I don’t know if anyone else has been feeling this lately, but at this time of year, I find myself feeling somewhat resistant and less motivated to complete my to-do list. With the end of the year on the horizon, it’s easy for our thoughts to wander and think about all that we’ve yet to do and achieve by the end of the year. And to top it off, as the busy holiday season approaches, we are even more susceptible to hitting a wall. Without awareness, this feeling of being overwhelmed can impact our attitude and our productivity.
Because most of these obstacles are created from negative thinking, we need to bring awareness to what we are saying to ourselves. The root of this resistance could be mental (i.e. thinking, imagery), physical (i.e. lack of activity), value-based (i.e. compassion, truth ), or emotional (i.e. memories or relationships). Here are some of my tips to move forward and push past resistance when you’re tired of hitting those walls.
Positive Thinking & Visualization
Research confirms that positive imagery training has reported decreased negative affect and treat anxiety, and increased optimism. Often times, when we’re met with resistance, thinking positively can be the last thing we want to do. However, it is so important to focus on positive thoughts and use daydreaming to visualize positive outcomes. For example, if you procrastinate and can’t get started on the book you want to write, visualize seeing your book listed as a best seller on Amazon books! Imagine all of the good feelings that achieving this goal would mean to you. Visualize the positive impact it would have on your life, how it would make you feel, and the happiness that would come along with the accomplishment of that goal. Set your sights on big things! Believe in the power of positivity.
Studies have shown that the change in season influences your body’s melatonin and serotonin levels. Both of these substances play a role in our sleep and in our mood. Most of us adjust to the seasonal changes with ease. However, about 5% of the population suffers from a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that occurs more frequently in the fall and winter months. As sunlight decreases during the short, dark days of winter, many individuals struggle with seasonal affective disorder or SAD. As the acronym so aptly illustrates, those afflicted experience feelings of sadness and loss of energy. Some symptoms of SAD are ongoing feelings of hopelessness, guilt, and loss of interest in activities. This can take a toll on you as you work towards those end of year goals, or even planning forward for the coming months.
Some forms of prevention that have been found to be effective include increasing the amount of light at home, taking time to meditate, and exercising more frequently. If you work in an office, I also recommend taking your breaks outside. Try taking a quick 10-minute walk. Take in the brisk air, feel the ground beneath your feet, and enjoy the sensations of moving your body. After your walk, reflect on how you are feeling. Can you feel an improved mood and an increased sense of mindfulness?
When you are feeling resistance and lack of motivation, ask yourself if your values are in alignment with your attempted actions. For example, I recently had to give a speech. Until I reframed the topic of the speech, I was stuck and uninspired. What I was trying to do wasn’t in line with my values and what I wanted out of the speech. Once I reframed my message to more accurately reflect my core values of compassion and helping others, the words flowed! To try and move past this resistance, make a list of your core values. Then, see how you can apply them to the project at hand. Our brain loves when we are in alignment with our true values and passion. Watch how your mind more easily moves toward activities in line with your values and how naturally the creativity begins to flow.
One factor that may be holding you back is fear. Fear of the unknown is an extremely common feeling to have. Regardless of your reasoning behind the fear, our emotions can get in the way of our productivity. It’s easy to allow our emotions to take over and act as a blocking agent. Just like when you feel like you’re emotionally hitting a wall. It’s important to recognize walls you hit not as impossible, but as another threshold to move through and get over. Stay in tune with yourself and your emotions. Recognize and write down the things you can change and the things you cannot change. Encourage yourself to validate your emotions and come up with a game plan to move forward in love and excitement.
Did this post help you recognize areas of resistance in your life? I would love to hear how the ideas and challenges presented to you here have helped you overcome resistance and push forward towards a productive and positive time. You’ve got this!
If you want to talk more about how NeuroCoaching can help you push past resistance further, let’s connect today. Together we can work to break down the walls holding you back so you can live your best life.
I also want to take this opportunity to invite you to join in on my five-day gratitude challenge starting NEXT Monday, November 19th. Together, for five days, we’ll talk through feeling gratitude for ourselves and our surroundings. I can’t wait to guide you through this challenge! To sign up for free, visit the campaign sign up page here: http://eepurl.com/dMQULU
Depress Res Treat. 2015; 2015: 178564.
Published online 2015 Nov 25. doi: [10.1155/2015/178564], PMCID: PMC4673349, PMID: 26688752, Seasonal Affective Disorder: An Overview of Assessment and Treatment Approaches
Psychiatry Res. 2015 Nov 30; 230(1): 36–43.
PMCID: PMC4593863 PMID: 26235478 Imagining a brighter future: The effect of positive imagery training on mood, prospective mental imagery and emotional bias in older adults