Whatever situation you are in right now, how you feel and what you do is within your control.
Mensline Australia offers telephone and online support and information service for Australian men. You should contact Mensline Australia if you want to connect to people who can help, or to find useful information for men and their families. If you have an alcohol or drug issue, see ADCA’s helpline and services directory.
Getting help can be an important step to fixing a problem. Another thing you can do is to put yourself in the right state of mind to achieve a positive result. Here are some ideas for how to improve how you feel and act.
1. Realise that you have personal power
Often the biggest barrier to achieving what you want is focusing too much on external things over which you have no control. This can leave you with feelings of being anxious, vulnerable, angry, frustrated or depressed.
Whatever the situation, you always have tremendous personal power. You control what you think, which affects how you feel. If there are actions that will improve the situation, you can resolve to take them. If the situation seems hopeless, you can work on making the best of it and improving your position—bit by bit. By focusing on what is within your power, you will start to build positive energy.
2. Reflect or meditate
People meditate to promote relaxation and build internal energy or life force. It can also be used to improve compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness. While meditation is not for everyone, any person can benefit by applying some of the principles.
Meditating is about calming the mind. It is particularly useful for when you keep thinking the sames things over and over, such as reliving a negative experience, or if your thoughts are jumbled. Meditation helps you focus on simple things and slow down enough to change your thought patterns.
Meditation often starts with finding a quiet, comfortable place that is free of distractions and taking slow, deep breaths. But doing things such as walking and bike riding can also induce meditative states.
There are many different things you can task your mind with while meditating. Whatever it is, it should create calm feelings and lead to a natural, gentle flow of thoughts. Examples are imagining that you are flying over the countryside, or focusing on different parts of your body (starting with the toes). For more ideas, see this guide to meditation.
3. Look at the situation objectively
A common barrier to solving a problem is injecting emotional factors into one’s thinking. You might be focusing on the negative consequences of an event or situation (such as losing time with your kids after a divorce). You might also be making moral judgements (i.e. this wouldn’t be happening if people were fairer or more considerate).
To process the problem and arrive at a solution, you need to accept the facts as they are. Then you are in a position to focus on what can be done rather than what has been done. It is not a matter of rejecting or ignoring your feelings, it is about setting them aside so that you can best take action.
4. Figure out what is within your power
You may be surprised at how much scope you personally have to achieve a particular goal in your life. Some actions may be big and some may be small. But, in almost any situation, you can improve outcomes or how you cope by doing something. By thinking creatively about what you can do, you will quickly gain a greater sense of personal empowerment.
5. Commit to action
Solving personal problems and improve your life comes down to action and not just intentions. Once you have figured out what you want to achieve and the things you need to do to get there, then you must act. Some ways to ensure you get results and don’t give up are:
- have some sort of practical plan, even if it is just a sketch in your mind
- start with small, achievable steps
- try to enjoy the process of achieving your goal
- persist when things get tough (remember that few great things are easily achieved).