Why It's So Easy To Drop The Stuff That Makes Us Feel Good

Why It's So Easy To Drop The Stuff That Makes Us Feel Good

 Throughout life, we go through many roadblocks and challenges. They are little reminders to rise to the occasion because they test our ability to remain in tune with who we really are. Like many of my clients, one of the things that I'm totally guilty of is that the first thing that I notice is that my head begins to spiral out of control. This then leads to bad habits returning or forming. You see more often than not life's challenges happen when life is going well. I've got everything sorted, I feel good in my body, mind and soul. I've dropped some of the things that healed and helped me through those previous challenges, why? That's easy because I feel like myself again so therefore I don't need those things etc. 

Sound familiar?

The one thing that makes a roadblock/challenge more noticeable is that we have wobbled away from doing more of the good things for our soul, and our emotional and mental health. 

Let's put a few things into perspective. A road bump looks like a setback in an area of your life. It's something out of your control that tends to make most people a little nervous, anxious, even depressed. Underneath all of that is a layer of vulnerability where one might think why is this happening to them? Gah, life does throw us all kinds of stuff, doesn't it. 

Overcoming life's challenges takes a bit of work and depending on the complexity of it, this may take weeks to years to learn from. The one thing before I move on is to acknowledge that these obstacles are in fact a great way to learn. Each situation we are dealt is an opportunity to grow personally. This all comes back to how we look at the situation. Some people have a natural can-do attitude to tackle things head on. While others are left standing like a deer in headlights trying to work out the best next move. 

The first thing I ask my clients when they are experiencing a wobble of self is - What are you doing to maintain a healthy mindset and regulate your emotions? 

Yes, its sounds like total therapist talk. However, my clients understand this question completely. AKA - what are you doing for yourself right now - 1 to get that trainwreck of thoughts under control and 2 - move through those emotions. 

You know what they say to me....

I probably should get back to {fill in the gap here with the things they were doing about 4-6 weeks ago that were making them happy}


Why is it that the first thing to go when we feel good are the things to maintain our overall well-being?

Well, it's because of a phenomenon known as "hedonic adaptation." This is the tendency for humans to quickly adapt to positive or negative changes in our lives and return to a baseline level of happiness or contentment.

When we experience a positive event, such as getting a promotion at work or receiving good news from a loved one, our brain releases dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This dopamine surge can cause us to feel great and motivated to pursue more positive experiences.

However, over time, our brain becomes accustomed to the dopamine surge, and the positive feeling subsides. This can cause us to lose interest in the activities that we were doing to maintain our overall wellbeing and instead focus on seeking out new experiences that will give us a similar dopamine surge.

For example, when we feel good, we may be more likely to skip our regular exercise routine, eat unhealthy foods, or stay up late watching TV instead of getting enough sleep. These activities may provide a temporary boost in dopamine, but they can ultimately be detrimental to our overall wellbeing.

To avoid falling into this cycle, it's important to be mindful of our behaviors and prioritise activities that promote our overall wellbeing even when we feel good.


Establishing Daily Rituals

Establishing daily rituals can be an excellent way to create structure and routine in your life. Here are some steps you can take to establish daily rituals:

  1. Start with your goals: Determine what makes you feel alive and full of happiness. It's those things you do that leave you feeling like your best self.  

  2. Identify your priorities: Consider what activities are most important to you and make sure to include them in your daily rituals. For example, if spending time with family is a priority, consider setting aside a specific time each day for quality family time. If being by water fills your energy bucket, find tasks that you can do by water like swimming, paddleboarding, sailing or watching the ocean as it rises and falls. 

  3. Start small: Don't try to overhaul your entire routine all at once. Instead, start with small, manageable habits that you can maintain over time. For example, you could start by setting a consistent wake-up time and incorporating a morning meditation or exercise routine.

  4. Be consistent: Consistency is key when establishing daily rituals. Try to stick to your new habits every day, even on weekends or when you're feeling unmotivated. Over time, they will become more automatic and easier to maintain.

  5. Adjust as needed: Be open to adjusting your daily rituals as needed. If something isn't working for you, don't be afraid to make changes or try something new.

Remember, establishing daily rituals takes time and effort, but the benefits can be significant. By creating a routine that aligns with your goals and priorities, you can increase your productivity, reduce stress, and improve your overall well-being.

When I look at my daily rituals they predominately are broken down into mornings and evenings. They include activities that nurture my soul, body, and mind like: regular exercise, healthy eating habits, quality sleep, and self-care activities such as meditation or journaling. By incorporating these habits into our daily routine, we can maintain our overall wellbeing.

Currently, my morning routine is far more relaxed than my evening as I'm a slow riser. However, I do take the time in the morning to do a ten-minute meditation, do some movement (mostly dancing with my kids) or walk them to school before I start my day. 

When it comes to maintaining our well-being self-discipline is really an asset that we need to celebrate. Not letting those things that make us feel good slip. 

They shouldn't slip due to the excuses we make

They shouldn't slip because of other people

and they most certainly shouldn't slip because today we feel good. 

Maintenance is key. 

What are you going to make sure is a non-negotiable for yourself?


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