This happens not only in songs, but also in life. The black stripe will not change to white. Everything falls out of hand. There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.
Have you noticed that it is with such stories that the most life-affirming books often begin? Many authors have been “at the bottom” – after illnesses, accidents, the loss of loved ones or the loss of the meaning of life. And they realized that if we overcome this period, we can become stronger, bolder and happier than before. Shall we try?
We chose practices and tips from books that helped the authors get out of the impasse. We hope they help you too.
Become a superhero and fight the bad guys
Jane McGonigal , author of SuperBetter , took a long time to recover from a concussion. The condition was so painful that she began to have thoughts of suicide. And then Jane decided to turn it all into a game. This is how the SuperBetter project was born , which helps people all over the world get out of the crisis.
The essence of the game is to set a goal, create a secret identity for yourself and fight the bad guys every day who prevent you from feeling strong and happy. Think who are these bad guys? For some, these are harmful products, for some – depressive thoughts, for some – insomnia . Bad boys are anything that causes anxiety, pain, and stress.
Find at least three bad guys who are ruining your life.
To catch the bad guys, use these leading questions:
What habit do you want to get rid of?
– What distracts you from work?
What causes you physical pain or discomfort?
What is taking your energy?
What thoughts or feelings make you doubt your goals or abilities?
What behavior would you like to stop?
Once you find the bad guys, start developing strategies to deal with them. Think of several ways to respond effectively so you have room to maneuver. For example, you can resist them, replace them with something else, or simply ignore them.
Use the 3:1 technique
Are you in a difficult situation? As a rule, at such moments it is difficult for us to remember something good. We do not notice success, we devalue our achievements. It’s as if we take out a symbolic magnifying glass and find as many misses as possible, as a result of which we feel even worse.
To stop this vicious cycle, do the 3:1 technique: Name three things you did well and one thing you could do better.
Consider an example. Jennifer was afraid to talk about her desires to a young man. She liked to please him, but because of this, she never got what she wanted. Jennifer used the 3:1 technique when she wanted to go to the movies and her boyfriend wanted to go to the pub. Here is what she told him and how she appreciated her approach.
What she said
In a broken, hesitant voice: “Well, we were already in the pub yesterday, and I would like to go to the cinema tonight for the premiere. Then, if you want, we can go to a bar. You do not mind?”
three good things
- She expressed her wish.
- She showed respect for the young man’s wishes.
- She found a compromise.
One thing she would change: next time she would speak in a more confident tone.
The 3:1 technique will allow you to be more objective, build on the positive aspects to replicate your success, and keep evolving. It’s energizing. Try it right now.
Call on the hormones of happiness
Happiness hormones – serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin – are small but very effective helpers in overcoming the crisis. These are real antidepressants. And we can call them “on request”. Try to increase the content of each hormone of happiness in the blood.
Celebrate small victories to get dopamine. You make some progress every day. Try to see them and say to yourself: “I did it!” Success cannot be too small. As Adam Kurtz says , sometimes waking up is an accomplishment. Heed this advice and catch the smallest sparks of triumph. If you generate such sparks every day, you will gradually become your own best spark plug.
Cry to get endorphins. Crying causes a rush of endorphins due to the physical stress we experience. Of course, you shouldn’t cry all day long. However, if you have a desire to cry, do not restrain yourself so as not to increase internal tension. A few minutes of crying can release the negative emotions you’ve been building up for years.
Hug your dog or cat for oxytocin. Oxytocin is the confidence hormone. It develops when we are around those we trust. But communicating with people is not always easy. Animals are good substitutes – when in contact with them, less oxytocin is produced than during “human” meetings, but they do not betray and do not require explanations. So hug your pets.
To produce serotonin, find a reason to be proud. Try to find some achievement of your own and say to a friend or loved one: “Look what I managed to do!” Or remember situations in which you received public recognition. Pride is a navigator that helps us move forward. Don’t suppress this feeling.
fill the hole
Everyone in life has “holes” – periods of difficulties, trials, doubts. To make it easier to survive them, the pits need to be filled. We can find many examples of such filling in life. Let’s say everyone hates standing in line. Disneyland has made waiting less painful: places where lines form are decorated with colorful scenery, animators dressed as Disney characters entertain people, creating an atmosphere of anticipation of an amazing holiday that brightens up the wait and reduces the intensity of negative emotions.
If you feel like you’ve fallen into a hole, try to fill it with positive experiences.
Allow yourself what you love: watch a good movie, go on vacation, treat yourself to something delicious or beautiful. Do something that will give you bright positive emotions, wake up your senses, dilute the usual series of days. A properly filled hole can even turn into a peak – a moment that you will remember for a lifetime.
Do a mini practice
One day, James Altucher , author of Choose Yourself!, was in a difficult situation. He didn’t want to live. And then I began to do Mini-practice for every day.
“Only this Practice brought me out of the impasse, lifted me from the bottom, saved my life and even directed me to success,” he says. So he shared the Mini Practice on his blog and learned that it helps others too.
For the Mini-practice for each day, you need to do ONE of the following list every day.
1. Get eight hours of sleep.
2. Eat two meals instead of three.
3. Do not turn on the TV.
4. Do not eat fast food.
5. Don’t complain about anything all day.
6. Don’t gossip.
7. Reply to an email you received five years ago.
8. Thank a friend.
9. Watch a funny movie or comedian.
ten . Write a list of ideas – about anything.
eleven . Read a spiritual text – anything that inspires you: the Bible, the Tao Te Ching, whatever.
12 . When you wake up, say to yourself: “Today I will save someone’s life.” And all day, pay attention to situations where you can save someone’s life.
thirteen . Take up a hobby. Don’t say you don’t have time. Learn to play the piano. Take chess lessons. Try yourself in stand-up. Write a novel. Do something that breaks your routine.
fourteen . Write down your daily routine – list everything that you usually do. Then cross out one item and never do it again.
fifteen . Surprise someone.
Be careful on slippery roads
When the mood is at zero, we are able to say things to a friend or loved one that we later regret. Our thoughts are an unreliable ally, so do not trust them and act in haste. They cannot act as a guide to action.
Imagine that you are driving on a cold, dark night on a slippery road. Of course, you can do it – but you will have to act with extreme caution. You need to drive slowly, turning carefully and keeping a distance between your car and other road users.
Apply the same principle when dealing with others. Remember that in moments of crisis, instincts are not your best helpers.
Now is not a good time to tell a person what you think of him, to make a vital choice, or to solve a serious problem. Wait until you return to normal, and the mood elevator is back on the upper floors, and you will realize that you can deal with any problem much faster and more efficiently.
become a tree
Remember a tree during a storm. A strong wind sways its branches from side to side. There is an impression that the tree is not able to withstand the elements. But it is worth paying attention to its roots, as the situation will appear in a different light. The tree is firmly and deeply rooted in the ground, so it cannot be destroyed.
A person who is overwhelmed by strong emotions is like this tree.
He feels vulnerable, capable of breaking at any moment. Therefore, in those moments when a storm of emotions covers you, you cannot stay in its epicenter – at the level of the brain or chest. Direct your attention to the navel area – this is your trunk, the strongest part. Then start breathing slowly. Mentally observe the rise and fall of your belly. Practicing this in a stable posture, such as sitting, will make you feel better.
Just breathe. Don’t think about anything. Breathe through the up and down movement of the belly. Do this exercise for 10-15 minutes and strong emotions will release you.