Stuck. Stymied. Spun out. Stressed. Sick. Silently (or perhaps not so silently) freaking out. We’ve all been there, we’ll all be there again. Because, sadly, personal development isn’t a tidy, linear, upward-moving arrow. It’s a curlicue, a doodle. At times it loops back on itself and shoots you somewhere you never expected to be.
This is an incomplete list of what to do in those moments when you need an energy boost, stat. And you can probably already tell I’m not talking about the energy that means physical stamina or strength, or how tired you are or aren’t. I’m talking about how you view, interact with, and show up in the world. It’s your own personal frequency, and when you learn how to access the higher energy levels, that’s when the inevitable detours stop feeling so hard and avoid becoming cul de sacs.
Here’s how to access those groovy-feeling higher energy states when you find yourself bogged down in feeling sorry for yourself, ticked off at someone else, or replaying events over and over in your mind:
1. Do something you’re great at
No time for modesty here. We’ve all got talents. Mad talents. Go put one or more of yours to use in the world, and BOOM, you’re immediately in the zone where there’s just no room for doubt, regret or other energetic downers.
Make a list of 10 things that are going well. What we focus on grows, so shifting your focus to what’s going right will help create more things worth celebrating.
3. Be of service
Go do something for someone else. Not with the intention of making yourself feel better. But with the goal of truly being there for another human. Help a mom haul her stroller up the stairs. Check in on an elderly neighbor. Help your kid do the cockamamie thing he’s currently obsessed with instead of trying to redirect him into something less messy or more convenient.
4. Stop fighting it
So you’ve noticed you’re feeling pretty crappy, thank you very much. Something isn’t working out well, you feel barred from something you want, and all you want to do is figure out what you need to do to get out of this emotionally tender spot. Stop. Instead of focusing on changing what you’re feeling, let yourself really experience exactly how this particular discomfort feels. When you get present to a difficult emotion, it immediately begins to transform and the doorway to a more pleasant state of mind opens without you even having to knock on it.
5. Watch this video of goats screaming like humans
(Or do something else that makes you laugh.)
6. Get quiet
Feeling mentally and emotionally churned up is a great cue to do something that gets you rooted in your body — a little at-home yoga, a walk in the woods, weeding, shoveling snow, raking. Doing anything that requires your mind to focus on what your body is doing helps your thoughts quiet down so you can hear that inner voice, which knows exactly why you’re getting so triggered by whatever’s happening and has a definite opinion about what to do from here.
7. Do something that makes you feel fantastic
I’m not talking about trolling the racks at TJ Maxx looking for a bargain. I’m talking about something that makes you feel alive, connected, and like anything is possible. Roller skating, surprising your kid by picking her up early from school, singing your brains out in the car, exercising, cooking a delicious meal, calling a friend you’ve been meaning to call for weeks (unless she likes to gab your ear off gossiping or venting — that does not feel fantastic), doing something creative, giving yourself an at-home facial. The what doesn’t matter. It’s all about the feeling.
8. Tell some truth
Unexpressed emotions — because you don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings, or make them uncomfortable, or don’t feel safe revealing what’s really going on with you — cause so much angst. Reach out to someone you trust to talk out what’s got you feeling funky. Extra points for sharing your truth with the exact party who’s involved in the situation that’s triggering you. The truth will always set you free. It might be messy, but it will be a huge load off your shoulders, and then you can deal with what’s actually happening instead of your perception of what’s happening (which can be very different from reality).
What do you do to get yourself back on an upward energetic trajectory? I would LOVE to hear your techniques in the comments!