There’s honestly not much to say about falling into a sticky phase of life. Maybe we’re feeling burnt out or like we’ve fallen into a rut. It’s a little unpleasant, similar thought processes start to stick into our brains. Each day seems similar, same things, different day. Motivation is hard to come by and goals might seem far away, or faded in our view.
A phase like this is, to put it plainly, inescapable. We can’t always remain in a highly positive state, that doesn’t sound realistic. Sometimes, life throws lemonade in our faces to teach us perspective. How do we deal with the soggy remnants of our thoughts and habits in this situation? Let’s look at a few ways.
Studies have shown that our physical spaces influence our behaviours and moods. Even architects know that the way they design spaces influence us. So, our psychology is linked with our physical environment. The amount of physical space we take up and explore also corresponds with our mental space. If we live in the same room every day and never go outside, our life can start to feel smaller because our participation in the world, in general, is rarely seen or felt.
Maybe if we expand our collection of experiences with the outside world, we can start to grow new thoughts and ideas. Maybe that could be where we start to find fresh beginnings again. As writer Richard Rohr once said: “We don’t think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.”
Process Them Emotions:
Oh boy, you really can’t ignore emotions. Processing feelings and emotions are central to well-being. Emotional intelligence comes from recognising emotions as important and honouring those emotions. You can’t label them as good or bad, only recognise them as indicators that it’s time to look into certain feelings and the thought processes behind them. Taking a moment to survey your mental space in this way could help you understand yourself and your next step, much better.
Another point is that too much of a good thing won’t work either. If you have been achieving all your goals and acing things so far, but haven’t taken a moment to reflect on everything, or taken a moment to process; you could land up in a stressful situation. A feeling that your ‘why’ is missing. You just need to give yourself a break, and process.
Emotions can be messy, but life has a way of teaching us how to learn ourselves at some point or the other, and it always pays off.
The Thing About Productivity:
Probably the most important thing that we can take away from such a stage in our life is that hustling is not all there is to life. Life isn’t all about reaching goals. It’s in the process. Productivity can only take you so far; joy and happiness are not connected to an output of any sort. Maybe it made sense at a certain point in your life, and it doesn’t anymore. Well, our nature is that of change and growth; as Marshall Goldsmith wrote, “What got you here won’t get you there.”
Participating in the processes of your life is what makes it all worth it. Rediscovering this idea can help overcome the idea that results are what defines life. My point is, in times of burnout, focus on this instead of the fact that you aren’t achieving your goals, or can’t find enough motivation to. Opening up some mental space for this kind of reflection could be beneficial.
As I said, human beings are creatures of change. Being stuck in the same habits and thoughts can be distressing. We just need to find ways to grow a little and find new perspectives to look at the world.
About the Author: Ananya Ananth is a Media and Communication student who writes, dances and pets cats. Will be found vibing to music and instant coffee at all hours.