Stepping back to evaluate themselves might be the most important thing a person can do when they want to map a path for change. The following should give you a solid starting point for finding that lightbulb moment of realization where you see what needs to happen.
Take a look in the nearest mirror. A long, drawn-out look at yourself. You might want to do this in the buff (might as well get the full picture, right?). Now close your eyes, try to stop and think for a few minutes, as deeply as you can, and take a dive into the depths of your mind. It’s probably dark in there. Literally, not figuratively. Although, many people are dark in there as far as the figurative sense goes. We’ll get to that.
What’s happening in there? Calm meadows? A storm? Both?
The first step to going somewhere, getting financially stable, emotionally stable, in better shape, whatever you want-is understanding where your mind is at in the present day. It may or may not be in a good place. But in order to get out of a bad place or find a good one, it is incredibly important that you really shine a spotlight on what is happening in there and begin to try understanding it. So often we are caught up in the day to day grind of life (with all the mental fetters that come along with it) that we never allow ourselves the opportunity to stop and think about how our mental state is running.
Sometimes our mind gets away from us.
So ask yourself: Is my mind where I want it to be? Body too?
Did I wake up in a good mood today? How many hours did I sleep soundly?
Do I read at all?
Did I want to go to work this morning? Class?
Was I around people I genuinely enjoyed the company of this past weekend?
How do I feel about the current season and weather outside?
What times of the day am I eating and what quantities?
How did the food I ate today make me feel 6-8 hours later?
How much Netflix or streaming, in general, have you watched lately?
How often am I checking my phone and those addictively dangerous sites?
How much news am I watching?
Do I consume media that would be considered pornographic? How often?
Am I the weight that I want to be?
Have I done anything to move it in the direction I want it to be if not?
Do I have a core group of 4 or 5 people that I can trust and tell important things to?
Do I yell or lose my temper easily?
Do I drink very often? How much and how frequently?
These are all great starting points for recognizing if there might be some areas of your life that contribute to an unhealthy mental state or if it’s all good under the hood. I think it’s safe to say that hitting every benchmark, i.e. healthy eating, a good amount of exercise, the right amount of sleep, good work/life balance and all the rest is nearly impossible if we’re being realistic. However, if someone makes a conscious effort to work toward some or all, it will undoubtedly pay dividends.
Then, of course, comes the “why,” which might reveal a whole new kettle’a fish. Frankly, though, I think it takes more of a hike into the mind to really find that.
Why didn’t I sleep well?
Why didn’t I wake up in a good mood?
Why don’t I want to go to work?
Why do I hang out with those people if it doesn’t make me feel good and I can’t tell them important things?
Why do I date that person if they make me feel negative (stress, anxiety, trapped)?
Why am I drawn to that food if it makes me feel bad later?
Why don’t I invest in a 30 dollar gym membership?
Why do I lose my temper easily?
Why do I consume unhealthy substances or media?
Was there a point when this all started?
Over the course of the next few days or weeks, continually run this self-assessment every morning, night and mid-day if twice daily does not seem like enough. Before trying to implement any kind of change, it is integral to make sure you are at a complete understanding of what each stimulating force you interact with in life does to you. Then, you can gradually make adjustments, one small step at a time to see where things go.
Once you nail down some of the most prominent things that might be causing issues, investigate how to remedy those. Certain circumstances might require help from someone in the field of psychiatry, but others may only require small changes to start seeing positive results.
If you are not sleeping well, then pretty much everything else can get screwed up. So, make sure that you get between 7-9 hours AND wake up naturally without an alarm. Just about everything you can think of effects your quality of sleep in some way, including but not limited to:
- Alcohol consumption
- Hydration level
- Eating (too much or not enough)
- Stress and Anxiety (work, relationships, family)
It can be a vicious cycle. Not sleeping enough hinders important bodily functions like muscle regeneration and also makes you have more of an appetite for crap…..crappetite? Then, eating processed garbage results in a bad night’s sleep (not necessarily, but a lot of the time) furthering the circle you run in. It isn’t good, so breaking out of it is crucial for making any needed improvements for yourself and in your life.
What will you change today for a better tomorrow?