Do you ever feel stagnant in your life? Like there is nothing new or exciting to look forward to? Or maybe you’ve just gotten off track? You either feel lethargic or you feel overwhelmed by all of the ideas floating around in your head, yet you end up doing nothing. If this sounds familiar, this article is for you.
“When you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.” – Dakota tribal saying
First of all: stop. Take in several deep breaths. Fully exhale. Let your body soften and your mind clear. Ahhhh.
Now, open your mind to things you would like to do differently or change. Capture the first thought that comes to mind.
Don’t try to make this difficult. Start with just one thing. It can be a seemingly very minor or simple thing.
Instead of thinking you have to have major life-altering changes (which you may indeed need, but not just yet) simply start small, but be consistent. I will list some of the top things people usually want to shift or change in their lives; within each subject, there are little steps that you can begin with. Just pick one and be consistent. Notice the change within you.
1. Feel better about yourself. Self esteem challenges more people than you might think. Small steps:
• Read a good book to broaden your sense of “self.”
• Join a group specific to this topic. Integrate yourself consistently.
• Don’t spend time with anyone who brings you down or belittles your efforts. Anyone.
2. Bodies. Losing weight, getting in better shape, being taller, more attractive. Small steps:
• Each day look in the mirror (or the mirror in your mind) and find one thing you like. Build on it daily. (It is important to notice the good that is already there) This practice maximizes the good and minimizes the not so good.
• Start your day by drinking 16 ounces of water. Consistently.
• Do one exercise for 10 minutes in the morning.
• Walk for 5 minutes after your evening meal.
3. Be pain-free in the body. Be careful of relying on medication. You can’t really hear what your body is telling you when you use drugs as a crutch. Small steps:
• Try breathing—meditation. Join a class to gain knowledge of these powerful tools.
• Move/Stretch—Expand your capacities. Try yoga.
• Center yourself mentally before you rest at night.
4. Focusing. Wanting to complete tasks by giving your full attention and seeing it through. Small steps:
• Build habits. One exercise is to light a candle, set a timer for five minutes and stare at the candle without any other distractions. Never take your eyes off the light until the timer goes off. Once you know you can “focus,” this pattern can be increasingly applied to tasks that require completion.
• Break it down into bite-sized pieces. Take one bite. Then another. And so on. Just be consistent.
5. Releasing Fear. Fear is a great prohibitor. So, it must be unmasked. Face it to see it for what it is. It’s only fear. (False Evidence Appearing Real). Once you uncover it, you see there is nothing to be afraid of!) Small steps:
• Think of yourself as a reporter, uncovering fear. Put yourself in a position that brings up your fear and ask questions. Rip it apart (uncover it). Change your thought and look at it from a different perspective. What’s the worst that could happen? The best? If you already know what that could be, what would you do? Accept it and move through it. Then you will be ready to actually take steps toward doing what you have been afraid of or uncomfortable with.
• “To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another” – Katherine Paterson
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you take just one thing from this article, I hope it is to start small or simple with consistency. Let the process of de-stagnation begin!