I hope you found yesterday’s post regarding Pride and Perspective to be helpful. If you just joined this journey, be sure to take the time to go back and read from the beginning. Without delay, let’s get to it and discuss the letter “Q”.
You’re taking a pleasant walk on a very sunny day. It’s just you and your faithful canine companion. You’re carrying a backpack with snacks and some gear. You place your cell phone in your backpack as well, for safe keeping. There is no one else around and you are really enjoying your hike along the riverbank in complete solitude.
But wait, as you take a step forward, you nearly lose your balance. Your right foot has sunken into the ground beneath you. Quickly you move your left foot forward in order to keep your balance. There you are, both feet together, slowly seeking into the sand beneath you. Oh no, what is happening?
You scream at your dog to stay away. Your mind is racing, your breathing intensifies, your heart is beating very quickly and you begin to PANIC! What are you supposed to do?
Let’s learn about the QUICKSAND ANALOGY and how it applies to you in your search for happiness.
- Don’t panic!
- Remove your backpack and throw it to solid ground, eliminating extra weight.
- Break the suction.
- Lay down on your back.
- Stay horizontal (floating).
- Slowly pull your feet free from the quicksand.
- Backstroke towards the solid ground (just like the swimming stroke).
- Roll onto the ground from the quicksand.
Now you know how to survive quicksand, should this situation ever occur. Let’s talk about how you can use these same steps to propel yourself towards a more meaningful and happy life.
Step 1 – Don’t panic when you are faced with difficult situations and feelings. The more you struggle with them, the more difficult they become. Whether you’re feeling anxious, angry or sad, the more you place all of your focus and energy on them, the harder they become to deal with. And those feelings will only get stronger, not weaker.
Step 2 – Just like the backpack you carried on your walk, you need to unload the extra baggage you are carrying. This baggage is usually in the form of negative self-talk. You can’t improve your situation or improve your mood if you’re spending all of your time trying to convince yourself of what a horrible person you are or how much you don’t deserve happiness. You have to be willing to dump that stuff in order to slow down any sinking (more negative self-talk).
Step 3 – Breaking the suction is not only about removing yourself from your current situation, but it also means finding balance. Instead of trying to fight all of the unhappy thoughts and feelings you are experiencing, just lay down and rest. This is NOT about giving up. When you lay down, you are floating on top. You aren’t fighting anymore. You are much more relaxed. Say good-bye to your negative thinking.
Step 4 – While resting (floating) and not fighting, you will be able to pull your feet free. You will be able to get yourself unstuck. If your feet are free, it becomes easier to move about. You don’t have to stay trapped in your current way of thinking and feeling. You will begin to realize that you can move in a different direction.
Step 5 – Begin to get unstuck by moving towards a direction where your mood is elevated. Move in the direction of a more meaningful and rewarding life. Just like the backstroke, you can more easily navigate through your life in a direction towards your goals. Stay relaxed and move at our own pace.
Step 6 – As with the quicksand example, you can now move towards solid ground. With ease and comfort, because you are no longer experiencing panic, you can step onto your new path to happiness. You are safe, secure, and stable.
HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW?
The steps needed to survive quicksand, both literally and figuratively, take a real presence of mind. Every instinct in your body and mind tell you to struggle. Your first instinct is to panic and to become very anxious. However, the more you struggle, the worse your situation becomes and the worse you are going to feel.
Like most everything in your life, practice makes perfect. Except, you don’t need to work for perfection. Just practice these steps to help you achieve more happiness in your life.
As we continue this journey together, I encourage you to keep reading. If you have yet to find your own how or why to happiness, I strongly believe you will. Please come back tomorrow as we explore the letter “Q”.
Copyright © Julie Corbett 2017