Thursday, August 21, 2014

How to Break A Spiral

I’m #tbt (throwback thursday-ing) to a post from September last year about how to break a spiral. To be honest, when I re-read this I thought someone else wrote it until I realized these were my insights from breaking out of a rut. And once again I’m using the same recipe to lighten up.  So I thought re-posting would be worth-while - at least for me - hopefully for you too!

Does this happen to everyone? Where your head spirals down and takes your heart with it?

I spent most of the vacation in tears. I don’t know if it was a natural reaction being around a family that had its fair share, if it was wishing I had a partner to enjoy the vacation with, or if it happen to be the only time all of the stress and toxicity from work combined with the loneliness and isolation to manifest a nuclear meltdown.  Either way, I spiraled.

I hate the feeling. I fight it tooth and nail. I beat myself up for being so self-indulgent that I would feel bad about my life when others have so many more challenges (nothing makes you feel worse than when you want to be validated but instead someone compares you to someone else who has it worse so you feel guilt instead of relief that understanding can so easily bring!)

At this point in my life, I am intimately familiar with the spiral. It happens more than I’d like to admit. So I’ve spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out the magic key to breaking the spiral.

Here is my recipe (continually refined until is a recipe for preventing the spiral at the onset):

Goal: Gain perspective

Ingredient #1: Gratitude. Gratitude is needed to gain perspective. It is needed to see all of the points of light shining through the dark.  What isn’t there, isn’t there - it’s not going to change by brooding.  What is there is something to be noticed and acknowledge, because what is there is frequently so much more than we realize.

Ingredient #2:  Rest. Exhaustion opens the gate to spiral. When I’m well rested and buzzing along, perspective stays intact. But exhaustion will wipe out perspective faster than my dog can wipe out a plate of leftovers (lightening speed!).

Ingredient #3: Healthy food. This is exactly when I want to sit in bed and eat sweets all day. Which only help to fog up the mind and weigh down the belly. Some form protein along with healthy stuff helps to clear the head and make room for the gratitude and perspective.

Ingredient #4: Levity. Frequently this can come in the form of music, or even better dancing until your insides are properly shaken up!  

What do you do to break a spiral? Please add to the recipe!

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