7 Ways We Sabotage Ourselves and How To Overcome Them

#1 Measure self-worth in terms of achievements.

When you’re focused on outcomes and end results, and you measure your sense of worth and value in terms of your achievements and performance, you can easily see yourself as a failure when you don’t succeed. Worse yet, you become the failure. That leaves you swinging between feeling really worthy when you achieve, and really unworthy when you don’t.

Solution:

Focus on your effort and desire to meet challenges. When you see your worth in terms of your ability to exert effort, to work with obstacles, to learn, and to grow, then you are always worthy. When things go wrong, you see this as feedback to move in another direction rather than taking on a “failure” identity. You can ride waves and hone your skills without beating yourself up. You will actually be more successful, not to mention enjoy the process.

#2 Negativity.

Negativity is the mega saboteur. It is a mindset that colors every aspect of your life, and creates an emotional prison that allows no escape door.

Negative people feel powerless. They predict that things will go wrong, especially for them. They catastrophize, are quite pessimistic, and live in fear. Their motto is “life sucks, and it ain’t gonna get any better.

Negative people also criticize, judge, gossip, and blame. They’re often emotionally rigid and will launch an attack if someone tries to counteract their negative thoughts or assertions.

Solution:

  • Develop informed optimism. This means look for positive possibilities, examine them, and focus on them. That doesn’t mean ignore problems. That’s why I say “informed” optimism. For every negative thought you have, formulate a positive version or come up with a solution.
  • Challenge cognitive distortions. Check the facts when you make a negative assertion. Most likely you have exaggerated and are not speaking or thinking accurately. Make use of information rather than buy into your first emotional response. Ask if what you are saying or thinking is actually true.
  • Hang with positive people.
  • Develop gratitude. Think of at least three things you are grateful for everyday and write them down. Do this regularly and your entire outlook will change.
  • Stop ruminations. When you notice you are going on a negative rant, either out loud or in your mind, stop yourself and either move on to another activity, correct your thinking, or take some action to alleviate the problem.

#3 Fear of being left behind.

Our culture is very hyped up, like an addict on speed. We’re always pursuing the next new thing, the next fad, the next way to make money, the next formula for being “creative” (although it’s not always so creative).

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of great information out there along with new ways of approaching problems, and new methods of expression. But there’s also a lot of hype.

This has the effect of taking us away from the richness of who we are, and of being comfortable in our own skin. We miss the everyday significance of being alive, of being a part of, of feeling connected, and of appreciating our own gifts. Instead of feeling present, we feel extreme urgency to get, to grasp, to hustle, to speed toward the future goal. We’re afraid of being left behind.

Solution:

Pick one thing you want to work at and pursue it methodically and consistently. Focus on the process. Focus on daily accomplishments.

As you do that, give yourself time to feel comfortable in being. Savor your thoughts, feelings, values, and moment to moment experience. Stay in the present. Spend some time every week in silence and let your mind wander. Better yet, cultivate a daily meditation practice. Take walks.

Finish one thing from beginning to end before taking on another.

Life is not a race. Everything you need is in the present, not out there up ahead.

#4 Avoidance.

Avoidance is the act or practice of ignoring things that should be dealt with or done.

You avoid making a medical appointment to check out a nagging pain you have because you’re afraid they’ll find something serious.

You continue to spend money and accumulate debt without assessing your total money picture to see where you are.

You don’t deal with relationship issues that eventually erode the relationship or create more and more dysfunction.

You don’t take care of small problems that later turn into big problems. You skirt around challenges and hope they will go away.

Most avoidance is based on fear. You’re afraid the challenge will be too great, and you’ll suffer if you look at it. In truth, not looking causes much more suffering then dealing with whatever the challenge is, and most often, the fear is far greater than the actuality.

Solution:

To tackle avoidance, you have to understand that what you are tackling is fear.

The best way to deal with fear is to take action.

Even a small action will begin to unravel your fear and provide the courage to continue solving a problem. You can actually train yourself to get good at this and turn it into a regular skill.

