This past week I’ve felt extremely dispirited. My beloved Gatsby, who has been in-and-out of the vet this past month, had surgery. I’ve also been dealing with some personal struggles and it all overwhelmed me. As I was tearfully driving to the gym it hit me, feeling sorry for myself was getting me absolutely nowhere. And the fact that I was on my way to meet my trainer with a green smoothie to boot, meant I was clearly persevering and had a pretty blessed life. But sometimes that inner voice of mine doesn’t always serve me. You all know what I’m talking about. Instead of focusing on the positive, you focus on all the things that are “wrong” in your life: I’m fat! I hate my job! My family/friend is driving me crazy! My relationship is a mess! I’m having financial difficulties! And I could go on, but you get the picture. So how do you change that little voice in your head?
Here are a few tips.
- Change your State: The fastest way to change your mental attitude is to change your physical state. Get out of your head and get your body moving. Go for a walk, hit the gym, start jumping up and down and don’t care if people think you’re nuts! The second those endorphins hit your confidence will build, mind will start to clear, and you can better focus on finding a solution to the problem. In other words, sitting on the couch bingeing on the latest Netflix phenomenon, eating potato chips is not going to help you.
- Eat Whole Foods: Along those lines, don’t eat your blues away. Focus on lots of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats to boost your mood. Eating to comfort yourself or push down your feelings will only make you feel worse (and let’s be frank, look worse too), which just keeps you in a vicious depressive cycle.
- Let it All Out: Talk to your friends, family or a trusted professional about your struggles. It’s even brave to have a good cry or two. This emotional release will clear your mind and help you better tackle whatever ails you.
- Make a Plan and Focus: If you want to change anything in your life you need to make a plan and tackle it head on with laser focused vision. For example, if you want to lose weight or improve your diet, waking up Monday morning with no plan in place other than the honest intention to try to eat healthy is setting you up to fail. Whereas, if you spent Sunday grocery shopping, planning out your weekly meals, and making the necessary preparations you will have a much higher level of success.
- Take a Moment for You: If you’re feeling overwhelmed take a moment to do some relaxed breathing or meditation to calm your mind. Sometimes you might even need a day or a week to simply regroup and take care of you. It’s alright and your loved ones will understand.
- Practice Gratitude: As I discussed in my past blog, identifying all of the positive things in your life on a regular basis will have a tremendous impact on your mental state. If you’ve been keeping a gratitude journal go and read it. I bet you’ll find LOTS of reasons to turn that frown upside down. 🙂