Feel Aimless? Here Are Tips to Become More Grounded
The beginning of a new year is often the time that many of us reset. We take stock of what is working and what is not working and decide to make changes.
For some, that means losing weight or starting an exercise program and for others it may mean getting serious about saving money or starting a new hobby.
But what if you feel aimless?
You’re not sure where your life is headed. Your personal compass – if you even have one – is broken or cloudy making it difficult to figure out your next steps. Different pressures in life such as the pressure to be financially independent or pressure to feel accepted by others or pressure to succeed can cause us to feel pulled in various directions.
As a result, we can feel disconnected from our personal mission or purpose – leaving us disoriented and sometimes even hopeless.
Signs you may be feeling aimless:
Feeling like you are on autopilot.
Having difficulty understanding who you are.
Experiencing a low mood.
Inability to feel joy.
Feeling uncomfortable spending time alone.
Struggling to identify your sense of purpose or mission in life.
Lacking an understanding of your needs, emotions, and goals.
When we have no direction in life, it can feel like life is leading us instead of the other way around. We are not in control of our own destiny. Rather, outside forces such as the opinions or the influences of others guide our decisions.
Living this way can make us feel adrift in life and even impact our mental health.
One way to reduce feeling aimless is to cultivate a sense of meaning in your life. You need to find your goalposts – things that matter to you so can begin to move in that direction and live a life of purpose.
Here are tips for navigating a path to becoming more grounded:
Learn more about yourself. Spend time by yourself to find out what really matters to you. What are your values? What are your non-negotiables? What is holding you back from living more fully into your values?
Let go of the opinions and expectations of others. Other people’s intentions may be honorable. However, they are not in your shoes and not living your life. They will not suffer the consequences or reap the benefits of your decisions. Next time you find yourself at a crossroads, ask yourself what is motivating your decision? Am I choosing one course of action because it’s what I really want or because it’s expected of me?
Become more intentional. Cultivate a practice of mindfulness to help you slow down your thinking process. Becoming more present and aware can help you become more intentional about your actions rather than being impulsive or reactive.
Accept your emotions. Emotions serve a valuable purpose such as communicating needs to yourself and others. So, rejecting them is not a good idea. Instead, learn how to sit with your difficult emotions without judging or changing them. Be aware of your emotions in the present moment but recognize that they won’t last forever.
Detach yourself from harmful, negative thoughts. When we get caught up in our negative thoughts, it can leave us feeling disoriented. To counter this effect, try creating distance from them. For example, “I am having the thought that I am not worthy of love” or “I am noticing that I am having the thought that I am not worthy of love." This creates space between you and your negative thoughts. Having this buffer can you give the space you need for reflection and perspective.
You don’t have to live a life of uncertainty. Reach out today and make an appointment with one of our experienced therapists at Turning Point Mental Health Center.