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How to get out of your own way

There are many things we would like to achieve and attain but we keep telling ourselves that we aren’t good enough or deserving or even able, at the most basic level, to achieve them. We get stuck in cycles of anxiety and depression and feel like those cycles are never ending but the truth is that they are. We only need to get out of our own way.

We all know what it’s like to wake up at 3am filled with crippling thoughts of dread, regret, embarrassment and fear. Every now and then those thoughts follow us into the day, casting a shadowy gloom over our lives and hindering us from living the joy-filled, blissful lives we dream of living.

The simple truth is that there is a way out from under this existential weight and that is to realize that they are only thoughts. Stress about the past and worry about the future is all happening in your head and you are capable of stopping those thoughts right now and being in the ever-present and eternal NOW.

Stop telling yourself that you are depressed and anxious and stressed out. By doing that you are training your mind to believe in something that no longer needs to define you. You are perpetuating the cycle. Stop protecting that which is causing you suffering. You may be experiencing depression and anxiety but you are ultimately your Higher Self, separate from those thoughts and feelings. You remain, but your thoughts and feelings eventually pass. Stop for a moment and realize that you are able to step outside of the chaos of thought and emotion, and simply observe. Realize that you are in the present and focus only on what you are able to control. That which is out of your control is simply that, and not something you need to dwell on and tangle yourself up into knots over.

Getting caught up in thinking and overthinking trips us up, sometimes literally. When we are tangled up in our own thoughts our bodies become stressed and tense. The moment we stop resisting the Now and enter into a state of Flow, where we are fully immersed in the present in a feeling of energized focus, we are finally out of our own way, suddenly in touch with the truth that we can achieve anything we set out to achieve and truly enjoy our lives. We can do this by getting stuck into a project, writing, playing a video game, creating art or music, practicing a sport or doing yoga.

Mindfully practicing the art of staying present and controlling your mind and your thoughts opens us up to higher thoughts and ideas. In this state we are able to create and live in a way where we are deeply focused and engaged.

When it comes to clinical depression and anxiety, another way to get out of our own way is to seek professional help and break free from any taboos we have over taking medication such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. After all, you would never deny somebody who has diabetes their insulin shot, so don’t deny yourself an antidepressant or beta-blocker, for example, if that’s what you need or if that would work for you.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical care. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any specific disease or mental illness.

Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, and prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. Call 0861 322 322.

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Written by Taryn Hill

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