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Busting out of the dark

Julie Bacon #mindyourmind Agility Mental Game

* Amazing photo by Q-Member, Ruth Nielsen @mazamadog *


It happens. From time to time, we all get stuck in a dark place or in some corner we can't seem to break out of. Everyone has a different metaphor or visual, but I have likened it to a Roomba twirling around in a corner, unable to see that the easy exit is just behind it.

Which brings up another point: When you're in "it" you can't always see the obvious or even see a different perspective. And of course that point leads to yet another: we can feel super alone in those moments (the truth or falseness of that is a separate post!) so we need tools!

Step One: Recognize | Notice you're being taken out. Don't judge it or try to fix it at this point, just notice it, see it and pause. Hmmmm.

Step Two: Record | Document, journal, capture or in some other way record what's happening. At this point you can fully explore why you're getting triggered and what it's bringing up for you. Keep asking yourself, "why" and excavate those feelings until you're certain you've found the source.

Step Three: Replace | Now's the time to shift. You saw it, you figured out the source and now you can choose to transform your situation. You need to get into a higher energy vibe. Here are some of my go-to ways of snapping out of it:

  • Physical: Move. Do something. Walk the dogs, do 10 jumping jacks, dance it out ... Literally use the physicality of motion to shake it off.
  • Actionable: Do something for someone. Reach out, make a call, donate money, give time. Get your mind off of yourself and onto someone else.
  • Grateful: Start ticking off all the things you're grateful for. Start easy if you need to (food to eat, shelter to live ...) and keep going until you feel your energy shift. Feel into it.
  • Spiritual: You knew I'd say it eventually, right, but your meditation could include the prayer/request to see the situation differently. Ask to be shown how to shift/forgive/let go. You don't ask, you don't receive.

Science types say that we can only hold a single thought for something like 17 seconds. 17 seconds! Everything else is us re-thinking that thought or re-investing in the moment. Think of it as having a song on repeat - I can listen to a favorite song for hours yet if an Alvin and the Chipmunks earworm gets stuck in my head it's torture. How to banish Alvin? Put in your earbuds and play something else. Change the channel.


I've written about this from other angles before:

When not to suck it up:
Down the leash:
Falling off. Getting back on:

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