Well, here comes the irony train.
In the last 7 days, I’ve stuck to my goal of publishing one new article daily. Coincidentally (or not), the last 5 articles I wrote were all along the lines of getting over whatever is holding you back. They were “motivational” or “inspirational”. Created to make you think “YOLO” and take action on whatever you want to do – no matter what’s holding you back.
I hope they did inspire a person or two to take action.
But, the truth is, I think my own articles are complete BS in their own right.
Yup, I just called my writing BS. Hear me out though.
In reality, no matter how motivated you are, you’re going to feel like shit one day. And no amount of “motivational” writing is going to make you feel better. It’s the truth. This is why my writing is BS. Even if you already know that you have to be better than yesterday, or you need to absolutely push through, none of that will help when the day comes that you feel like total shit.
Why do I know that?
Because last night, that’s exactly what I felt.
It came out of no where. I was down. I felt anxious. Nervous. The uncertainty ate me up. I was complete tired of what I was doing. I know that I have to fall in love with this process, but you know what? I was freaking tired so that didn’t help me one bit. I was on a 7-day high, and now I felt like I was in a 19-year low.
I did my best to make it pass, but it never did. It stayed. It haunted me. It drove me down to thoughts I can’t even describe. I was overwhelmed.
It’s unavoidable, and I know you get it. You’ve been there too. You’ve been to a place where giving up felt like the only option. Like you just wanted to let go of everything and just let it all unravel right in front of you. You’re tired. You want to let it all go.
And for the first time in my 7 days of writing, I will not give you motivational bullsh*t to get you going. I’ll give you the exact exercises I tried to apply to get myself out of the abyss I was in. I will also let you know how I felt during and after each exercise, and I’ll let you know how they were effective for me.
Quick Note: I didn’t include anything that involves other people. But, talking to someone is something you should definitely try. It may even be the most effective. But if you’re looking for a way to get out of the “hole” yourself, you’re in the right place.
1: Listen to music while doing absolutely nothing
- Find your earphones
- Plug them into your source of music (phone, laptop, mp3 player, etc.)
- Wear the earphones
- Play your favorite playlist
- Lie down
- Stare at the ceiling
It felt calming to let my thoughts just slip away, by letting the sound of music replace them inside my brain. It made me think less, as I did my best to listen to music as mindlessly as I could. As I started thinking less, it relieved a lot of tension at the back of my head.
This would be a great exercise for you if music isn’t just completely noise to you, and you appreciate it. Just remember to let all your thoughts go, and just focus on the music. The melody. The notes. The voice of the artist. The strum of the guitar. Let your mind float away.
- Get a piece of paper
- Get a pencil/pen
- Write whatever is in your mind
Writing has long been therapeutic to me. And I don’t mean writing using a keyboard, I mean writing using a pen and pencil. There’s just something about it that lifts my mind away. Something that can’t be replicated with a laptop’s keyboard.
What to write about? Anything and everything. Don’t get stuck. Don’t think. Just do. Whatever comes out of your mind, place it on paper. Make it seamlessly flow from thought, hand, pen, to paper. No matter how stupid it might end up sounding, that isn’t the point. The point of this exercise is to release your thoughts and the grip it’s holding on your mind. Clean up that filled-up brain and just let it all out through writing.
If drawing is your thing, then by all means draw away. Just make absolutely sure that you don’t exert any mental effort when doing so.
When I was done, I felt way better. I felt like I got a huge ass weight off my chest and head. It felt good.
Fun fact: I wrote the initial draft of this article while writing away my thoughts. You can find a picture of it below:
3: Relive happy memories
- Open up your phone or laptop’s gallery
- If you don’t store any pictures on your phone or laptop, find a photo album you’re in
- Go through your gallery/album
- Try your best to remember the moments before, during, and after each picture
- Specifically, remember how those moments felt
This one worked wonders for me. Swiping through my phone’s gallery made me smile. It made me realize that in the heat of all the shit I think I’m in, it wasn’t all that bad.
I still had this:
I remember how I felt in each picture. Happy. Thankful. Contented.
Going after your goals will drain you. Sooner or later, it will make you feel like shit. This exercise will make you remember that it’s possible to be happy even if you aren’t “there” yet.
In the crazy escapade you take yourself through just to get “there”, you tend to center your entire existence around that goal. You think that not hitting that goal will blow a hole in your life. You feel that not trying hard enough will fuck up your entire future.
That’s not true. The pictures right in front you are proof that you were once happy. Real, solid proof that you can continue to be happy without overwhelming yourself – even if you’re still on the way to your goal.
I hope even one of the 3 exercises above helps you out when the time comes that you feel like absolute crap. It will come, trust me. If it doesn’t, or you find a way to avoid it altogether, PLEASE SEND ME A MESSAGE. I need to learn from you, Master.
What do you do to fight the feeling of overwhelm? I would love to know what you guys do, and in the process, your methods may even help someone else out. 🙂 Let me know in the comments below!