Feeling Stuck In Life? 8 Ways To Free Your Mind And Spirit

feeling stuck in life

Let me tell you about the time I discovered the top 8 ways to stop feeling stuck in life.

The clock had just struck four in the afternoon.

My cat’s sitting purring on my lap, where she’s been for the past half hour since I fed her some tuna. She lapped it up with delight. Now she’s sitting happily. It’s as though she’s never faced a negative emotion in her life.

I wonder whether she’d get off my lap if she knew that right now, my entire gut is cramped and I am feeling trapped in life, like I’ve hit a dead-end.My stomach is rebelling against this dread in my mind, the dread that I am stuck in this rut forever.

I flip to the internet, desperate to see Facebook to see what everyone else is doing with their perfect lives. But I’ve set up an app that disallows me to idle on Facebook and Twitter ( I wrote an article about making Facebook less depressing the other day). So instead I type in “Why do I feel stuck in life.”

Thousands of search results.

Guess I am not the only one feeling stuck in life.

In fact, billions of people feel trapped.

  • People feel trapped in unhappy relationships
  • People feel trapped in their city or town and can’t wait to move somewhere else
  • 59% of millennials in America feel trapped and want to move to another country [1]
  • And More than half of the entire US workforce feels dissatisfied at work [2].

Technically I’m none of the above. I’m in a good relationship, I have moved country, and not from America, and I work on my passion and am not dissatisfied in my work.

Sounds great, doesn’t it, working for your passion?

But it isn’t all gravy.

Some of it’s like the cruddy lumps of flour you get in home-made gravy: hard, tasteless, and unsatisfying.

Sure, being an actor and writer is a wild ride at times, but other times it’s a nightmare, wondering where the next pay check will come from, wondering whether you’ve made the right choice by not doing what everyone else does, by not getting a safe 9-5 that might make you feel stuck in life, but at least at the end of the day your career is resting safely like a baby in a crib.

The more stuck I feel in life, the more that cramp in my stomach builds, the more  eager I am to solve the problem.

I’ve researched the internet for hours on end searching for ways to stop feeling stuck in life.

And I found some great answers.

 

8 Tips For When You’re Stuck In Life

1. Relax and you will naturally get moving again

The more rigid and stiff we are the harder it is to move. That’s true for muscles and it’s true spiritually, too.

Writing for Psychology Today [3] Leslie Becer Phelps, Ph.D says:

“I was walking a main trail in New Hampshire’s Franconia Notch State Park when a staff member pointed out a small path off to the side. He suggested that I check out the ‘wolf den’,” says Phelps. “It consisted of a few boulders wedged together, leaving a small covered opening to squeeze through. When he mentioned that a number of people have gotten stuck in there, I asked how he gets them out. He chuckled and said, “Well, we can’t move the rocks.” Then he explained that he just waits. After about fifteen minutes of struggling, they give up… their bodies relax and they can slip right through.”

How remarkably like the philosophies of the Buddha.

twitter-iconRelax and accept the present moment, and you will be freed. That’s pretty much the entire philosophy of Buddhism.

 

2. Feel stuck in life and just go with it anyway

Right now we think we feel stuck in life. And we trick ourselves into believing that our feelings are reality. That is rarely the case.

But feelings are not reality. And neither are thoughts.

Scientific studies have proven that emotions do not stem from rational interpretation of the facts. They’re just emotion.

In 2004 scientists asked members of the electorate how they felt after hearing a negative comment about their favorite politicians. The results showed that emotions flared after a negative comment even if that comment was founded in truth and even if it was an unimportant and trivial opinion being expressed. In other words, we get emotional about abject bullshit.

So we are feeling stuck in life. But that feeling is just a feeling and is not based on reality.

So why does it feel so real?

Emotions create feelings that in turn create thoughts. Those thoughts in turn created beliefs. And what we believe we actively and forcefully try to protect, even if those thoughts are negative. [Read: Change Your Beliefs]

How the feeling of being stuck creates the reality

  1. Right now I’m feeling stuck.
  2. That feeling is created by an emotion.
  3. The emotion creates thoughts about my being stuck
  4. Thinking I’m stuck makes me believe I’m stuck
  5. The mind intentionally finds evidence to support the belief that I’m stuck
  6. So now I’m looking at all the evidence that says that I am stuck
  7. Staring at all those negatives, I now feel even more stuck.
  8. Return to step 1 but with even more of that feeling of being stuck.

Here’s the very big deal:

Change the emotion of feeling stuck and you will change everything that comes after. You will change your thoughts. You will change your beliefs. You will change your actions. You will change your reality.

