The other day, I woke up feeling sluggish. For some reason, I felt unfocused, gloomy and anxious. It was a sunny day, perfect for an outside walk. But I didn’t’ feel like waking up or walking. I was the immovable force of nature.
I told myself, “Let me lie idle for another 30 minutes, I might start to feel better.” I picked up my phone and browsed through Twitter for 20 minutes. Then Instagram. Later, it’s YouTube and unknowingly, I found myself doom-scrolling for more than an hour in the elusive search for feeling better. At the end of it, as I put my phone away, I felt even more dreary, hazy and lethargic.
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This wasn’t the first time. Frequently, I do have bad phases during which I don’t feel like doing the things I know I should be doing. But I’ve realised that to wait for my mood to change to take action is a horrible way to bring myself to act. Instead, a quick way to change my mood is to accomplish 2-3 quick actions that can be completed in a short span of time. Maybe wake up, brush my teeth and make my bed. Or to plug in some music and start ironing my shirt. Or doing 10 pushups. Just a tiny set of physical actions that I can finish in quick succession.
Eventually, enough momentum builds up and motivates me to keep going forward and finish more tasks. It’s a mistake to believe that our mood dictates our actions. Instead, mood *follows* action. This is why physical exercise is such a powerful antidote to negativity and depression. Taking action irrespective of how you are feeling is the quickest and easiest way to brighten up our mood. If you have been feeling that you are stuck in a rut, all it takes is 15 minutes of minor accomplishments to change how you feel.
A rough parallel from Physics: Friction is at its highest just before the object starts moving. Once it is in motion, it’s not as hard to keep going. If you are lying on your bed and reading this mail on your phone, perhaps it’s time to put it aside, get up and maybe clean up your bookshelf. Click some before and after pictures and pat yourself on the back.
Do you have any interesting ways to get out of slump? Do let me know.
PS: I am really excited for this!
Quote of the Week
On the importance of believing in yourself:
“If you think you’re going to win, you won’t always win. if you think you’re going to lose, you will lose.
If you think you’re going to get an A+ on the test, you won’t always get an A+. But if you think you’re going to get an F, you’ll always get an F.” – Peter Thiel
Have a great day ahead!