What To Do When You Feel Stuck

    These past couple weeks we’ve talked about how to recognize poor thinking habits and how to boost positive communication. What do you do when your negative habits feel so strong that you just can’t seem to get to the positive actions? You know that forgiveness, listening well, and having a positive outlook are good things, but you just don’t feel like that. In fact, those things feel “fake” in the moment.

    When you’re caught in the grips of negative feelings, judgmental thoughts, and a pessimistic outlook, a first healthy step is to come into “neutral.” Rather than trying to stamp a positive attitude onto a negative feeling, which may just repress it under the surface, take a time-out. Give yourself a moment to step outside your thoughts and feelings, so you can observe them more clearly.

    To do that, you might need to walk away from a tense situation, or change your environment by getting outside, or go to a quiet place by yourself. Take a few deep breaths, focus inside your body, and observe what you are thinking and feeling. Listen to the words in your head and feel the sensations in your body. Accept whatever is going on internally without trying to change it.

    Take a couple more deep breaths.

    Understand that you have many thoughts and feelings, but you are more than that. Underneath it all is a part of you that can witness what is going on without being consumed by it. Observe the chatter in your head, the feelings in your heart, and the tension in your body from that deeper part of you. Whatever is happening is O.K. Let it be.

    Take a couple more deep breaths.

    At a certain point, you may feel yourself relax into “neutral.” There may still be thoughts and feelings running around your inner space, but they don’t have the same grip on you. You have taken up residence in a deeper part of yourself that is calmly observing it all.

    The deeper you access “neutral” the more you free yourself to choose your perspective.

    Enjoy your practice,

    Kevin Schoeninger

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