10 ways to stop feeling like you're damaged goods
There’s nothing like enduring consecutive shitty days be that – weeks, months, or sometimes even years to make us feel like damaged goods. Every bone feels broken, unable to be repaired as we begin to convince ourselves that we’re better off being stored away amongst piles of useless junk.
The prolonged feelings of worthlessness, loneliness and sadness are all deep and dark emotions that are far too real for its prime victims. We've all been cut in many ways – some deeper than others. But what's important to remember is that when we get cut – we heal, when we bruise – we heal, when we break – we heal. And much like the restoration that takes place on our outer existence, the same rebuilding is possible for our inner beings. All of our lives are far too short to be lived as if we've passed our expiry date. To help convince you, here are ways to help you fix, restore, mend, patch-up and heal whatever you feel is broken deep inside of you. So that sooner rather than later, you can confidently take on this world, like the able, worthy, unbreakable person that you are.
1. Show the negative self-talk who's boss
When something crappy happens, it's easy to get on the "I'll never be good enough" or "Things will never change" bandwagon, but we must learn to quickly jump off it. Whilst that inner gremlin voice may never truly go away, we can train ourselves how not to believe a word it's saying. Whenever you find yourself silently narrating your life away as one big hot mess, dig deep and try your best to replace it with some nurturing kind words that you deserve. Learn to separate who you truly are, with how you're feeling at that exact moment and know that they are two different people. Give those negative thoughts a run for their money; "I' am good enough" and "Things will change for me".
2. In case of an emergency
If you need some self-satisfaction relatively quickly, decide what can be attained almost immediately. Ticking something off on our to-do list, or treating ourselves with something like a massage can help us gain an instant happy-high. Magic can happen from being in a good mood, so finding little things that will get us there, may just snowball into achieving bigger goals. Write down a list of instant pick-me-ups that apply to you, so whenever a roadblock appears in your life, you have a list of things that will instantly make you feel better. Trust that list and better yet, trust the version of yourself that wrote that list in the first place.
3. Give your body TLC
The math is simple; healthy body = healthy mind.
4. Be wherever you are
Often, it doesn't matter where we are in the present time, our minds have a way of worrying about both the past and future. Sentences that start with "I wish that didn't happen..." or "What's going to happen..." can follow us around wherever we go – from doing the grocery shop, to trying to go to sleep. It is impossible to fully enjoy and live in the 'now' if we continue to let the ghosts of the past or the future haunt us. Not to mention it's mentally exhausting. Being immersed in what is currently going on will give us an opportunity for calmness and a chance to savour the moment. Otherwise, we might find ourselves worrying about what is 'now' – later on, and what a destructive cycle that is! If you're having catch-up for drinks with a friend, BE THERE. If you're at work, BE THERE. If you're having down time with your boo, BE THERE. You get the gist...
5. Goodbye Negative Nancies
We all seem to have people in our lives that make us feel like a piece of crap. Individuals who after hanging around them, make us feel drained, empty and distant from ourselves. Doesn't it suck that a huge part of feeling like damaged goods are often feelings that are passed on from others? It's time to say goodbye to these Negative Nancies in our lives. We've got enough on our plates trying to manage the negative self-talk I mentioned in point #1, let alone having to deal with others negativity too.
6. Inhale and exhale
Three important words; breath more often. We're obviously breathing enough to stay alive, duh. But I'm talking about scheduled, deep breaths that will make a world of difference. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mount consecutively as soon as you wake up, before you go to bed, or in sudden moments of stress like when your boss is being unreasonable. A good tip is to set an alarm on your phone solely for scheduled 'breathing breaks'.
7. Keep a gratitude journal and stick to it
Yes this point is such a cliche, but it's actually very beneficial. Most people who claim this doesn't work, are those who started one, but didn't keep it up. That's almost as counterproductive as expecting to lose weight, by eating healthy – only for a short period of time. Invest in a nifty notebook, write down something that you feel grateful for that happen to you each day, before you go to bed. Maybe someone at work shared their lunch with you when you forgot to take yours? Or your Mum phoned-in just to check how you are? Write it all down. Take it all in.
8. Keep the green-eyes monster at bay
Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." I second that notion! Remember that whilst someone will always be prettier, skinnier, richer or happier than us – we may be prettier, skinnier, richer or happier than others. The sooner we realise that jealousy is a pointless trap, the better. And the sooner we replace jealousy with inspiration, the sooner we can stop watching others have what we want and work hard in attaining those things for ourselves.
9. To infinity and beyond
One of the most effective remedies from feeling like damaged goods is to think about the future. Plan things, then get excited about those plans. An overdue catch-up with a friend, a weekend escape, traveling the world, future studies, fresh goals for the pending new year. However big or small, thinking ahead allows the unbearable now to become worthwhile for the excitement of a bright future.
10. 'Makes us harder, better, faster, stronger!'
Not much of what comes out of Mr. Kanye West's mouth makes a whole lot of sense, but I know this much to be true; "Whatever that don't kill me, can only make me stronger..." For some of us, things are going to happen which are almost unbearable enough not to necessarily kill us, but come pretty damn close. Enough to make us begin to mourn over who we once were. But maybe that's just it – maybe we won't ever be that person again? Because maybe we're on our way to being a harder, better, faster and stronger version of ourselves? Sounds pretty damn good to me! So say it with me now: 'Can we fix it?' 'Yes we can!'
Originally published on Love & List