Just like festering sores become infected, so can our thoughts. A simple bug bite can have disastrous consequences if untreated. (I almost lost my foot once.) And our thoughts are no different. We ignore the problem until the noise in our heads gets so loud that we can’t think straight. This noise echoes and swells and bounces around with so much volume and ferocity that it feels like a raging bear lives inside our heads. Often, this raging bear is just a squeaking mouse with an amplifier. It just needs to be heard, noticed, and managed. The longer we ignore it, the louder it gets.
How many times have we heard, “Mom. Mom. MOM. MOMM! MOMMOMMOMMOM MOMMMMM!!!”? We finally pay attention when it gets loud enough. Stop ignoring the noise and confront it. It’s trying to tell you something.
Our nagging, festering thoughts locked inside our heads act like the contents inside a pressure-cooker. They continue to expand and intensify until the pressure-cooker can no longer contain what’s inside. We’re embarrassed and afraid to let it out, thinking that this problem is so detrimental it will define us in some way. But if we don’t let it out, the pressure-cooker will explode with such force that it can cause permanent damage. This explosion can destroy relationships. It can destroy self-esteem, self-worth. It destroys our thought processes and can create more problems. We start to doubt ourselves, talk down to ourselves, and mistreat ourselves. Call ourselves awful names.
The pressure-cooker has a release valve. Find yours.
Write it down. Write a letter to the festering subject of your thoughts, whether it’s a specific person, an institution, or even yourself. Read it out loud. If writing isn’t your thing, talk to a friend, or a sibling. Find a counselor. You pay them to listen to you gripe, vent, bitch and whine. It’s awesome. You can tell them anything you want, and it’s completely confidential. Plus they help to provide you with a new perspective on addressing your problem. They are not going to judge you. Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t let your thoughts consume and control you. It’s a virus, and you need to get it out of your system. You’ll feel a whole lot better after it’s out.
I’ll admit it, sometimes I just don’t want to deal with the world. Instead of choosing a healthy solution, I’ll often hide under my blanket fort and watch NCIS reruns for hours on end. Having a bad day can send many of us down a very steep and slippery slope. And sometimes, it doesn’t take much. We get down on ourselves, don’t want to talk to anyone, and we think no one wants to talk to us. We hide from our loved ones because we’re afraid they see us the way we see ourselves.
I think about all the things I *should* be doing. That nasty *should* word. I *should* go write a blog. I *should* go look for work. I *should* do my dishes. I *should* take a shower. All of it can seem downright overwhelming, and all I want to do is close my eyes and escape. But I can’t lay on a couch forever under that soft wool blanket in the middle of summer. That’s when the guilt comes, which just makes me feel worse. Does any of this sound familiar?
So what do I do to get myself off the couch, back into living life again? (Usually it’s the very urgent need to pee.) Motivating yourself out of a rut isn’t easy, but you can do it. Everyone has a bad day. And sometimes a bad day can turn into several days spent on the couch. It’s okay to escape into the stupid box every now and then, but is that really where you want to spend your life? It’s easier than dealing with your current situation, sure. But try to remember the things you’ve done. The things you’ve accomplished. Feel good about them. You’re allowed.
What helps me stay off the couch is making a list. If I can cross at least one thing off the list, it can get me out of my rut. Keeping a list keeps me organized, and it keeps me from becoming too overwhelmed. It makes me feel like I’ve contributed to my own life or perhaps touched someone else’s.
What are some things that help you get back up again when you’re having a bad day?