How to Break Out of a Negative Rut

Posted: July 16, 2011 in Psychology
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How to Break Out of a Negative Rut

If life seems to be stuck in a negative rut for you, maybe it’s time to consider what kind of world you’re living in. Is it moving you closer to realizing your goals or further away? Is it helping in some ways but distracting you in others? Sometimes friends will hold you back unintentionally. Everybody doesn’t want the same things. You can reverse direction.

Start by Finding the Negativities

If you don’t know what’s wrong, you can’t fix it. Make a list of the ways you spend your time. Include how much time you spend on each activity. Rate each as either positive, negative or neutral. You aren’t going to cut out a neutral activity, like eating, for example. You will want to do your best to get rid of the negatives. Four hours of TV every night is a negative, in case you didn’t know. An hour of TV every day is a break. Four is a waste of time. You’re zoning out when you could be accomplishing something.

A group that likes to party can be great if your life seems to be all work. But you can get caught in a cycle of working all day and relaxing all night to compensate for a boring job. Having fun doesn’t often lead to a new career. You need to take action to break away from that boring job.

Breaking Away from Negativity

Merely deciding to quit negative activities doesn’t work. You end up with free time and nothing to fill it. Soon, the activities you dropped are back and nothing has changed.

To eliminate negative activities, find positives to replace them. Is there something you can study or practice for the sake of your career? Have you always meant to learn to swim or dance and never had time to take classes? Is there an old hobby you used to enjoy that got replaced by the negative you’re now trying to eliminate?

What if You Can’t Find a Replacement?

Sometimes nothing will come to mind. Ask your friends about their hobbies and social groups. A new adventure could be just the ticket. If you can’t find a good lead among your friends, a stroll through the yellow pages or the downtown may be the answer. Just meeting new people can snap you out of a rut. Any change has the potential to put you on a positive track.

Like any efforts at self improvement, you must act now. Planning to make a change someday gets you nowhere. Work out what you need to do and do it now.

Article text copyright 2011 David Arthur Smith. All Rights Reserved.


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