When we feel stuck, getting our energy moving can feel like a Herculean challenge. It can even feel as if we are glued to wherever we are, with no hope of a remedy. Here is some practical advice for getting our stagnant energy to start flowing again.
Do something constructive. This can be something as mundane as washing up the dishes, making your bed or clearing a pile of clutter. It can be as simple as drinking a glass of water, eating an apple or talking a walk. It can be as fundamental as taking a deep breath and bringing yourself back to the now-moment from wherever your mind has taken you.
Challenge your thinking. When we are stuck, there is typically something in our now-moment that we are resisting with all our might. It is as if we have dug in our energetic heels and refuse to budge. Usually what we resist is not the thing itself, but what we imagine about it. So, ask yourself, “What am I making up about this?” There are usually a number of ways to look at something, so do yourself a favor and think of another, more constructive way to look at what you’re convinced is true.
Expand your awareness of what is possible. When we are stagnating, we have stopped being curious about possibilities. Expand your awareness of real, tangible potentials that can be actualized with the time, energy and money you have right now. Explore the alternatives to what you’re doing right now, and take care that you don’t prejudge a possibility before you have had a chance to investigate it to learn if it is a practical, achievable and beneficial step forward. If the potential you’re investigating turns out to be too big a stretch, then scale back and look for alternatives within your reach.
Break your pattern! Feeling stuck and stagnant follows a pattern. Find the pattern in your thought process, your behavior and your choices. Target something in your pattern and do one small thing differently to change that pattern.
Identify the source of your anxiety. Stagnation is nearly always a result of anxiety about the uncertain future. So stop that nebulous, anxious thought and ask yourself, “What is the specific uncertainty that is causing me to be afraid?” Once you have identified the uncertainty, it is usually easier to simply accept its presence in your now-moment, just for the time being.
Deal with one thing at a time. If you are feeling overwhelmed it probably means you’re taking on too much at once. You may not be able move a thousand-pound pallet of boxes, but you can probably lift and carry one 25 lb. box. Divide up the task at hand, and do what you can manage right now.
Take care of yourself. Rest when you’re tired. Eat when you’re hungry. Let that after-hours phone call go to voice mail. If you’ve been sitting a long time, get up from your desk and take a walk. Avoid medicating with alcohol, drugs or food. Don’t veg in front of the television or lose yourself in cyber space. The world won’t fall apart if you stop to look at a sunset, read a chapter in a good book, or slip into a hot bath. Taking care of yourself often depends upon learning to make your self-care a priority and in balance with the needs of those close to you.
Here’s the deal. Flow is a product of movement, and it can result from very small, incremental changes in the status quo. So if you’re stuck, move your body, move your mind, move your habits, and move your behavior. Movement is what you’re after. Movement is flow!