Limitations and road blocks are everywhere in life. Coming in all forms, they can break you down mentally and keep you there if you let them. More often than most like to admit, we are all struggling with some sort of inner demon(s), a balancing act if you will. After going so long trying to find balance, you have too many daily stressors add up, throwing that balance off and have everything fall. This could cause an avalanche of emotions that projects you into unhealthy habits to help cope. If this sounds familiar, know one thing…..
You’re NOT alone
We’ve all had sleepless nights, thoughts of various problems racing through our minds. You’re miserable with your job, your car is giving you problems, your school work is suffering, you may even be pushing loved ones away because of it. Everyone experiences some sort of stress in their lives. Regardless of your gender, profession, ethnicity, economic status, etc, EVERYONE deals with mental and physical stress. How can you cope with all this? How can you regain balance?
Many people opt for hitting the local bar for a few hard drinks to take the edge off. Others may opt for more dangerous (and illegal) ways to deal with life’s challenges. At the time, people may think this is the only way to deal with their life. So it becomes more habitual to do these activities. It’s a sad fact of reality.
There’s an old saying, “Follow your gut, it tends to be right.” If you have to question to yourself if you have a problem, chances are you’re probably right. The sooner you realize you may need to reconsider what you’re doing, the better. But how go about it? How do you turn a bad habit into a good one?
Talk to someone your trust
This could be a family member or a close friend. This is why they’re there. If the person really considers you important (like they should), they’ll give you their attention.
Write about your problems and then reread them
It sounds a bit far-fetched, but it works for some. If you spill your brain onto paper and just write down your thoughts. Write what caused you to pick up an unhealthy habit and what caused you to realize this habit is now a problem. After you’re done, go back and reread everything. It may give you a perspective you’ve never seen.
Making a list helps, too. Make a list of reasons why you should quit the negative habit. Jot down what could happen if you don’t kick the habit as well. You’d be surprised at what you’ll conclude with.
Put your body through some positive stress. Go for a long walk, bike ride, hike, or boat drift to clear your head. As time goes on, create a goal for yourself to accomplish, such as run your usual route 15 seconds faster. Push yourself to achieve that goal.
Cook Healthy Meals
Another hobby of many, cooking is very distracting and takes a good bit of attention and focus. The science behind adding a few different foods to make one great meal is insanely rewarding. If you start an exercise program to help with stress, add some new healthy recipes to help fuel your body.
Get involved locally
There’s a unique satisfaction about lending a hand to those in need. Pitch in around your neighborhood and give back. It doesn’t have to be a regular thing or even an 8 hour day. If you have a few hours on a Sunday, grab the local paper and look where food banks, homeless shelters, YMCAs, or even Meals on Wheels is located. The contribution doesn’t have to be a big one, but believe me, it will be remembered by not only you, but those you reached out to.
In the End
If anyone takes anything from this, please know you’re not the only one dealing with some sort of inner demon. We all live with stressors. Unfortunately, some take an unhealthy alternative in dealing with these stressors. I’m here to tell you (from personal experience), you CAN break that bad habit. If you need to, reach out to those who love you. You maybe strong, but it’s human to need to confide in someone for comfort. Once you’re feeling happy for yourself, positivity will flow into your life. Never forget those who helped you get there, though.