Stagnant - Strategies for Change?

I'm looking for advice on how to make myself become a new person. I haven't been happy with myself for a long time: I do not think clearly or intelligently, I cannot keep a clear head when I'm upset, and I am very anxious. I have trouble focusing as well. I have always loved reading and am trying to do it more because I think it will challenge my mind and help me learn to think clearly. But I haven't been successful, can't focus, barely read. I end up distracting myself with the internet or sleeping my life away a lot to avoid thinking about serious mistakes I have made and all the things I'm anxious about.

I can't focus so I can't think, and not thinking, coupled with being anxious, has resulted in me being really stupid and making some horrible mistakes. I deeply hurt a close friend and at this point I think ended years of friendship because I couldn't think clearly through my emotions.

I'm sick of myself. I wasn't always so bad. Some of my close friends know what I am struggling with and they have been helpful but I rarely talk about it because they have their own problems, and it feels trite that my biggest problem is that I'm an idiot.

I am not excited about my future because if I can't change then in a year, or two, or three, I'll be in the same place or worse. I know everyone says take it day by day. But how do you start? Where did you get the energy to start? What did you that first day?

Thanks in advance for sharing.

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Hi friend, it’s good that you can recognize where you struggle. That’s a start. Self improvement is a thing that I think we as people are always and constantly working on. We are always learning. Always evolving. It is up to us to make good or bad with what we learn and experience.

So let’s start here:

  • Can’t keep a clear head when upset
  • Struggle with handling emotions
  • Can’t focus

So, what are some things that can help or improve these things?

I also struggle with my emotions when I’m upset. Some tips to help better get a hold of this:

  • Don’t confront, resolve or make drastic decisions when upset. Instead, when you realize you are upset, voice to yourself and others that you need to take a moment to collect yourself. Allow yourself time to calm down. Once you’ve had a moment to re-center your mind, then go back to whatever that needed to be confronted, resolved or decided. This way you can handle those things with a clam sound mind.

Some things that can help calm your mind and intense emotions:

  • Music. I recommend upbeat or calm music. Not angry or aggressive.
  • Meditating. There are all kinds of videos and guided meditation audio on YouTube that are free for you to take advantage of.
  • Take a relaxing bath or shower in dim lights. Add calm music to help.
  • Take a nap. Ever hear the phrase “Sleep on it first”? Literally do that. Nap. Allow your body to rest and see how you feel once you wake up. Generally this resets your mood and intense emotions. Helping you come down from any heated emotions.
  • Blog or Diary. Write down everything you’re feeling in a private place. I say private so that you can be as angry and unfiltered as you need to just burn some of that energy out. Do that till you feel like you’ve released that energy. If this just works you up again, don’t do it. It may not work for everyone.
  • Take a walk
  • Go somewhere like a library, a shop…anywhere. To clear your mind and just be out.

These are all good ways for you to calm your mind and reset your emotions. If you do this when you catch yourself upset, this could make a huge difference. Don’t argue with people. Don’t express how you are feeling in a confrontation when you’re worked up. Find ways to calm down first.

Having confrontational conversations or merely expressing how you feel rarely works when you’re yelling or being upset at someone. It’s much easier to be receiving and understanding if you express yourself respectfully and calmly.

All of those things can also help reset your focus.

I was having major focusing issues among other things and found out I had ADHD. So I take something that helps me focus.

Speak to a therapist, a doctor and or a psychiatrist about your focus issues and they may be able to offer you some help and resources to get that under better control.

The key is to find the problem you are having. I encourage you to write down all the areas you feel you are struggling in. And then try to write small goals and things you can do to help improve that. Ask yourself “What can I do to improve this?”. Things like “Why is this such an issue for me?”

More often than not, you will find you have a lot of the things you need right there in front of you. Write it down. And then you’ll have an idea of what you need to work on.

If you need a friend or a therapist to help you find ways to work on your list, don’t be afraid to reach out. Asking for guidance is a good thing.

Start there. Make a list. (: And if you need help, we are here my friend.

You’re off to a good start. Recognizing where you struggle means you are aware. Being aware is a lot more than some people. So you’re well on your way. (:

You want to be a better person and better version of you. Be proud of yourself for wanting to make a change. And now take that, work on it.

This is how we evolve and change into who we want to be.

Much love

  • Kitty

Thanks, this is helpful for getting started :). I think I want to start with meditation, thanks for the guided video recommendation. I will make my first goal to do one a day for at least 5 mins. I’m not the best with small, actionable goal setting that’s like stepping stones to a big goal, but I feel like meditation can’t hurt and so it’s a good place to start. Thanks again :slight_smile:

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Meditation is such a great start! It helps with focus, with calming the mind and also good for sleep! There are so many different type of guided audio. If you have a smartphone you can also check out HeadSpace. It’s an app with guided meditation. It’s free but there are things that you can purchase in app of you want. I used that for a while too!

Something else you could try is Yoga! Whether you use YouTube videos or yoga classes. This is a way to re-center not only your mind but also healthy for your body. (: So that’s something to consider and look into if you want.

Glad to help!

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Beautiful and helpful words from DearKoyangi. I would like to add something I do for my anxiety and other issues: I use a book called The Daily Stoic Journal. It has a one page Stoic practice or idea and then 7 daily questions for you to answer each day of the following week. There’s only space for a few sentences so it’s easy and doesn’t require a lot of work or concentration. An example of questions:

What things are truly in my control?
What can I say no to, so I can say yes to other things?
What am I making harder than it needs to be?
What would forgiveness feel like?

I find these questions basic but deeply philosophical. You write a little in the morning, go about your day and revisit it at night to write a couple more lines. I often find that I’ve mulled it over during the day. Sometimes I apply the ideas and sometimes they just help me sort my thoughts. I hope it helps you too.

I’m on my 2nd year / journal and I see my thoughts and actions evolving in a healthy way.


Thanks so much, this sounds very helpful. I think something guided/structured like this will really help me getting started, since it’s a plan to follow. Thank you for your help :slight_smile:

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