So: feel stuck, and do the complete opposite of what you feel like doing. You feel like staying in bed because you feel stuck in life. Go out and spend the entire day outside running through the fields (or streets).

 

3. Imagine you are completely free

To change a feeling we need to act in despite of it.

  • If we’re sad we do happy things
  • If we’re angry we do relaxing things
  • If we’re feeling stuck in life we do free-spirited things.

twitter-icon When you act as though you were free you will suddenly become free. If you act as though you are trapped, you will continue to feel trapped.

So what would a free-spirited person do?

  • Go for a run
  • Spend time outdoors
  • “Just chill out, man, whatever” (relax)
  • Meditate in the middle of nowhere
  • Do something crazy and fun (go to a theme park, take a vacation etc)
  • Spend time at the beech (for bonus points, try paddle-board yoga at the ocean)
  • Do anything that you would do it you were feeling completely free in life
  • Read my guide to feeling free in life.

 

 4: Get A Grip On Your Brain Chemicals 

Remember that you are feeling stuck and that feeling is an emotion. 

Emotions are caused by brain chemicals. Change the chemicals, change the emotion.

HowStuffWorks tells us:

“Your brain is a complex network that processes vast quantities of information every second. Part of the brain’s information-processing network includes neurons, or cells that transmit signals throughout the brain. Neurons send signals through neurotransmitters, which are chemicals some release and others receive. These chemicals essentially let the parts of the brain communicate with each other. [4]

“The three most commonly studied neurotransmitters are dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. Dopamine is related to experiences of pleasure and the reward-learning process. In other words, when you do something good, you’re rewarded with dopamine and gain a pleasurable, happy feeling. This teaches your brain to want to do it again and again.

Serotonin, meanwhile, is a neurotransmitter associated with memory and learning. Researchers believe it plays a part in the regeneration of brain cells, which has been linked to easing depression. An imbalance in serotonin levels results in an increase in anger, anxiety, depression and panic. Norepinephrine helps moderate your mood by controlling stress and anxiety.”

These chemicals are incredibly important. It’s probably worth you taking a look at how to control brain chemicals like dopamine, because those chemicals are affecting your emotions, and, as we’ve seen, your emotions are affecting everything else.

 

5:  Let go of perfectionism

When you are too focused on perfection you will feel stuck in life.

Let go of perfection. Once you let go you become a free spirited person.

When we are too focused on being perfect it is usually a cover-up. We feel shameful about something. We fail to accept a part of ourselves. So we cover it up with a million imagined ways in which we are perfect, even though we are all beautifully flawed human beings.

Perfectionists feel stuck because:

  • They are too concerned over their looks
  • They worry too much about their careers
  • They fail to accept (and work on (weaknesses)
  • They pretend they are someone they are not (an imagined, more “perfect” version of themselves)
  • They are unable to relax and have fun

Let go off perfectionism and you will stop feeling trapped in life.

twitter-iconThe only real failure in life is not to be true to yourself—Buddha

 

 

6. Focus on a different goal

When we obsess over one goal in life we sometimes feel trapped, as though our entire being revolves around that one goal.

twitter-icon The universe has much bigger plans for you than that one goal you’re crazy about. Time to open your eyes.

When we change goals we change our perspective. This makes us look at life in a new way, and that change of perspective creates freedom of spirit.

There are so many possible different goals to focus on.

Focus on making someone else happy

Focus on a hobby

Focus on spiritual development

Here are 9 alternative bucket list ides for inspiration.

 

 

7: Let yourself be happy today

Too many people puts demands on their happiness.

‘I’ll be happy when I’m successful”

“I’ll be happy when I lose weight”

“I’ll be happy one I have the perfect boyfriend / girlfriend”.

No. Be happy now.

Happiness leads to success, not the other way around.

Let yourself be happy today.

 

8. Stop being a slave to society

Far too many people are slaves to society.

When we are born, the universe intends for us to be free and to dance through the world with the freedom of a firefly. But society pressure and peer pressure get in the way.

  • You dont have to do what society dictates.
  • You dont have to wear the clothing Vogue tells you to wear
  • You dont have to have the career your parents told you to have
  • You dont have to look the way magazines tell you to look
  • You do you.

Stop being a slave to society.

 

 

 

I’m feeling like I’ve freed myself again. And even if I do feel stuck in life again, I realise now that it’s just a feeling, and that the feeling does not reflect my reality.

Think I’ll go play among the stars now.

Leave a comment.

 

About Paul Martin Harrison 495 Articles
Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book Journey To The Buddha Within You.