  • Start with a new mindset. See yourself as a challenge seeker. You are someone who takes on challenges, relishes them, learns from them, and enjoys getting better and better at meeting them. This is a growth mindset. Just through your steady actions, you can become more intelligent, more skilled, and more successful just by consistently facing and meeting challenges.
  • Today write out three things you are avoiding and take action on them. If three is too much, then choose at least one and follow it through. If money is your area of avoidance, look at your financial situation and make a plan to change it. If you need to make an appointment for a medical check-up, call up and make it now. If you have avoided talking to a friend about an issue, call them up and either talk to them now or set a date to meet. Whatever you are avoiding, take on one thing now and do it. When you have finished that one, do the next one. Keep at it until taking on challenges becomes an automatic response.
  • Watch your thinking. Avoidance begins in the mind. When you fret, worry, or shove something under, you have entered the world of avoidance. You have to act before you let your mind tell you all the reasons you should avoid whatever it is. Take action before you start to ruminate. This is the real key.

#5 Blame Game.

You know how this goes. Someone has infinite reasons why things go wrong, and all of them point to someone else, external circumstances, or just bad luck.

Blaming is the surest way to get stuck and stay stuck. Things do happen to us, absolutely, and sometimes what happens is extremely challenging or devastating. Ultimately, how we respond is on us. What we do, what we think, and what we feel are all on us.

Not taking responsibility for yourself, for your life’s course, and the consequences of your actions all lead to stagnation, and very often going backwards.

Life doesn’t stand still. You are either moving forward or backward.

Blaming is a step in the wrong direction, and chronic blaming blocks your progress, while also taking away your freedom to choose.

Solution:

  • Watch yourself over a week and notice how many times and under what circumstances you blame other people or external events for things that go wrong.
  • Jot them down on paper so you can get a real picture of your own “blaming” patterns.
  • Then make an alternate list of every conceivable thing you can think of that you could do to confront these challenges or make changes that would make you happier.

You have a lot of power. Use it! Use it for your own betterment, and for creating a life you really want and cherish.

Start small and build. Get in the habit of challenging your blaming thoughts every time they surface.

My go to question when I start blaming is to ask myself,

“What am I not doing now that could change this?”

That simple question will turn your mind away from blaming, and toward solutions. Make that a habit and you’ll find a new sense of freedom and success.

#6 Isolation

Isolation is a state of mind, and one that easily leads to depression. It’s not necessarily connected to being alone. You can be alone and not be isolated, just as you can be heavily involved with other people and still feel isolated. Isolation is disconnection. It’s feeling apart, but not in a good way. The usual thoughts that accompany isolation are:

  • No one understands me.
  • I think differently than everyone else.
  • The human race sucks.
  • Everyone is only interested in themselves.
  • I have nothing in common with anyone.
  • I’m different.

These thoughts may have begun as a result of earlier experiences, but over time they take on a life of their own and become self-fulfilling prophecies.

Underlying them are resentment, anger and disappointment. There is an unwillingness to see life from a more compassionate place that accepts that we all have our frailties, and all must experience disappointments and obstacles.

Solution:

  • Write out all of your thoughts that define you as being different and isolated. Be detailed. Let them sit a bit, and then go back to your list and write out opposing thoughts.
  • List all of the ways that you are like everyone else. List what you have in common, how your feelings mirror others’ feelings, how your experiences may be similar to others’ experiences.
  • Let yourself feel vulnerable. Underneath your resentment, anger and disappointment is sadness. When you allow the sadness to surface, you can begin to reconnect. Look at the faces of the people you see when you are out, and you will see that vulnerability everywhere. This is where and how you can connect.
  • Reading is another good way to reconnect. Try “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown.
  • When you’re around others, instead of thinking about how they are responding to you or thinking about you, focus on how you are responding to them and thinking about them. Turn your attention out instead of in.
  • Be curious about how people are feeling. How did they get to where they are? What is their life like? What were their early experiences growing up? Are they happy? Do they look anxious? Are they closed off? Wonder about it. You will gain a growing compassion for other people, and in the process for yourself also.

#7 Not taking care of your body.

Yeah, you know about that this one, but maybe not enough to understand the seriousness of it.

Our ability to handle emotions, think clearly, make decisions, and even take action are greatly effected by our physical state of being.

Diet

If you live on junk food, or make a habit of eating high fat, high salt, and high junk carbs, you are diminishing your brain’s ability to function optimally. You might feel sluggish, tired, grumpy, bored, and even numb. You may also feel more anxious and depressed. Mood in particular is intimately tied in with diet. Chronic poor eating patterns are linked to increased depression and anxiety, as well as inflammatory problems which show up in auto-immune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer.

