One thing different today
I find that there are many times I get stuck in my head and in my feelings. In these moments it seems as if time stops and I am unable to see what is happening around me in the real world. Like many who live with the unwanted house guests of depression and anxiety, my experience of being stuck usually is related to expectations I have created in my mind about who I am supposed to be or what I am supposed to be doing.
When this happens, I can become so overwhelmed by this hamster wheel of thinking that I end up giving more fuel and energy to the depression and anxiety. To give myself a new path I use the mantra of one thing different today. This means that today I will do one thing different than I did yesterday. I will set my intention toward this as a goal. Here is an example:
Let’s say it has been a long week at work. I have a mountain of laundry, the house looks like a dorm room, and I haven’t touched the bills all week. Looking at all of this can be overwhelming. So, I say to myself:
“What is one thing I can do different today that I did not do yesterday to make this easier?”
It may mean I make a list. Or, I could begin the laundry then start on the kitchen while it the load of laundry washes. Whatever it is, I set my intention on the one thing I want to do differently. Normally I would feel so overwhelmed I might go sleep or feel as though I am a bad guy because my house looks like this. But this small step starts a different path.
By taking one different step we are allowing ourselves permission to focus on our goals and to not get caught in negative self-talk. Self-talk is that voice we all have inside who we know well. Sometimes it sounds like us and sometimes it does not. In those moments it may sound like a parent or authority figure. We may be mean to ourselves because that is what we experienced when we were young. We may be so critical that we can become self-abusive.
When our self-talk becomes negative we have feelings and then thoughts about those feelings and then feelings about those thoughts and so on. Whew, that takes a lot of energy. This can become a spiral of intensity that it can be hours of “being stuck” because we cannot move forward. Using this technique allows us to break this cycle and start over.
The amazing thing about growth is that you can start over as many times as you need to make things different. When we allow catharsis like this to happen it can be difficult at first. But if we stick with it and continue to be loving toward ourselves by getting out of the trap of negative self-talk we can have a new lease on life.
So, what do you think? What is one thing you can do different today that you did not do yesterday?