Coming out of the Mental Rut

Background

My mental rut started gathering probably around 12 years back and grew over time, with most unforeseeable events happening in the last few years, and eventually, I got drowned.

In this post, I am not dwelling on the events which drowned me but on how it affected me and how I pulled myself out (reasonably).

Impact

  1. Always on low-energy. Dragging myself to get anything done.
  2. Aimless and unproductive.
  3. Lose of good memory power.
  4. Health deteriorated to its low.
  5. No progress in the Spiritual path. Stopped meditating. (In my most balanced days, I use to meditate minimum for an hour)
  6. Too many thoughts on uselessness of life.

Recovery

The first step to recovery is to recognize that something is terribly wrong and to start addressing it.

One day, I was very thirsty and I needed water badly, but I felt so tired to just get up and drink a glass of water. I felt so terrible and that's the time recognized, if I have to motivate myself to go and drink water then that's ‘the low’ one should not be in.

Then I started walking on the path to recovery —

Get professional help. If you have gone into the rut so deep that clearly shows that friends, family, and well-wishers could not help you now but they can still support you. A professional, a doctor, can diagnose you scientifically and give you the right direction. I was too low on my Vitamin B12, I had to take injections every day for a week and once a week and once a month for about a year to recover from it.

Exercise. Do some sort of physical activity, use some physical energy, and that will in-turn generate more fresh energy.

Say NO. Just go ahead and say no to everything you do not feel like doing except for the ones which are absolutely necessary to run your life. Once you start doing it, you start feeling light, and the burden on your shoulders starts coming down. You can always go back and take up the activities ones you are alright.

Just make one thing right. Take one important thing and do it right, focus all your energy in getting this one thing right every day. I path to recovery started becoming more clear as I just made one thing right.

For me, I started doing my chanting right in the morning, which took less than 10 mins. Just focusing on the mantra which I was chanting until I finish it. It just started to change me and the way I look at my environment.

This will eventually lead you to be more productive, just start on making one thing right every day and before you know it, you will be doing many things right.

Journal — Start writing your day as much as you can, this will do two things to you, it enhances your memory and helps you to off-load your thoughts before you hit the bed.

Sleep — Sleep well. There is a thin line between sleeping until you are rested and sleeping too much just to avoid living your day. Recognize that and give yourself right amount of rest.

One task at a time — Just do one task at a time, let the world fall apart, you just do one task now. And pick just one more task and do it the same way.

Read self-help books — Pick any top-selling self-help book. Don’t worry if you can follow the instructions in the book. Just go ahead and read it, constantly having someone filling you up with the positive things will do you so much good. It would be great if you implement a few things which appeal to your life from the books you read.

Meditate — There are many ways to meditate, I alternate between two types of practices. One is Japa, repeating a holy word or a sentence for 108 times or more. Second is mindful breathing, just sit in a comfortable posture with your spine erect and observe your breath as long as you can, and as much as you can. Never force yourself, you must just do as much as possible and a little more.

It’s been over a year now on my path to recovery and it feels good to be alive now!

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Abhilash Marichi

Abhilash Marichi

Data Engineer at Amazon. I write about Data, Product & Life.