“Don’t get too close; it’s dark inside; it’s where my demons hide.”
We’ve all had those nights where you’re wide awake at 4 in the morning. The ones where you’re sweating like a hog in heat. The nights where none of the tricks you use to fall asleep seems to be working.
Because those demons creep in.
Don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about. Those critical voices, the voices of childhood bullies, the ones that tell you that you’re not going to amount to anything.
The voices that tell you that you “should.”
Should be getting out more. Should eat healthier. Should be stronger. The list goes on and on and on.
You might look around you and think that everyone around you has it together, that they know what they’re doing because it seems like they’re navigating life with a map highlighted with Day-Glow markers. And there you are in the corner trying things that don’t seem to be working.
The truth is, we’re all in the same boat; the difference is that we just deal with it differently.
Not all of us decide to broadcast our woes to the world via Facebook status updates, and what we read on those channels might not necessarily be true. We can edit, water ourselves down to portray ourselves a certain way.
So how do you take the bullhorn away from that lizard that keeps saying the s-word?
Create Your Own Standards
Easier said than done, yes. But you are not your BFF who has a Day-Glo highlighted map to life. You are you. And if a good day for you means putting in just one job application and working out for an hour instead of the person next to you who puts in ten applications a day and bench presses more than 100 pounds at the gym, you have the right to celebrate that.
Find An Outlet
I’m not here to tell you that there’s ONE WAY to rid yourself of that lizard voice. You have to find a way that works for you. For me, it’s writing in a journal and kickboxing. For you, it might be something else. There’s no shame in saying that what works for one person may not work for you. Find that thing that helps you relieve stress. It could be one thing, it could be two things, it could be multiple things. But finding an outlet for pent-up energy always helps you get out of the “should” trap. It allows you to vent, focus on something else. And I’m pretty sure you’re not too keen on letting that lizard yell the s-word through an invisible bull horn in your ear.
Tone Down The Media Consumption
I know, I know. You can’t live without your phone. I’m not saying to lock your phone and laptop in a safe or anything. It’s no secret that the media feeds the s word. Since I’ve stopped reading magazines and tabloids, I’ve been much happier. This doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped keeping tabs on what’s happening in the entertainment world (because let’s be real, there’s no real way to escape it). This doesn’t mean that NOT flipping through those glossy pages will make you a happier person within the first 24 hours. But without the extra fuel for the s word, without comparisons, you can focus on improving yourself.
Don’t Play The “What-if” Game
Now before you go off, I know what you’re thinking: this is the hardest thing ever. This is especially true if you’re a planner like yours truly. But what if the thing you actually end up doing is even better than the thing you had planned?
I’ve said before that you don’t have to take every opportunity that comes your way. But sometimes there are regrets. Sometimes it’s better to just bite the bullet and jump into that handstand even though your head is saying that you’ll fall over into the person next to you.
We’ve all played the “what if” game, but sometimes the what-if game can cripple us.
And I don’t think we want to live our lives as cripples.
What strategies do you have for dealing with the s word?
Photo Credit: PicJumbo
6 thoughts on “How To Keep the Demons (And the S – Word) Down”
This was exactly what I needed to read. Thank you for that! I’ve had a hell of a couple of months and you’re right I need to stop letting my demons in. I play the “should” and “what if” games WAY too much and it needs to stop. I used to think music was my escape but I think all that does is make it worse. 😦 I need do things to get out of my head. Thank you again!
Hi Meghan! Thank you for reaching out! I’m so happy to hear that this helped you; your comment has made my day! I love hearing from readers. Just checked out your blog, so inspiring!
Aw thank you! And you’re welcome, it’s always nice to have positive and helpful bloggers to come up with posts with the topics you need to hear the most! 🙂
The first thing I tell my clients is to stop shoulding (and thus I just had to read this post). When we say should, we are criticizing ourselves and constantly putting ourselves down. It’s important to be aware of the self talk. Great post!
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! It means a lot to me! I’m still a work in progress, but knowing that people like you take the time to read this puts everything in perspective for me. Thank you again!