Only a short time ago, I found myself falling into a dark, negative pit of depression and anxiety. Obligations started to pile up, my energy was at an all-time low, and there was absolutely no end in sight.
Each day I would go through the motions, feeling like I was trudging through a thick pile of mud. I felt like I couldn’t get ahead. In my attempts to self-medicate, I turned to caffeine, junk food, and sleep.
It seemed like everyone around me was living on another planet. All of my “friends” on social media were doing fun things that made me jealous. They were accomplishing new feats each day, while my email inbox was full of self-improvement articles. I seemed to be functioning at an all-time low compared to others, and I started to feel an extreme amount of self-pity.
Luckily, I finally came to the realization that I was in charge of my change and that NOBODY else was going to get me out of this situation.
Coming out of a familiar and seemingly comfortable place is not always easy, but by following these seven steps you can relinquish your guilt.
Relinquish the Guilt
1. Stop Blaming Others for Your Situation
No matter what reality you’re facing, you must realize that only you are in charge of changing it. Instead of wasting your precious energy on blaming others, try using it to focus on getting rid of what’s not working in your life. If you aren’t sure what it is that isn’t working in your life, read on: it could be one of the next six items on this list.
2. Stop with the Comparisons
When we compare ourselves to others, we fall into the trap of thinking that those people must be “special” or “lucky” to have the life they do. This allows us to create excuses for not having what we want. Stop feeding yourself that BS!
Instead of sulking and feeling bad for yourself, get to work! Limit your time on social media, because this will only cause you to see what everyone else is doing. If you focus more on your own life than you do on others’, then you’ll be more likely to attract the life you want.Think about all the time you’re wasting watching others’ lives. You could be investing that time in bringing out your inner goddess!
We all have the opportunity to do whatever we want. Dismiss any limiting beliefs and excuses that may be holding you back.
3. Start a Gratitude Practice
Being grateful for what you already have will help you cultivate happiness in your current situation. Keep your focus small at first, because this will help you to truly appreciate what life is giving you. For example, when I was going through my dark phase, I started by showing gratitude for really small things, such as sunny days, or having a roof over my head. Soon, it became hard for me to feel bad for myself!
There are so many ways you can start a gratitude practice that feels in tune with your soul. Why not start a gratitude journal? Or stick Post-Its filled with appreciation on your bathroom mirror? It really doesn’t matter how you express gratitude, as long as you are committed to doing it.
4. Think before You Say “Yes”
When coming out of a dark place, it’s important to care for yourself as much as possible. This means only saying yes to those obligations that fuel your fire. Self-care is extremely important to getting your life back on track, and if you are constantly saying “yes” to others, you could very well be saying “no” to yourself.
Take as much time out of your day as necessary to do things that make you feel alive: read a book, take a bath by candlelight, cook yourself a nutritious meal. Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel good.
5. Give Yourself a Break
I don’t know about you, but I put massive amounts of pressure on myself each day. I’ve always had a way of making the easiest tasks overwhelming. If you are anything like this: it is time to cut yourself some slack! Holding yourself to unrealistic expectations when you feel down can quickly turn into a vicious cycle. You need to do a couple of things in order to get back in the swing of things.
First, it’s crucial to re-evaluate your life and figure out what’s truly important to you. Focusing on these things alone will make better use of your energy.
If you find that you hold several obligations that aren’t serving you – remember: self-care – then it’s time to work through these in a productive way. Stop procrastinating, because that just leaves you feeling overwhelmed.
Take baby-steps toward accomplishing any big tasks you may have. Also, try not to bite off more than you can chew. It’s important to be as kind and patient with yourself as possible so that you don’t spiral back into a negative state.
6. Surround Yourself with Support
Like showing gratitude, exuding positive energy attracts things to feel grateful for. Why surround yourself with people and things that suck the life out of you? Take the time to carefully examine your relationships with significant others, family members, and friends. Make sure that you are getting what you need from these partnerships.
You may find that you’re letting people drag you down and jeopardize your growth. If this is the case, write down a list of positive qualities you want out of your relationships. Focusing on these traits will allow you to attract and bond with better people.
There are many other ways to enhance your positive energy than simply relying on others. Feed your inner goddess by making a Pinterest board of images and words that make you smile. Listen to uplifting music. Read an inspirational book. Once you open your heart and allow in those positive vibes, you will start feeling much better.
7. Reward Yourself
It’s easy for us to completely disregard how far we’ve come in the journey towards positive thinking. Even if you are not completely there yet, it is necessary that you recognize the obstacles you’ve already overcome. Reward yourself with something that makes you feel good and take a moment to acknowledge the hard work you’ve put in.
Getting yourself out of a negative state of mind is not an easy task, but it is possible. Remember that each and everyone of us has an inner badass waiting to take on the world. It’s just a matter of realizing your power and relinquishing your guilt.