Dare to live without limits Week of 6/15/20

Bryan Golden

You don’t need to suffer emotionally; switch paths

Emotional suffering occurs when you have unresolved issues persisting over an extended period of time. Suffering can be caused by guilt, shame, anxiety, worry, stress, or fear. Suffering which is not effectively dealt with runs the risk of becoming engrained and normalized. If left unchecked, you become acclimated to suffering as a normal way of life.
However, you don’t need to suffer when you are encountering an adverse situation. Regardless of what you may be experiencing, you can take steps to improve your circumstances. You are an active participant in your life, not a docile observer. You don’t have to passively wait for things to get better.
Don’t resign yourself to accept suffering as inevitable, or normal. It’s not something you have to get used to. Begin the recovery process by identifying the exact cause of what you are feeling. Be specific. Saying that you’re just not happy will not allow you to find the root problem.
Next, identify the circumstances which would enable you to feel better. Doing so provides you with an objective to head toward. If your desired circumstances are not possible, determine alternative options which would help.
Consider all possible options. Making excuses for why you can’t, or won’t do something keeps you in a rut. Excuses justify inaction. The path you take doesn’t have to be ideal, it only needs to be OK.
Inaction engrains your state of suffering. Worry is a trap that, in addition to exacerbating your feelings, prolongs inaction. You cannot feel better while consumed with worry. Taking positive action to move forward counteracts worry.
Constant complaining is another emotional trap. It deepens the hold of suffering. The more you complain, the worse you feel. Once your problem has been identified, there’s no need to endlessly rehash it. Instead, search for positive ways to alleviate your suffering.
Positive action is required in order to extricate yourself. Negative behavior worsens your situation. Formulate a step by step plan to move toward your objective. Each small step is preferable to doing nothing.
Looking for the good in your life alleviates suffering. It leads to a positive path forward. The good in your life provides a foundation upon which to construct your recovery. It affords a positive perspective to help you move forward.
Constantly tell yourself how you want to feel instead of thinking about how bad you feel. Doing so reprograms your mind away from suffering. Additionally, your brain works non-stop to bring whatever you say to yourself to reality.
Helping others is another effective strategy which helps you feel better. While you are assisting someone else in solving their problems, not only are you doing something worthwhile, you are getting a needed respite from your suffering. The process of aiding another person stimulates your mind to generate possible paths for you.
Changing gears by immersing yourself in an enjoyable activity or hobby gives you a mental break from suffering. Even during this break, your subconsciousness is working on finding appropriate solutions.
Smiling, especially when you don’t feel like it, relieves suffering. Although it’s not a complete solution to your situation, smiling provides an opportunity to feel better. Laughing is even more powerful than smiling. The endorphins produced by laughing have an amazing curative effect.
Exercise provides relief from suffering. Physical activity reduces stress while producing endorphins. Inactivity, on the other hand, worsens your suffering. The last thing you need is to sit and ruminate on your problems.
You are not alone. There are many others who have dealt with similar situations. Reach out to them for support and insight. Connecting with people who can relate to what you are going through is comforting. They prove that you can and will move forward from your suffering.

NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper.  2020 Bryan Golden


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