Life is hard. Oftentimes we find ourselves in unfortunate situations that are simply out of our control.
It’s easy in these moments to let anger or despair consume us, however, there is another way to handle these emotions. While it takes patience and perseverance, the reward of living in these higher frequencies is worth the effort.
Derek Sivers, in his book, Hell Yeah or No, writes about five simple steps that he uses to get out of a bad state of mind. I believe that each of these can be useful in its own ways and can help us to elevate our emotional state.
Ask yourself, what’s wrong in this particular moment?
There’s a quote by Mark Twain that has always resonated with me that goes,
“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, most of which never happened.”
This quote exemplifies perfectly how often we suffer so much over things that may never or have never happened. Oftentimes, we find ourselves emotionally distraught over imagined scenarios or catastrophized future circumstances.
When we catch ourselves doing this, it’s important to really ask ourselves if what we’re agonizing over is ultimately real in that particular moment.
If it isn’t an immediate problem, it’s still alright to allow ourselves to grieve, however, at the same time we can remind ourselves that we are actually okay in this moment and that the negative movies in our heads are just fictions.
Observe now, act later
When we’re in lower frequency energy and driven by negative emotions, we often convince ourselves that we need to act immediately. Fear tells us all kinds of lies about who we are, what we need to be, and what we will lose.
However, acting impulsively while in this bad state of mind is almost never a good idea.
The problem is that sometimes we convince ourselves to trust our instincts and act on them, however, the problem with that philosophy is that we’re assuming that all of our instincts are all good.
If you have any semblance of a naturalistic approach to life, you might have been caught in this trap before. The belief that our instincts are aligned with our true selves and thus completely trustworthy—is flawed. While it’s true that our instincts are an important part of us, and oftentimes they tell us very important messages, they are not the whole picture. Humans also have a spiritual side—a side of ourselves that is aligned with vision and thought, and this is what has allowed us to grow beyond mere survival.
Oftentimes, just giving ourselves ten minutes after the first reaction will allow us the space to act in a more productive way.
Create empty space
These days, everyone seems to be constantly occupied. There are so many ways to distract ourselves in the modern world, however, we don’t seem to realize what we are sacrificing.
We need to raise our standards, particularly with what we allow to occupy our time. Not only does this apply to people and events, but almost more importantly with the information that we consume.
Creating empty space allows us to spend time with ourselves and learn about ourselves on a deeper level. It’s often incredibly difficult to do this because it will bring up all kinds of ungrieved hurts that we have never healed.
However, distracting ourselves constantly is a road that leads to nowhere.
It’s only once we’re able to be alone with ourselves that we are able to accept ourselves around others.
Remember where you’re headed
We all have goals in life, even if they aren’t conventional ones. In these moments of distress, it can help to focus on where we’re headed rather than what we’ve left behind.
The easiest way to do this is to get out of our heads and do something that contributes to these goals.
It doesn’t have to be anything monumental, but simply taking action, in some way, will give us strength.
Remember, whether we realize it or not, we are all growing and are all headed towards somewhere better.
Deal with the mundane
When we’re in a bad state of mind, it can often be incredibly hard to deal with ordinary, everyday tasks.
Why is this? I believe it’s because mundane tasks remind us that we are ultimately responsible for ourselves and in many ways, alone.
If we’re in a bad place, these thoughts can be terrifying.
However, if we can’t face them directly thoughts like this will still find ways to creep back into our minds.
If we can’t run from the truth we might as well face it and know that our strength will only grow as we do.
So let’s do our dishes.