“I Feel Like I’m Going Round in Circles” – Tips to Get Unstuck
We have all had those days where we feel stuck, where we don’t like where we are, but we just don’t know how to get un-stuck. In these times, the problem solving part of our brains just doesn’t work, even though sometimes the answer can sometimes feel just out of reach. Being in that “stuck” space is one of frustration, annoyance and being unsettled within ourselves. Sometimes, being stuck can impact on our relationships. We snap at the people we love, we might even blame them for our feeling of being stuck, of not being able to fix it or provide us with the magic pill to help us to feel better.
Whether the feeling presents itself because of work, personal growth, relationships or leisure parts of our life, the results are the same. We don’t know where we are heading and all we know is that where we are now is not where we want to be.
So What Do I Do About It?
The first and most important thing to do when you are feeling stuck is to recognise it and realise being stuck is actually a thought process, not a feeling. We don’t feel stuck. We feel uncomfortable because we are having the thoughts that we are stuck, that we are not moving forward, the worry that things won’t get better. While we may not know what to do to become un-stuck, we can be aware that the reason we feel uncomfortable is because we are in the space of ‘stuckness’ and we don’t know what to do about it. It can help to label being stuck by saying something like “I am having the feeling of ______________(frustration, upset, uncomfortable), because I am having the thought that I am stuck or the worry that things will always be this way”. This way we can both recognise the thoughts and feelings, as well as identifying that these are just thoughts and feelings and while they seem true, they are NOT facts.
What is the actual problem?
Once you have recognised what you are thinking and feeling, we need to move into the problem identification stage. At this point it is important to do a few things:
- Take the time to sit down. Part of the problem is that we are often so distracted and ‘busy’, that we never fully finish one thing off before we start another. This creates stress and the problems which continue to present are never solved, creating that hamster wheel effect and leading to us being stuck.
- Identify the problem – once you take the time, sit and look at what the actual problem is. Being stuck is a symptom – WHY do you feel stuck? Is it dissatisfaction with an area of your life? Is it a thought you need to challenge? You could sit down with a pen and paper and write out all the thoughts to help to figure this one out, or some quiet time alone to think may be all you need.
Solving the problem
This next part is basic problem solving. Admittedly, this is often the most difficult part of the process, especially if the problems are big ones, or issues you have no control over. At this point you may need to call in some support, whether this be from a loved one, family member, friend or professional. For this part of the process, you have three options:
Have a look at what you can do to fix the problem to resolve it completely. This strategy is only possible when you have complete control of the problem and it’s surrounding factors. It’s important to note here, that if you don’t have control of the problem, trying to fix it will probably just increase your feeling of stuckness and frustration.
This means that you do what you can to manage the issue in the best possible way. This may be by completing some thought challenging, changing your behaviour, communicating your needs or some other type of strategy which will allow you to have some type of impact on the issue. This option is good if you still have some control or influence, but not complete control over the issue.
This option is for situations you have little or no control of influence over. Where you recognise that, while you don’t like it, the problem isn’t going to change or go away right now. In this strategy we then re-direct our mental energy towards problems we can either fix or manage or focus on things that we enjoy.
As you can see, being stuck is sometimes an indication there is a bigger problem at play. Once we take the time to recognise this, identify the problems and then solve those problems, we will notice we are no longer ‘stuck’. So take some time, sit and think and really look at what is behind your ‘stuckness.’
The Psych Professionals have experienced clinicians who offer a wide range of services, including child and adolescent counselling and individual counselling for adults. From general life problems to dealing with complex mental health issues, if you need support, please don’t hesitate to contact our office to see how we can support you.
Photo by Ben Hershey Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash