5 Things To Avoid When You’re Feeling Lost & What To Do Instead
We all get to a point in our lives when we're unsure of things. For most of us, this occurs many times throughout our lives. Whether it be with your relationship, your job, your friends or even with yourself. We get comfortable with these things and they might be working for us for a while. But eventually, we might want a change. Sometimes we know what that change is and sometimes we don’t. Not knowing where your life is headed can be unsettling. We like knowing what’s ahead. But in today’s world with so many directions you can pursue, there are endless opportunities out there…and it can be overwhelming.
This feeling of being lost affects everyone differently. Some people shut down completely while others pick up unhealthy habits and a number of other reactions in-between.
Feeling lost is scary. Quite literally if you were lost in a city or town you’re not familiar with (and without a map or GPS), what are you supposed to do? Today we're sharing with you the top 5 things not to do when you’re feeling lost or unsure. Plus, we’ll recommend the 5 things to do instead. So you’ll feel like your internal GPS will be back up and running in no-time.
Don’t: Procrastinate your dreams
When you’re feeling lost, you might feel disconnected from your goals and dreams. We get so caught up in our busy lives that we forget what we wanted in the first place. It’s easy to sit back and not take any action. But where does that get you?
Instead, reconnect with your dreams
What makes you happy? What does your ideal life look like? With family, friends, your career, a significant other. As we get older, we often lose sight of how incredible life can be. We feel burdened by our responsibilities and forget about the things we truly love to do. It’s time to reconnect with what you love and take action. No more excuses. If you’ve been wanting to take a dance class, learn pottery or make meditation part of your daily routine, what better time than now? Make a commitment to do what makes you happy.
Don’t: make an emotional decision
Feeling lost can be a downward spiral that’s difficult to stop. First you start questioning your life. Is this the career path I want to be on? Is this who I want to be with? Are these the friends I want to have? After being so sure of these things for so long, you might then question other parts of your life and wonder if you made the right decisions along the way. This can be scary, and can ultimately lead to making an emotional decision. Like to give up on it all or quite the opposite – make a drastic decision.
Instead, get quiet and listen
When you’re in an emotional state, it might not be the best time to make a big life decision. If you absolutely have to, make sure you put it in a long-term perspective. Because in this state, it’s difficult to think about anything except what’s right in front of you. Don’t feel pressured. Take your time to think. Weigh the pros/cons of the decision. And if you need more time, then take it! This is the perfect opportunity to start practicing or continue to practice mindfulness. This will help you get in tune with your inner self, pay closer attention to your surroundings and lessen the chances of you making an emotional decision.
Don’t: spend money on unnecessary things
We like to consume, and for many of us shopping makes us feel good (they don’t call it retail therapy for nothing!) But the high eventually disappears, just like anything we use to mask the pain, and then what are you left with? A bunch of unnecessary things? That you may or may not be able to afford? We’re never opposed to treating yourself. It’s important to do so. But treat yourself to necessary or meaningful things, like a nice dinner, a massage or a vacation.
Instead, go on an adventure
Whether it’s an international adventure or simply exploring a different neighborhood, you never know where you’ll find inspiration. Even taking a day trip or going on a yoga / meditation retreat can really help you reconnect and reset. You’ll be away from the noise of your everyday life and you’ll be able to experience something new and exciting. Upon return, you’re likely to find more clarity and peace.
Don’t: pick up unhealthy habits
We all have our vices, and some are unhealthier than others. However, when we’re feeling lost and emotional we tend to gravitate towards the unhealthy ones – drinking, emotional eating, etc. Although those might feel good in the moment, they usually don’t feel great after, and often lead to more negative consequences. And when you’re going through a hard time, it’s only going to make things worse for your body to engage in these unhealthy habits.
Instead, step outside your comfort zone
Instead of picking up that bottle of wine, think about doing something more productive…like expanding your comfort zone. Try something new and meet new people. You can’t grow as a person by staying in your bubble where everything is familiar. If you’re looking for a new path to take in life, trying new things is the only way to get there. Think of things you’re interested in but hesitant try, like salsa dancing or a cooking class. You might love it or you might hate it. But you never know until you try!
Don’t: blame others
When things aren’t going your way, it’s easy to blame others. Would I be in this position if my boss didn’t fire me? Or if my boyfriend didn’t break up with me? Even blaming things much larger than that like the economy or even the weather. We’ve seen it all. But when we blame others, we’re only trying to escape our own challenges. Regardless of how you escape your problems (with blame, unhealthy habits, etc) the problems will remain unless you address them head-on.
Instead, ask for help
If you can’t confront your feelings on your own, know you’re not alone. It’s an extremely difficult thing to do. So don’t be afraid to talk to someone. Ask a friend or family member for help. Talk to a therapist. We often get in our own heads so it’s helpful to have another person’s perspective.
If you’re still feeling lost and would like to speak with a professional, schedule an appointment with one of our therapists today.
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