I often describe my life, or events in my life, as being like a spiral. Good creates good and bad creates bad. At any moment in my life (or day) I feel like I am either spiraling upward or downward. In my experience, the good kind of operates on its own, not needing much effort other than my acknowledgement. The bad? Well, I gotta stop that one in its tracks.
As someone with anxiety and depression it doesn’t take much to make me feel like everything is crumbling around me. In early 2015 a stomach flu swept through our house and to say it knocked me out would be an understatement.
Since then I’ve learned to be much more mindful of that downward spiral and attempt to stop and reverse the trend as soon as possible. Following are some of the steps I take to stop and reverse the spiral:
- Acknowledge there is a trend. If you continue to go on in your current state of mind without acknowledging that things are crumbling it will just continue to get worse. Stop and admit that things aren’t OK and it’s time to take action.
- Assess what is contributing to the spiral. Whether it’s something tangible, like business or house work, that is making you feel down or if it’s more of a mental battle, you need to sit down and figure out all of the contributing factors. Create a list if that helps you. Face those problems head on.
- Give yourself space to feel down. It’s OK to not feel happy and positive all the time. Sometimes life is just plain hard. Allow yourself to feel these emotions. Take a little time to just feel sad or mad. Sometimes we just need to break before we can rebuild.
- Create a plan for changing the course. Now that you’ve identified what is causing the spiral and allowed yourself to feel all of the effects, it’s time to take action. Start figuring out what little things you can take care of that will have a positive impact. The more you do, the easier it will get.
If you’re like me you may become afraid of feeling good because, inevitably, you will fall again. As difficult as it may be you have to allow yourself to feel better, and give yourself grace in the process. You may stumble, but if you continue making intentional choices toward an upward spiral you will be successful.