It’s one of those feelings that you can’t really define but you know it when you see it. For many, it feels like being trapped, unable to move forward, or unable to see any way out of the madness.
Yes, sadly, I think we’ve all been stuck at some point in our lives. I certainly have.
But the good news is that every other time in your life when you’ve felt stuck, you eventually got unstuck — so, chin up, the odds are in your favor, my friend.
The process of getting unstuck can take hours or — GASP! — it can take years. While it seems there’s no way to avoid the feeling, there are some simple but effective ways to help speed up the process.
4 Ways to Get Unstuck
1. Get outside. Sometimes we get so jammed up in our heads that we forget what it feels like to have sensation other than stress and anxiety. The best way to get out of your own headspace is to take it outside. Try this:
- Sit down and close your eyes.
- Focus only on all the sounds around you — birds, traffic, your downstairs neighbor’s music, etc.
- Then focus on what you feel — the wind on your skin, the grass on your feet, and the warmth of the sun on your face.
- Breathe slowly. If your mind wanders, consciously bring your awareness back and reconnect to the world around you with every exhale.
2. Get real. Often feelings of being stuck result from being in denial about our ability to affect our current situation. Sometimes we know what the right path for us is, but we get all jammed up when we believe it’ll be too painful or challenging to follow that path. It’s okay to be scared of pain but remember that attempts to avoid pain typically just lead to more pain. Authenticity is the path to happiness.
3. Get a grip on your self-care. I know you wanna curl up on the couch, snuggle your cat and eat chocolate all day — and sometimes that might be just what the doctor ordered — but once this habit becomes a barrier to doing the things that are necessary to take care of yourself, you’re on the slippery slope. Instead:
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet;
- Sleep a reasonable amount of time;
- Do your favorite workout;
- Take a bath, comb your hair and brush your teeth;
- Spend time with the people who are good for your soul; and
- Do the things that always bring a smile to your face.
Even if you don’t feel like it. Trust me, the moment you start to truly care for yourself, you’ll feel more grounded and the fogginess in your head will begin to subside.
4. Get it off your chest. Sometimes the stuck feelings are simply stuck words rattling around in our heads and hearts. Many times, opening up and airing it out in a safe place is enough to clear the logjam. Talk about what’s on your mind with a friend who’ll just let you talk until you drill down to the core of what’s bugging you. Don’t have a friend you wanna call on? No problem, grab a journal and just start writing down every thought that pops into your head — don’t judge or stop yourself short, just let it flow.
Anyone else have a favorite “get unstuck strategy” to share? I’m always on the lookout for new ones! —Alison