When you are feeling stuck…

5 September 2022

You probably recognize the feeling. One minute you are feeling pretty good, you are being social and making plans for yourself, yet somehow it changes and you end up feeling stuck. Whether this is because circumstances change or whether there literally seems to be no reason at all, it is not a nice feeling. So how can we help ourselves to get unstuck when we end up in this limbo?

1. Observe your thoughts.

We tend to quickly identify with our thoughts. When we get a bad grade or we have missed a deadline it becomes extremely easy to immediately embrace the thoughts that tell us we are not good enough. But did you know you are not your thoughts?You might have heard it before, but our thoughts and emotions are simply things that pass through us. By immediately identifying and attaching ourselves to them we set ourselves up for a trap. But this trap is nothing and none other than yourself. You are holding yourself hostage within yourself.Take a moment to listen to the voice in your head as you are reading these sentences. Now make the voice say “hello”. You think you are that voice, right? Because it appears to be yours, it might even sound like yours. But when you are watching that voice in your head, who is that person? Who is listening to the voice inside your head? Guess what, THAT is who you really are. You are the witness. You are the experiencer. You are the consciousness that can listen to your thoughts and observe your emotions. Practice doing this and notice how you stop identifying with your thoughts. They are just visitors passing by in your head. They are not you.

2. Accept there are seasons in life.

Once you have begun to realize that your thoughts are not necessarily the ultimate truth, you will be able to release yourself from the stuck feeling even more. Often we do not realize how much our thoughts influence our emotions and sometimes vice versa. We tend to have a lot of limiting beliefs and negative thoughts on a daily basis. Once you are disconnected from those and just watch them pass by like clouds in the sky, you’ll be feeling a lot lighter. Because, wauw, isn’t it a relief that you don’t have to believe every single thing that pops into your mind?

Life has seasons. Sometimes we just feel less inspired, less energetic, less happy, less social. We need these moments to understand ourselves a little bit better. When we stop creating resistance for ourselves (“why am I feeling so bad/sad/stuck? I need to stop. I should feel happy”),  it actually becomes a lot easier to get back to neutral and eventually back to being unstuck. Once you admit and accept the fact that you are not necessarily feeling your best, you will be able to drop it more. Rest. Retreat. Do something fun. Or do nothing at all. It doesn’t matter as long as you are not convincing yourself you shouldn’t feel this way.

3. Be intentional.

After this “acceptance thing”, it might actually help you to become more intentional within your daily life. Often we get stuck because we have done a multitude of things, have pushed ourselves either too much or too little and we got closer and closer to autopilot. The way to heal your way out of this is to bring intention back into your day. What does that look like?Doing the dishes? Do them with the intention of telling yourself you deserve a clean space. Does it take ages when you are standing in line at the store? Remind yourself this is a good opportunity to practice patience. Eat your food with intention. Hop in the shower with intention. Call your friend with intention. Brush your hair with intention. Bring intention back into your life. 

4. Cultivate joy again.

Joy and happiness are two different things. Often we have this big idea of happiness. “I want to be happy!” or “I should feel happier than this!” can make you feel incredibly far away from actually experiencing the feeling you are describing. Happiness seems like the ultimate goal, when truly it is (just like any other emotion) fleeting and temporary. It comes in waves. It will never be a constant state.

However, joy is a whole other story. Joy is a more gentle term that we have not created all these expectations around. Joy can be created anywhere and in any moment. Like we said, doing groceries and there’s a line? Sing a song in your head and you might feel joy. You are not necessarily “happy”, but you are experiencing the feeling of joy for a moment. Let’s say you have a crappy morning and you finally get that cup of coffee you need. This cup of coffee brings you joy. Again, you are not necessarily happier, but for a moment you experienced joy.

By trying to cultivate more joy in your daily life, you will be able to feel less and less stuck. When we have the idea we should feel happier we deepen our frustration with ourselves, because we are not feeling good. However, when we bring back joy, even though we are still feeling crappy, we are already experiencing more inspiration and motivation than before.

And that is how you get unstuck.