Sleep

Sleep deprivation has been linked to chronic diseases such as diabetes, depression, obesity, and hypertension. It effects mortality and quality of life. Those who get too little sleep are also less productive, more prone to dangerous driving and more likely to commit occupational errors. The bottom line is that lack of sleep has significant negative consequences on all levels of functioning.

Exercise

You know it’s good for you, but you may not know how good it is. Not only does exercise have a positive effect on your cardiovascular, circulatory, and endocrine system, it also greatly effects the functioning of your brain! It increases your ability to learn, remember, focus, and think creatively. It also stabilizes mood and decreases depression and anxiety, as well as emotional reactivity.
You don’t have to do tons of exercise to get these results. You just need to pick some kind of exercise and do it regularly and consistently. The more consistent and longer you engage in exercise, the more you get the benefits I’ve just outlined. It’s huge bang for your buck!

Solutions:

  • Start a “clean eating” diet today. Choose foods you like, but stick to whole foods and decrease white flour, sugar, saturated and trans fats, and anything that is processed. Start gradually if you need to, but be consistent.
  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, but aim for 8. Do not go below 7. Do your best to sleep between the hours of 11PM and 6AM. Above all, avoid screens close to bedtime. They emit blue light that interrupts sleep patterns.
  • Create a regular exercise routine. Walking is a very easy choice. If you walk, go for 1 mile per day at least 5 days per week. That will take you about 20 minutes per day. If you’d rather go to the gym, by all means do that. Whatever you choose, make sure you stick with it.

Do You Feel Insignificant?

Recently a client said to me that he wanted to do something “great” with his life. He’s a young man at the beginning of his career, and he has aspirations to succeed. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a normal desire, but as we continued talking about it, I knew there was more going on. There was a strong sense of urgency, and even a little tinge of desperation.

As we investigated, it turned out that he felt quite insignificant, and the urgent desire to do something great was a desire to feel significant, and in turn feel worthy and loved. It wasn’t really about accomplishment at all. It was about feeling worthwhile.

The feeling of significance is universal for all of us. It’s intertwined with the feeling of being worthy, and certainly of being loved. They all go together.

We usually internalize these feelings early in life in the course of being loved and cared for by our parents. But because our parents aren’t always capable of giving us that, many people move into adulthood without feeling worthy, without feeling significant, and without feeling loved.

A way to recoup those feelings is to do something that will bring attention and affirmation from others, and the greater the affirmation, the better. Doing something “great” falls into that category.

If I could just be a Bill Gates or win the Pulitzer Prize or write a best selling book or become a millionaire . . . . then I would feel significant. People would look up to me and want to be like me. I would be something. I would be loved.

The problem is, even if you were to achieve something that brought celebrity attention and affirmation, you might still feel insignificant. You wouldn’t necessarily get that “inside” feeling of being loved and valued, and especially not for yourself. The feeling would be fleeting and conditional and based only on your status or achievement.

What makes us feel significant?

Is it accomplishment?

Accomplishment can add to it, but that is not the source of significance. Significance is a birthright. If you are here, you are significant. Every living thing is significant by virtue of being. Significance is not dependent on what you do.

Great. So how do I feel more significant? How can I get rid of that gnawing feeling of unworthiness?

It’s in the everyday acts, not the grand gestures or accomplishments.

Here’s why:

Significance is developed and felt through our regular interactions with each other. We are relational beings. Grand gestures and accomplishments are fine, but they do not define who we are or take away the feeling of emotional isolation. Who we are is how we relate to and treat others, and how we evolve personally.

Let me give you an example. I have two little dogs. Dachshunds to be exact, and they are 14 and 16 years old. I get a great sense of significance every day when I feed them, love them, and see in their eyes that they feel safe and trust that I will be there for them.

I also feel significant when I am kind to my husband when he needs me to help him do something, or I can offer some good advice to my son if he has a problem.

I feel significant when I flash a genuine smile to a stranger in the grocery store, or feel someone’s sadness with them when they’re suffering from something. All of these things make me feel significant.

I would also love to write a best-selling book and that would be wonderful, but if I didn’t have the daily experiences of connection with those around me, and if I weren’t always working toward being more emotionally present, the rewards from being a best selling author wouldn’t mean much.

It is the daily gestures and conduct that help us evolve towards our best humanness, and that provide a real sense of worthiness.

By giving that kind of love on a regular basis, you can’t help but feel loved in return because you are loving yourself at the same time.

