Staying motivated can be difficult, especially if fear, anxiety, or sadness keep you from moving forward. Here are some tips that can help if you find yourself blocked by uncomfortable feelings. Let us know what you think!
How To Do Positive Things With Uncomfortable Feelings
Many people want to make progress in their daily routines and feel accomplished, but are sometimes held back by uncomfortable feelings that lead to a lack of motivation. You’re not alone. What we think and feel controls our mood, emotion, and actions. Although it may seem impossible, there are a few small steps you can practice that lead to big results.
Here are three key steps to help battle those uncomfortable feelings:
- Recognize, don’t criticize. Recognize those moments when you find yourself starting to have a dark thought. Before you get the chance to criticize yourself, pause and move on to step two. Criticizing yourself will keep you from making progress.
- Acknowledge. Instead of feeling guilty, acknowledge that any small attempt to pull yourself out of the gloom will feel unnatural in the beginning, but is vital to bettering your mental health. Move to step three, regardless of how you feel at first.
- Contain and replace. When you catch yourself dwelling on thoughts that keep you down—stop what you’re doing, and intentionally think of, or do, something else. Watch the birds outside your window. Soak in a warm bath. Remove yourself from the familiar. Call a friend. Go ahead and conjure a few positive thoughts in advance to pull from when the time comes. Make a list of thoughts that lift you up, small tasks that bring comfort to you, small rewards that you can give yourself, or places you can quickly visit. Step three can be extra powerful when used to attempt small self care tasks or when you’re trying to make small improvements in your daily life..
We’ve come up with a few positive thoughts that can help you battle the negative ones. Tell yourself:
- “I’m worth it.”
- “The past does not define who I am.”
- “I’m going to try doing something that I used to enjoy.”
- “It’s OK to reward myself for dealing with what I have been through”
These steps will give your brain a much-needed break. Even if the break is 30 seconds, that’s a great start! Eventually, 30 seconds will turn into 30 minutes, then an hour, then a day. This is a learned skill that your mind will resist at first, so don’t worry if you find your mind falling back into the negative. Just keep repeating the steps!
A mental health professional can help you if uncomfortable thoughts interfere with or disrupt your daily routine. Your Health Advisor can help set Tiny Steps that can make a huge difference. Aim small, and you’ll be surprised how a little thing like a clean nightstand can motivate you to make the next positive change.
Post written by: Anna Trott