeny part of you that kinda wants to wallow in your misery for a while? You begin scenario playing your hardships and analyzing them and you wind up deeper in your pain. Here’s a radical idea: Consciously decide to cut it out. Or maybe just set a timer for indulging in self-pity and then just stop. Refocus your attention on a solution to your problem.
Create conscious downtime
The demands of our overpacked schedules can often leave us drained and overwhelmed. Creating conscious you time might stop you from burning out in the first place. I confess, I am particularly bad at this one because there is always something I want to be doing, but just being is very powerful sometimes.
Conscious downtime is like air for your soul.
If you are overloaded and overworked and feel like you are suffocating in a to-do list, consciously carve out some downtime to avoid crashing.
There is nothing more instantly uplifting than a good song. Here’s a playlist I’ve created for times when I’m looking for a mood boost. I update these songs regularly so stay tuned in. Have a favorite playlist? Share it in a comment below and we may even feature it on our Facebook page!
Meditation sounds scary sometimes. After years of using different meditation techniques I have come to this: It is hard to use your mind to turn off your mind. This is why I love Tom Cronin’s meditation program. Tom guides you with very practical and approachable techniques to move you into a space of inner calm. The more often you find inner stillness the more able you are to deal with the outer noise.
Move your body
One sure way to instantly shift how you feel is to move your body. Impact movements like jumping, running, dancing or trampolining will shift you into a more positive state very quickly. A fast paced flow yoga practice almost instantly takes me from sad to happy. A great yoga practice expands your lungs, opens your chest and heart and gets you feeling more grounded and connected. Whatever workout you like to do, if you’re feeling down just get up and move.
Regularly remembering the countless blessings in your life has the transformative power of lifting your spirit. In Judaism, we bless every bite of food we consume. It is beneficial to carve out a morning gratitude routine and incorporate this into your meditation or workout. All it takes is a few minutes of focusing on three things you are grateful to have in your life. Take a breath when you’re feeling down and focus on what you have in your life rather than what’s lacking.
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others. –Cicero
One thing is for sure. Both the good times and the bad times both eventually pass. What I am learning is not to get too attached to either and rather, savor each as a flavor of life.
Remember, it’s OK to be in a rut. Because it is in forgetting that we have an opportunity to remember.
I leave you with this engaging TED talk just for fun. Kelly Mcgonigal shares how stress can actually help us by connecting us to others.