Feeling Down? Change Your Emotions When You Focus on Solutions
I can remember waking up recently and not feeling my best. A focus on solutions was the farthest thing from my mind.
My mindset was dark and moody. I felt discouraged. I’d taken a couple of steps in my business that didn’t work out exactly how I’d wanted them to; and getting out of bed was a little harder than usual.
Do you ever have days like that?
My guess is, if you’re breathing, the answer is probably yes. (On a side note, if you’re not breathing, stop reading this now and seek immediate medical attention).
Often when people feel discouraged or their mindset isn’t at its best, they turn to destructive activities for temporary feelings of instant gratification. They use food, drugs, alcohol, sex or other destructive tools to avoid feeling their real feelings at that moment.
The reason I say “at that moment” is because, sooner or later, we all have to face the source of negative feelings. We can keep pushing them down with outside substances, but eventually, the pain of the problem will outweigh the comfort or numbness.
Facing Negative Emotions
When I have a headache, I try to identify the source of the headache. Is it because I haven’t eaten? If it is, then I eat something. Is it because I’m dehydrated? I’ll drink some water. Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep the night before, so I’ll try to take a nap. If the cause is still a mystery, I don’t sit there and say to myself, “Suck it up and deal with it!” No. If I can’t identify the source, I simply take some Ibuprofen.
I have to do the same thing when I’m not feeling my best emotionally.
When I feel discouraged, angry, sad, scared, lonely or sorry for myself, the first thing I do is try to identify the source. Is it a financial issue? A family issue? Career-based? Health related?
I want to work toward identifying where the feelings of discomfort are coming from. And having a coach, a board of advisors, a mastermind or even a mentor comes in very handy during those times. We shouldn’t go through these things alone — even the Lone Ranger counted on Tonto!
Once we’ve identified the source of pain, it’s time to focus on solutions. Every problem comes with a solution, and it’s only a matter of working toward it. Some solutions will appear very quickly, and some will take longer to show up.
While we’re working on finding solutions and then putting them into action, we don’t want to sit on the sidelines just waiting for our emotions to change for the better.
Instead, we’ve got to immediately work on shifting our emotions. Not tomorrow. Not once the problem is solved. No. We need to take immediate action.
The truth is, when we feel better, we have better clarity — which results in solutions presenting themselves faster. That’s why it’s so important to focus on solutions and take action to get our emotions back on track.
Here are some actions to take immediately to start feeling better and finding the solutions that are out there:
1. Do some exercise.
I’m not saying you’ve got to go out and run a one-person marathon, but I am saying go out for a fast-paced walk. Walking one hundred yards at a fast pace will do wonders to get your blood pressure going. Walking a mile will do even more. And, of course, you get to decide what a fast-paced walk is for you.
Some other options? Get down on the floor and do some push-ups. Throw 100 punches in the air. Lift some weights. (Yes, you get to decide how heavy the weights are!) Jump up and down. Run in place as fast as you can. Do something to get your blood pumping. When we get our blood pumping, we almost always feel better as a result.
2. Change your words.
The words we use have incredible power. When we say, “I can’t do this,” we’re guaranteeing we won’t be able to do it. It’s like self-hypnosis. We’ve suggested it, and our subconscious fulfills it.
That also applies to “I’m too” statements, by the way. I’m too slow. Too fat. Too short. Too tall. Too ugly. Too serious. Too stupid. The list goes on…
These are all limiting beliefs. Some we’ve placed on ourselves. Some have been placed on us by others. Regardless, we have to stop making statements like these. They’re poison, plain and simple, and they have zero benefit.
Instead, we have to find more positive things to say about ourselves. I remind myself all the time that I’m very encouraging to people, I’m a great connector, and I’m so blessed to have the wife I have. I’m also funny.
And there’s nothing wrong with a little self-deprecating humor, as long as you don’t really believe it. For instance, I might say to my wife, “I’m funny. Or at least I think I’m funny.” My goal is to make her laugh (and she usually does!). A confident man or woman can poke fun at themselves.
A person with low self-esteem says, “I’m such an idiot,” and honestly believes it. If that’s your story, then I want to encourage you to change your words.
Stop using limiting statements like that and start finding more positive statements you can say about yourself. “I have such great friends,” for example. If you’re having a hard time coming up with your positive traits, just ask some of them. They’ll tell you all the good you have a hard time seeing in yourself.
3. Change what you’re focusing on.
I’ve learned that where my focus goes, everything grows. Especially problems.
If you find you’re focusing on and dwelling on negative thoughts, then you’ve got to take control of that as soon as possible. I’m not saying to ignore a problem. However, think about one thing you can do to get your mind in a better place and set yourself up for finding solutions to that problem.
Try watching a funny movie, listening to uplifting music or reading something inspiring. These are some of the things that help me change my focus so that I can keep it on solutions. They may help you, too. Then it’s easier to revisit a problem later from a better mental state.
I’ve learned from Tony Robbins that when we change our focus, language, and physiology, we completely change our state. Through practice, I’ve found this to be true for myself, and I know it can be true for you as well.
If you’re finding yourself stuck or in a bad space and could use some guidance to focus on solutions, feel free to schedule a complimentary discovery call with me, and let’s see if we can identify a solution for you.
I can’t wait to talk to you.