You likely know people that are very accomplished, but aren’t necessarily good human beings. Accomplishment, and particularly celebrity accomplishment doesn’t make for an evolved person, and is not the real source of worthiness or significance. How you interact with others and yourself comes first. Then if there are outward accomplishments, great!

What can I do to feel more significant?

Here’s some guidelines that will help increase your sense of significance and worthiness:

Perform small acts of kindness daily.

Do this especially with those closest to you. It is sometimes easier to be kind to people we don’t know all that well. When you are in a close relationship, you may withhold acts of kindness because of baggage from unresolved problems. Even so, little acts of kindness and caring can strengthen a relationship and create an atmosphere that is more conducive to problem solving.

Abstain from gossip, criticism, and personal attacks.

It’s hard to abstain from gossip for most of us. Family members gossip, friends gossip, co-workers gossip, and public figures gossip. But in truth, there is nothing good about gossip. You only have to imagine hearing someone gossiping about you to drive home this point. It feels bad and it hurts.

Solve problems directly with people if there is a problem, but don’t participate in gossip. You are hurting yourself when you do so.

Same goes with criticism. You can directly tell someone when something is bothering you, and you can do it without being attacking. If you use “I” messages, you can avoid the feeling of personal attack. Constructive criticism is necessary sometimes if you are in a position of authority and it is your job, but even in that situation you can be respectful and understanding of someone’s feelings.

Connect.

Look people in the eyes and acknowledge them. That doesn’t mean you should encourage bad behavior, or approach someone who doesn’t want to be approached.

I remember when my brother was a student at the University of Pennsylvania and lived in a pretty scary neighborhood. He learned that looking people in the eyes was an invitation to be attacked or to fight, so he avoided eye contact until he was at school.

You have to discriminate, but in general, the idea is to acknowledge others through connection, warmth and acceptance.

Fine-tune your conscience.

To have a fully developed conscience means to do the right thing when no one else is looking. It means knowing and recognizing that everything you do has an impact on everyone else. It’s being honest with yourself. It’s not about getting caught. It’s being trustworthy in every circumstance. The more finely tuned your conscience is, the more significant you will feel, because you are someone that can be counted on.

Be responsible.

Do your best to be responsible for yourself, and for those you have signed on to take care of.

Pull your own weight. Do your own work and do it the best you can.

Conversely, set boundaries when you need to. Just as you hold yourself accountable, hold others accountable for their behavior as well. Responsibility is a two-way street and should be shared.

Allow yourself to ask for help.

One of my favorite books is The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. She talks about vulnerability as a strength, and recommends asking for help as a necessary part of connecting. Feeling vulnerable is a part of feeling significant because it is real. Sharing it with someone trustworthy is both validating and connective.

Let go of self-doubt.

Be affirmative about your self-worth. It is not dependent on what you accomplish, but on who you are and how you treat others. If you didn’t feel valued growing up, then try using the technique of re-parenting yourself. To learn this, read my blog called Be Your Own Best Parent. It may sound a little hokey when you first read it or try it, but it is really quite effective.

Just remember and affirm:

You are significant and you have everything you need to feel worthy and be loved. You just need to peel back the layers of self-doubt and self-criticism that are in the way.

10 Ways to Reconnect to Yourself

Sometimes everyone needs a reset. Life gets too crowded, energy pours out in every direction like a bad plumbing leak, problems abound, demands are high, and you are just worn out. This can leave you feeling depleted, overwhelmed, used up, fragmented, out of control, and discontent. These are signs that you have become disconnected from yourself. It’s time for a reset.

So the obvious question is ” What exactly is a reset?” On most technical devices, it means going back to the original settings, or returning to the starting place. In this case, we’re talking about an emotional reset, which means getting back to your sense of you that is separate from everything you do. It’s the “you” that is concerned with being rather than doing. It’s who you are. It’s your starting place. When you push your emotional reset button, you again feel connected to yourself, and again feel able to take charge of what’s happening in your life. You get on the front end instead of the back end of things. You can be proactive instead of reactive. You can breathe.

Here’s my list of things you can do to help yourself reset. This is not exhaustive by any means, and I welcome anyone’s input on other ideas. It’s an important thing to do, so please, share!

Identify your core values.

