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Lost the Pep in Your Step?

worn-out-emoticonThere are times in your life when you will feel like you’ve had enough! You work too hard; you worry too much; you no longer have pep in your step. You yearn for the kid you used to be. The kid who knew how to have fun, who loved to run around, who laughed easily.

It’s been awhile since you began to view life as a never-ending burden, requiring you to put one foot in front of the other to get going. Inside you, there’s a meanness and a madness which feels awful. Those feelings are invisible to most people because you can still paste a smile on your face. Indeed, there are times you even have a good laugh. But this kind of laughter is not what you used to have when you were a kid. No, this kind of laughter appears when your only other alternative is tears.

When you’ve lost the pep in your step, here’s what you must do to be drawn back into the person you used to be:

  1. Stop thinking! Why? What’s the matter with thinking? The problem is that when you’re in this state, it’s dangerous! Even if you begin thinking optimistically, your thoughts will quickly turn into a tirade of “why didn’t I?” “I should have,” “it’s not fair,” and more. So cut out the thinking.
  2. Relax and do nothing. Are you kidding? There is so much to be done. If I don’t do it, l will fall behind and that will make everything worse. Perhaps. But couldn’t you find one hour out of the day to relax and do nothing except breathe, listen to music or take a brief nap?
  3. Cry. Instead of fighting back tears, let them out. Feel your sadness. Otherwise, you’ll be carrying around your sadness all day long as excessive weight, dragging you down, draining your energy.
  4. Make contact with the “right” people. Who are the “right” people? Well, certainly not those who will eat away at the good stuff that’s still inside you. It is those who will make your heart feel lighter. It could be a baby’s smile, a friend’s hug, a psychologist’s assurance.
  5. Avoid Absolute Talk. When you’ve lost the pep in your step, it’s easy to fall into an absolutist position. “I never do anything right,” “He never understands,” “Nothing ever works out in my favor.” “I’ll never get over this.” This kind of absolutism is neither constructive nor true. So, squash the “never” word and replace it with “sometimes.”
  6. Be Kind to Yourself. It’s so easy for you to find fault, to be self-critical with who you are, what you do, how you look. Enough! The clock has run out on your harshness. From now on, you need to feel appreciated, not only by others, but, most importantly, by yourself. Right now, think of one kind phrase you can say to yourself. Good! I hope you didn’t have any “yes, but” phrase in there, like, “I appreciate that I’m a caring person but when I’m in a funk, I don’t seem to be caring toward anyone.” See how a “yes, but” compliment can turn a kind statement into a punitive one? Kind statements are almost always short. Try again. A few examples: “I appreciate that I’m a caring person.” “I like my sense of humor.” “I take pride in my musical ability.”

running-boySix good ideas. Put them into practice and watch the pep in your step return. Rejoice whenever you feel like that kid whom you used to be. Make sure that kid who knew how to have fun, who loved to run around, who laughed easily, who had an infectious smile lives on forever.

“Life is short. Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly,
laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.”
Mark Twain

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