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Are you digging a mental rut?


You know those days where even though you know what you are doing and accomplishing is good stuff you just feel like something is “off.” You can’t really concentrate or focus well. In a way, it almost feels like you are operating in a void. On top of that, maybe even a touch of anxiety just to tug at the emotions. What do you do when those days or moments come at you?

Since today is one of those days for me, I’m gonna think while writing. Putting words on the screen can help calm the rut I am digging in my mind. You know the rut I’m talking about? The one where you go back and forth in your head about something or more than one something over and over. Almost like you are pacing in your head.

I was in a counseling session recently and one of the therapists was walking back and forth

across his pen. Yes, one of my therapists is a horse.

Not exactly a therapist, but he helps. The ground under his hooves was getting worn down more and more with each pass. Digging a rut for himself like we do in our heads. On each side of his pen are pens for other animals. While he paced, something another horse did bothered or distracted him, and he leaned his head into their pen as a warning and once even charged from the opposite corner of the pen and slid toward the other horses. He broke out of his rut long enough to push away what was bothering him then went right back to pacing. In the pen on the other side were a couple donkeys. One was braying loudly, making himself very known. Yet, the horse made little effort to stop that distraction. I guess that wasn’t a source of his anxiety or he was able to cope with it differently.

My human counselors that day asked me a few question… “How do you get out of your own rut?” and “What do you do to get rid of the distractions?” You know what? I am still trying to answer those questions. I don’t have a simple cookie cutter answer. I wish I did.

Today I woke up crazy early and couldn’t go back to sleep. My mind was pacing a lot and fast. Some things happened last night that I was unhappy with myself over and my head was all over the place. In the middle of the mental pacing, those questions popped back in my head. So, I dragged myself out of bed and headed to the workout room in the apartment complex. No one was there and I was able to be on the treadmill for a while, listen to some music and just get lost in the workout. Full disclosure, that’s the first time I have worked out in a long time. I’d been in a thinking and feeling rut for a while and I was hoping it would help me move me away from the internal pacing and quiet some of the distractions. It did and even helped me come to some decisions about a few things.


Then the mind got loud again, and it was time to write.

Today I used exercise and writing to help lower my anxiety level. Those work for me, but they may not work for you. So, don’t go there if they don’t. And like so many other things, it can depend on the day what works best. Switch things up as often as you need to. It’s up to you how you calm the pacing in your head.

If you are not sure what works for you or need to find something different, here are a few lists of possibilities.

https://psychcentral.com/lib/15-small-steps-you-can-take-today-to-improve-anxiety-symptoms/

https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/anxiety-tips#1

Let’s take a moment to help each other…


What works for you to help calm your pacing mind?

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