By S. Alease Ferguson, Ph.D., LPCC
Breaking Out of Your Rut
It takes energy and a presence of mind to break out of the rut of everyday life. Creating new energy in your life is a creative project. Every now and then we need to embark on a new journey with energy and enthusiasm about life and our interaction with others. Most of us know that “when we do what we always did, we get what we always got!” Real positive and lasting life change only occurs when we become more aware of ourselves and our need for growth. Know that tackling the small stuff is what can change our lives. It means making a conscious effort to break old routines and habit patterns linked to how we act and respond to the people around us. Consider mixing it up for the next 100-days by following my recommendations:
- Make a point to connect with new and different people every day, especially those you admire, respect, and want to get to know.
- Connect with someone new every day, whether it is by greeting a neighbor you have never spoken to, following someone new on Twitter, or leaving a comment on a blog that you have never commented on before.
- Process any emotional responses you have to others’ remarks before speaking or writing your response.
- Choose not to pass judgment on anyone until you have heard both sides of the story and fully understand the situation.
- Do one kind deed for someone every day or just send a silent blessing their way.
- Give praise and approval to those who deserve it. Do not let opportunities to compliment others slip by.
- Use active listening and focus when someone is talking to you. Remain focused on what they are saying instead of rehearsing in your head what you are going to say next. Try paraphrasing what you heard them say to make sure that you got their point.
- Practice empathy so that whenever you disagree with someone, you can try to see the world from their perspective. Take the time to walk a mile in their moccasins or flip flops. Be curious about the other person and their beliefs, life experiences, and thinking process they use to reach their conclusions.
- Stay in your own “lane” and avoid the temptation to compare yourself or your situation to anyone else’s.
- Place the best possible interpretation on the actions of others.
- Refrain from the harsh criticism of others and remind yourself that in this life everyone is doing the best that they can.
Why You Should Make Changes?
Few realize how stressful it is to always be at odds with those around us. Making shifts in the way we listen, observe, interact, and interpret the behaviors of others are small changes that can improve the quality of our mental health and brain health. Adding a new layer of self-awareness, discipline, and stress-free interactions with others can bring a new sense of peace to your life.
60 Small Ways to Improve Your Life in the Next 100 Days. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/60-small-ways-to-improve-your-life-in-the-next-100-days.html
Quality improvements. – Fancy Hands Blog. https://secure.fancyhands.com/blog/quality-improvements
Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, and Kris Allen: Awesome …. https://ew.com/article/2010/02/13/kradison-concert-nyc-highline-idol/