Life is full of ups and downs, but if it’s been more down than anything else for a while, you might forget what it feels like to be happy. Ruts can come in a number of forms, and some are so passive that we don’t even realize the negative effect they’re having on our lives. You could have hit a roadblock in your career, feel stagnated in your current position, or feel like your relationship is no longer exciting or even something you truly want. Whatever the case may be, getting out of a rut takes a lot more energy than getting into one does. It can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together this no-nonsense guide to help you change your life and start seeing progress as soon as possible.

Stop Avoiding the Real Problems

The first strategy is the most important, but it also tends to be the one most guys try to ignore. Being in a rut can sometimes just be choosing to actively avoid issues in your life. Instead of admitting your job is not fulfilling, you keep at it and blame your boss, coworkers, commute, etc. You can hunt for excuses all day, but if none of them ever bring you toward a solution, what’s the point? When you honestly admit the problems in your life, you open the door to solving them. It may not happen overnight, but now the possibility for change is on the table. Isn’t that better than feeling helpless against your circumstances?

Getting Yourself Out of a Rut: The No-Nonsense Guide

Start Strategizing Big Changes

A lot of people want to change their lives, but they freeze because they don’t know how to get from point A to point Z. This is the problem. If someone wants to become an artist, they should pick up a pencil, not a chisel. Carving wood is easier than marble, so find the easiest places to begin planning things you want to do. If it’s going back to school to earn a degree, research different programs, schools, and funding options like a private student loan. If you want to find a partner, think about what’s holding you back in your dating life so far. Maybe it’s not that people don’t want to talk to you. Maybe you just don’t have good communication skills. The good news? It’s possible to learn how to start a conversation, build healthy relationships and even enjoy dating.

Getting Yourself Out of a Rut: The No-Nonsense Guide

Get a Therapist

Therapy is for everyone, but it may not be needed in every situation. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to at least reach out and speak to a professional once. This can be an effective anxiety relieving strategy during a crisis as well as a positive checks and balances opportunity when the waters are calm. Counselors are trained in far more than treating mental illness; they also know how to help people overcome challenges, manage stress, build life skills, and achieve their goals.

If you are dealing with any persistent negative emotions, depression, anxiety, or substance abuse, therapy is a good place to work through that rather than taking it all on by yourself. Sometimes, we need an outsider to help us understand our inner worlds more clearly. A therapist can guide you through your thoughts and learn how to constructively evaluate and change them.