Take some time out and remind yourself of what’s really important to you. What are your core values? Are your activities in keeping with those values? Do you feel good about what you do, how you are behaving, who you keep company with, how you express yourself, or how you treat yourself? It’s good to check in once in awhile and make sure that your life is in line with what you believe in and what you feel is really worthwhile. It’s easy to get on life’s treadmill and lose track of it’s meaning. Taking regular breaks to identify your core values and realign yourself with them if necessary. Make this a priority.

Have real conversations with intimate friends or partners.

Conversing with people you love, respect and feel kinship with can be energizing, confirming and ultimately calming all at the same time. You may even wish to use these conversations as a way of checking in on your core values. However, any kind of conversation with close friends or partners you trust, that are intimate or have depth can really help reset your mindset and remind you and confirm for you who you are. By feeling connected with real friends, you can regain some sense of connection to yourself through your interactions with them.

Write.

Writing is a great way to take what’s rolling around in your psyche and giving it some room to breathe and make some headway. Just by writing what you think, how you feel, what you want to do, what your plans are, what your dreams are, or whatever you want to write, you get some clarity. You also give your mind a rest by removing some of the debris that’s accumulating there. There’s a great little phrase coined by Noah St. John in his audio program called The Power Habits System that refers to this mind debris. He calls it “head trash.” That really captures it in a very graphic way: Head Trash! And as we know, trash clogs and blocks the flow.

Writing is a perfect way to empty the mental trashcan. By putting things on paper, we can begin to sift through the rubble for diamonds we want to keep, and other stuff that needs to be worked through or processed, and then other stuff that needs to be discarded by letting go. Writing is a way of clarifying and releasing. It also tells us what we’re stuck on, as well as what diamonds we have stashed away we didn’t know about. It’s a great self-connector.

Drive out of town.

Huh? This is a method of reconnecting to ourselves? I think so. In fact, travelling of any kind is often used by creative types to stir up ideas and create new perspective on things. Think about it. When you get in the car and start driving, your mind goes into a different mode altogether. A different kind of focus occurs. Even if your mind is racing, you are more able to focus on the thoughts you are having without outside distractions.

Sometimes that can be a little iffy for driving, but it seems to happen anyway. When you actually begin putting distance between yourself and your town or city, you get a different feeling altogether. There is some release and sense of space opening up. You breathe a little bit. It’s as though you are in a suspended atmosphere where you really can’t do anything but drive. You are away from your house and all of the chores that need to be done, and away from your office or work with all of the work that awaits. You have to drive, so you have permission to take a break.

There is something really calming about that, and when you slow down mentally and emotionally, ideas and solutions begin to surface. Thoughts about the bigger picture come into focus.You are temporarily off the roller coaster and you have no way to get back on for a while.

Travelling further and actually taking trips by plane or train can give you even more of this perspective, but if you don’t have the time or money for that, then just get in the car and take a drive, preferably at least a little ways out of town.

Walk outside without music.

Walking has been shown to increase creativity through research, so there is no doubt about that. In addition to creativity, walking outside in particular has even more benefits. It connects you to nature and takes you a little outside of yourself. You feel yourself as part of something bigger and grander which reduces your sense of isolation and helplessness. It reconnects you to your body in a way that is not strenuous, but is calming, and reconnects you to the earth and the whole world of life of which we are a part. The caveat here is to walk without listening to music or any type of audio program. This is fine when the goal is exercise primarily, but for purposes of our reset, walking in silence and listening to the sounds of nature is key.

Turn off the technology.

This one is pretty self explanatory, and most people are aware that being glued to our computer, cell phone, tablet, TV, iPod, not to mention email, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media can consume huge amounts of time in which we are absorbed outside of ourselves. Not only that, a lot of that time is wasteful because what we are looking at fills our minds up with trivia, or maybe negativity, or just useless information we don’t need.

I am not at all saying that technology is not useful or doesn’t have a place. After all, I’m writing blogs to be read on technology. I am just saying that indiscriminate use of technological devices can take up and waste a lot of time. Take some time off and see how it affects you. Try a day in the house with no TV on, or no music, or no computer time. You’re forced to be with yourself and your own thoughts and feelings. Your mind will spread out, and you’ll become reacquainted with yourself if you’ve been away.

Put down the glass of wine.

A glass of wine is fine and often relaxing, but to really reconnect with yourself, it’s best to have a clear mind and unclouded emotions. You may be feeling turbulent, but alcohol isn’t likely to help you with your reset. It might give you some temporary respite, but then the problems come back with greater energy. You want to move into yourself, not away. Be quiet and listen to what’s going on inside of you.

