Stuck in a rut?
Feel like you’re stuck in a rut? You’re not alone, it happens to all of us. Everything’s cool one day and then the next day it’s not!
So, what exactly is a mental rut and how do you know if you’re in one? Opinions and descriptions differ but it’s basically, negative thoughts about yourself and your future that leads to avoiding actions you know will help you feel better or actions that will help put you back on track to a happier outlook.
In other words, if you have negative thoughts playing on a loop and you’re just going through the motions — you’re on the train to Rut City.
Here’s three reliable steps to getting out of the rut and back into a positive and productive mindset.
1. Set small attainable goals
Setting small, short-term goals for yourself either daily or weekly is one easy way to push through. The goals can be simple things like emptying your rubbish bin, filling the car up with petrol, getting to the gym or something a little more challenging such as sending the important email that you’ve been putting off. These little wins provide a sense of accomplishment that’s currently lacking. Tasks done, even the simple stuff and you start to feel more positive about your abilities and yourself.
2. Turn your negative thoughts into more empowering ones
When you’re going through a mental rut, the goal isn’t to always think positive—the reality is, shit happens! It’s part of life. We can’t control outside circumstances, but we do have power over our own thoughts.
Yes, even the most positive people can get down about something that didn’t go to plan and honestly, those people that can always see the bright side can often be irritating too. Somewhere in the middle between slumping your shoulders and delusional positivism is a healthy perspective when life deals you a dud.
3. Be proactive if you have a history of depression or anxiety
Although mental ruts can seem harmless they can sometimes progress into more serious issues like depression and anxiety and they’re not to be taken likely.
If you have a history of anxiety don’t avoid the things that are making you anxious. It’s much easier when you’re feeling anxious about something to just put it off. The problem with that is that it’s just a short-term fix to a bigger problem and the problem is only going to grow the more you avoid it.
If your anxiety is seriously causing problems for you, consult your doctor. Its not a sign of weakness to talk to a professional about your concerns.