We live in a soft world where the slightest sign of discomfort can be regarded with concern and even panic.
Did someone say something you found hurtful?
Time to go to a therapist, who can make you feel worse about your issues because now you’re talking about them — emphasizing them.
Therapy has its place, especially if you need that initial pull out of the quagmire of overthinking by someone who can provide a third-party view.
Here are 7 unconventional forms of therapy that will make you feel incredibly alive:
1. Having tough conversations
Most of us have been so conditioned to avoid conflict that we skip having needed conversations with people out of habit.
But the difficult, open, and honest discussions often solve your problems.
Poor communication will ensure people remain resentful and confused with bottled emotions.
Take some courage, say the hard thing to those who need to hear it, and feel the relief rise.
2. Exchanging reactivity for creativity
Reacting to things is allowing external stimuli to guide your behavior without thought.
Someone triggers you, and you fly into a rage.
Someone dumps you, and you’re miserable for weeks, crying into endless tubs of ice cream.
To react is to die slowly.
The alternative is always to create — and it’s what humans were built to do. It’s the expression of your humanness.
So create and live.
Make something of your predicament. Don’t react and die.
3. Taking small steps toward your fears
Much of the time, if we’re feeling low and we can’t describe why it’s a sign we’re allowing fear to control our lives.
We’re trapped and limited by our self-imposed limitations.
Don’t allow this to go on.
Identify your fears. Call them out by name.
Then ask, ‘What’s one tiny step I can make today that will bring me confidence in this area?’
No matter how ‘simple,’ do it. Practice always diminishes fear.
This is a priority because breaking free of limits always matters.
4. Stop freaking worrying.
A huge chunk of the population believes there is some value to worrying. ‘It keeps them safe.’
No. No, it doesn’t. It keeps you miserable.
And you already know this. So, instead of ruminating on what’s wrong with your life and what you need to ‘fix’ about yourself, redirect your attention to things you can control.
You can choose gratitude.
You can also choose to quit worrying and take up a new hobby.
You can choose to be present and in the flow of action. Your choice.
Salvation from pain lies here.
5. Going on ‘dangerous’ adventures
I’m not talking about being reckless.
But there is something to be said for activities that contain some considered risk.
How can we ever feel alive if we don’t ever taste an echo of death?
Be willing to take some calculated and pre-determined risks.
Go on a motorcycle trip to India. Climb a mountain. Ask someone out. Write the book you’re scared to write. Run a class. Go on regular adventures that push you out of comfort, leaving you exhilarated.
This is the best kind of ‘vaccine’ for weakness there is.
6. Doing the ‘thing’
We all have that thing we know we should do that we keep holding off and avoiding.
Maybe you need to finally clean the circus that is your kitchen.
Or perhaps you need to sign up for that class so you can finally get some socializing time this year.
Whatever it is, we all have that ‘thing’ that eats at our soul because we aren’t doing it.
What is that thing? Put the dang thing in your calendar, and get it done.
Now THAT’s therapy.
A sense of sadness or even depression is often attached to the idea that difficult things are happening to us.
A far more empowered self-vision is to view things happening because of us.
This is to immediately assume a leadership position, and it instantly feels better.
Don’t allow yourself to melt into misery by feeling sorry for yourself.
Snap out of it.
Life sucks for all of us. You’re no different.
Life is how you make it. So make it great and turn your attention to leading, mentoring, and helping others.
Forget you, for God’s sake, please. If you feel anxious, help others feel calm. If you’re lonely, go and make someone else feel good. If you feel stuck, go and help a friend get unstuck.
It’s all about where you put your attention. Leaders don’t self-obsess — they lead.
Photo: Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels
Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient.
This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.