Check your diet.

If you are in the habit of eating a lot of junk food, or even food that’s full of sugar, white flour, and bad fat, then you probably don’t even realize how much that food affects your mood and level of anxiety. A whole food diet, mostly plant based with healthy fats can do wonders for your state of mind. You will feel calmer, more in control, and have more emotional reserves to deal with stress. Diet has a major impact on your sense of well-being.

Get enough sleep.

This is a no brainer, but actually is something many people skimp on including myself. It’s easy to sacrifice an hour or two of sleep per night when you have a lot to do and feel like there are not enough hours in the day. If you get up early in the morning and then work a long day, you may also have difficulty in winding down at night and going to bed early enough. The problem is that sleep deprivation has significant negative consequences to your health. According to the Center for Disease Control, people who experience sleep insufficiency are more likely to suffer from hypertension, diabetes, depression, obesity, and even cancer. Sleep deprivation also reduces productivity. Adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.

Try meditation.

Meditation practice that is done on a regular basis has the effect of creating mental space characterized by greater calmness and mental sharpness. Meditation is also the great equalizer for runaway emotions. The type of meditation you choose is up to you, and will likely depend on what seems most appealing. A simple type is to watch the breath going in and out. Another popular technique is the practice of mindfulness. I would suggest doing a little research and then pick a technique to try. Once you find something you like, you need to do it consistently. Even 10 minutes a day for starters is fine as long as it is daily. The effects of meditation increase over time with consistent practice, and the effects are both subtle and powerful. Try it for 30 days to give it a chance to have an impact, and to establish the habit. It works best if you do it early in the day, and at the same time every day.


http://www.cdc.gov/features/dssleep/

Red Light Days

There is an ebb and flow to life. Everyday is not the same, and no one feels exactly the same all the time.

On some days, you have a lot more energy and creativity, things seem to flow, and the general feeling is one of sailing through a green light.

Then there are the red light days. We all hate these days. Energy is low, mood is blah, everything seems difficult to do, the level of frustration is high, and going back to bed and sleeping until the next day sounds like a good idea.

The truth is, this is a part of reality and both kinds of days are necessary.

There’s no problem in appreciating the easy days and taking advantage of the smooth sailing. But the red light days? What’s the value there?

There is a Silver Lining

Red light days give us a chance to strengthen our fortitude, widen our objectivity to see life as bigger than any particular set of circumstances, and often give us an opportunity to step back and see if there’s anything we need to change or improve.

Red light days are actually growth days, even if they don’t feel like it. The growth doesn’t necessarily seem to take place on those days, but in retrospect there is often progress made.

These days are also what I call “incubation” days. We go and go and go and then seem to come to a screeching halt. Incubation days allow things to settle, to sink in, and to digest. Even if it seems like nothing productive is happening, it is.

Have you had the experience of working on a problem and going at it fairly relentlessly and not coming up with a solution, but after you sleep on it, the solution pops up in your head after you wake up? The sleep time is incubation time. You aren’t aware of what’s happening during that time, but work is being done all the same. Red light days can have a similar effect. They feel like wasted days but they are not. They actually are necessary.

Make Good on It

A good approach is to go with it rather than resist it. Make the best of what you have. Choose activities that you can accomplish on those days, and practice emotional equilibrium so that you can get through frustrating situations without succumbing to reactivity.

Good things to do on these days:

  • Busywork of any kind that doesn’t require emotional or creative energy.
  • Obsessive-compulsive work like cleaning out drawers and closets.
  • Taking walks or any kind of exercise. Walking with music is helpful because it distracts you and changes your mood.
  • Reading.
  • Catching up on movies you’ve been wanting to watch. Sometimes, even a full “veg” day is helpful. Most people call those “mental health days.”

Things not to do on those days:

  • Anything that’s particularly creative and requires emotional energy.
  • Ruminating about why you feel the way you do, and moving into self-attack mode because you can’t seem to snap out of it.
  • Taking mood-altering substances of any kind.
  • Discussing important relationship issues with a loved one.
  • Starting a new initiative or program such as a diet.
  • Making any kind of important decision.

These are good days to focus on activities that don’t require a lot of emotional energy, but leave you with a sense of accomplishment, or activities that are distracting. Save the green light days for creativity or important undertakings.

Consistency is the Key!

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