Going with the tide

Sometimes change begins not with action but with a feeling.

Perhaps you find yourself doing something you’ve done for years, something that you usually enjoy but this time it feels different.

And so you have 2 choices. The first is to follow that feeling and the second is to ignore it.

Following that feeling will allow you to go with the tide and become the person that you are developing into.

If you choose to ignore, it means resisting the flow of life. This happens when we are not ready to change because sometimes we feel like we need more time.

But eventually you’ll get bored of not growing and you’ll find ourselves seeking out the very thing you didn’t think you were ready for.

The pick me up playlist

Around 18 months ago I created a Pick me up playlist.

The reason I did this is in the name, I wanted a pick me up. But more importantly I wanted something I could go back to.

I’m lucky enough to know how the music I listen to makes me feel and, I curated a playlist of songs to listen to when I am in need of a pick me up.

It is simple yet incredibly effective.

And of course the music doesn’t fix the issue but it reminds me what it is like to feel good and that makes me want to make the effort to make things better.

If you’re someone that enjoys listening to music, I’d advise you to give it a go.

You don’t even need to create a whole playlist but the next time you feel down just listen to one of your favourite songs and see how it makes you feel.

How do you feel?

How often do you honestly say how you feel when you don’t feel particularly good?

It’s fairly easy to talk about how happy you are, how much you’re looking forward to something or how great you feel. But when it comes to saying I feel low, I feel sad or I’m not feeling my best, most of us are much less willing to be open.

Instead you’ll find yourself saying things like ‘I’m fine’ even though you don’t mean it at all. Feeling sad or feeling low isn’t a bad thing, it isn’t something that you have to hide.

And sometimes all you need to feel better is to simply talk about why you don’t feel so great.

How it feels when it finally happens

When you’ve spent weeks, months or year working towards something it might feel strange when it finally happens.

The thing is often when we want something as much as we think about getting it, we don’t truly consider how it will actually feel.

Of course you’ll be happy but our thought process doesn’t always go beyond that.

I suppose it’s because there’s no real way of knowing how you’ll feel.

There will be times when you’ll work towards something but don’t feel happy, excited or even particularly pleased when you get it. Whereas other times you’re overjoyed with the things you’ve managed to achieve.

I think how you feel in the end depends on things like how long it took to a achieve, whether you still truly wanted it and how much it impacts your life.

Yes or no questions

All decisions about whether or not you should do something come down to yes or no questions.

Should I move to another city?

Should I cut my hair short?

Should I ask him out to dinner?

The questions on their own are simple but when we add in context, feelings and fears we make it much more complicated. Granted, context can be helpful because if the person you’re considering asking to dinner is in a relationship, it’s probably best not to bother.

However, the added information can also be unhelpful.

Take moving to another city, you might be super excited but also kind of scared because of the uncertainty, even though you feel like you need a change.

When you allow feelings related to fear to be at the forefront of your mind, it can often hinder your ability to make decisions.

So sometimes it’s best to remove all the details and ask yourself a simple question. Answer yes or no, stick with it and move forward.

The best possible next step

Sometimes it’s good to have a statement that serves as guidance for the direction of your life.

When you feel stuck, stagnant and discontent wondering what to do next pick the best possible next step.

Close your eyes and ask yourself ‘What is the best possible next step I can take?’

Whatever answer comes up, do it.

It could be as small as turning off your phone or drinking a glass of water. It could be as big as resigning from your job or ending a relationship.

Once you take the first step if you still feel stuck ask yourself the question again, keep doing that until you no longer feel stuck, stagnant or discontent.

Dealing with the unexpected

No matter how much you plan and prepare you always encounter unexpected situations.

In the moment it can be easy to end up feeling overwhelmed after all this is not what you wanted, it’s not what you planned for.

And so you have two choices. The first is to get caught up in the unexpected and the feeling of things being out of your control. The second is to take a moment to check in and ask yourself whether this unexpected situation poses any real risk. Most of the time the answer is no, in fact you have something to gain.

Unexpected situations can serve as an opportunity to learn how to be more adaptable which is a pretty valuable thing.

How to know when you’ve made the right decision

It’s all in how it feels.

When you find yourself with a choice to make between A and B, the main challenge will be wanting to make the right decision.

You don’t want to pick an option that you might later regret. But the truth is most of the time, you never really know how you’ll feel a month or a year down the line.

And as much as you can go back and forth, at the end of the day you have to choose.

I find that that it helps to put as little pressure on the decision as possible. Sometimes even make a game of it, put your options into an online hat that will pick for you or pick flower petals.

Whatever you end up choosing if you feel calm and at peace granted part of that will come from no longer having the burden of deciding on your shoulders but the feeling of peace will also be from having made the right choice for you.

Feeling difficult feelings

When you feel low or sad about something it can be difficult to know what t do with the feeling. After all you don’t want to feel it, you’d much rather the sadness just left you alone.

But the thing with difficult feelings and feelings in general is that they don’t leave if you don’t allow yourself to feel them.

And then there is the question of how do you feel your feelings.

I don’t think there is a set answer of how but I’ll share what works for me.

Writing is incredibly therapeutic, I do it everyday.

Writing allows you to explore yourself freely and can be used as a tool to express how you feel. If you’re feeling hurt you can write about it. But you can also ask yourself questions like ‘why does this bother me?’ or ‘what would make me feel better right now?’ and then write until you have some kind of answer or at least until your mood has shifted.

Looking back

When you experience a mood change from sad to happy it’s easy to find yourself looking back.

Perhaps you do so because you remember what it was like to feel sad and you remember that you didn’t think it would pass. But now all of a sudden here you are with a smile on your face, feeling like a whole new you.

Looking back is a reminder that the difficult times don’t last forever even if in the moment we sometimes forget.